Recap of last weeks bets
To Win – Russell Henley – LOST
To Make the Cut – Charley Hoffman – WON
To Miss the Cut – Si Woo Kim – WON
Top Ten Finish – Scottie Scheffler – LOST
Leader After Round One – Cameron Tringale – LOST
Profit/Loss (This week) – Loss of $10 to a $10 Stake
Profit/Loss (Overall) – Loss of $47.50 to a $10 Stake
On to this week’s event
The Rocket Mortgage Classic, now in its third year, brings the PGA Tour back to Detroit Golf Club. Bryson DeChambeau, the defending champion and a betting favorite for 2021, is back. The course at Detroit Golf Club is 7,370 yards long and has a par of 72. The Donald Ross design emphasizes accuracy off the tee on the front nine, but the back nine is much more open and gives for ample scoring opportunities.
The fields and leaderboards for the two previous events were quite different. Nate Lashley won the first 2019 tournament, with Doc Redman coming in second. DeChambeau defeated Matthew Wolff in last year’s edition, one of the Tour’s first events following the COVID-19 outbreak.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to connect Bryson and Nate through their playing styles. Both were ranked well in terms of Strokes Gained on Approach when they arrived in Michigan, and both renewals emphasize the importance of Strokes Gained Putting.
With 2.06 strokes gained from tee to green every round, Nate Lashley outperformed with his putter, gaining 2.33 strokes per round. With 1.82 strokes gained from tee to green per round, Bryson DeChambeau exceeded his putter, which gained 1.96 strokes per round. That is a rare occurrence on the PGA Tour. So we’re hoping for a good SG on Approach play, as well as a hot week for the putter.
No. 6 in the world, Bryson DeChambeau, who is one of just four top-20 ranked golfers in the field, is back to defend his title. Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama are the others. The putting numbers have been significant in each of the last two Rocket Mortgage events.
Officials from the PGA Tour aren't afraid of a birdie-fest in Detroit, and the weather forecast for this week seems promising. The previous 169mm of rain should keep the course soft and responsive, and thunderstorms from Monday to Thursday cannot be ruled out. Expect fireworks because there isn't going to be much wind. The only noticeable variation from prior years will be cooler temperatures, ranging from 22 to 26 degrees Celsius, compared to up to 33 degrees in previous years.
On to our picks for this year's Rocket Mortgage Classic…
Bryson DeChambeau +750
I hate to pick a short-priced favorite, but I can't look past the defending champion. He is in terrific form and blitzed his way through this course last year. As they say, it's better to have a short-priced winner rather than a big-priced loser.
To Make The Cut
Charley Hoffman -250
I’m going to stick with Charley this week as he is a solid bet. He has now made 14 consecutive cuts and had five top-ten finishes to his name. He missed the cut in his only appearance in this tournament in 2019, but he came into the competition in poor form, having missed his previous two cuts, which isn't the case here.
Top Ten Finish
Patrick Reed +150
Although Reed is a short price to claim a top ten finish, he looks a solid proposition as he has six top-ten finishes this season. Although he missed the cut here last year, he came fifth the year before, and I see him having a similar week this week.
Leader After Round One
Keegan Bradley +5000
Bradley has had a dip in form over the last two weeks, but he had four top 20 finishes in a row before that. This includes shooting a 63 in the first round of the Zurich Classic and a 64 at the Valspar Championship, making him an excellent contender to lead the pack early.
Top 20 Finish
Patton Kizzire +400
Although Kizzire has struggled over the past few weeks, we must not forget he has back-to-back top-three finishes at the Byron Nelson and the Charles Schwab Challenge not so long ago. His form around here is a slight concern, but he offers excellent value at these odds.