Team effort at the Travelers
It was another solid week for our fantasy players last week at the Travelers Championship, and it was a great team effort from our selections. While none of them managed a top ten finish, all four of them made the cut which meant we got a decadent return from all of them.
Our main pick and leading contender, Russell Henley, was a shot off the lead entering the final round. Still, he appears to have an issuing seeing out his tournaments as of late, and he finished with yet another poor final round which cost him dearly. Sam Burns led the way for our picks as he finished in a tie for 13th place. He played good golf all weekend and probed what a reliable fantasy player he can be.
Englishman Paul Casey had an average week for his standards. However, he still finished inside the top 40, and Ryan Moore continued to show the inconsistencies he has recently as he was either very good or very poor.
This week we head to the Detroit Golf Club for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Let’s begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s Beerlife profile.
The History of the Rocket Mortgage Classic
The Rocket Mortgage Classic is in its early years; it has only ever been played twice. The first-ever winner was Nate Lashley in 2019, who won the tournament comprehensively by six shots, with Doc Redman finishing in the runners-up spot.
Last year’s tournament was won by big hitter Bryson DeChambeau who claimed victory by three shots over Matthew Wolff, who led the chasing pack. This tournament brings back happy memories for most golf fans as it marked the return of golf last year following the suspension due to the worldwide Covid pandemic.
Let’s turn our attention to the form of the winners and the runners up seen as we only have two tournaments to study to give us a better indication of what we need to be on the lookout for here.
2020 Winner Bryson DeChambeau – 265 (-23) – Form 6/8/3/4
2020 Runner Up Matthew Wolff – 268 (-20) – Form CUT/CUT/54/52
2019 Winner Nate Lashley – 263 (-25) – Form 28/CUT/69/29
2019 Runner Up Doc Redman – 269 (-19) – Form 18/-/-/-
On 45 acres of farmland on Detroit’s north side, local merchant William Farrand and some associates created the Detroit Golf Club in 1899. Members were provided access to their miniature six-hole course for a $10 initial membership fee plus another $10 in dues. Trust that prices have gone up since.
After 17 years, the club moved to a vast 36-hole property with two Donald Ross-designed courses, which is said to be the first 36-hole club created by him. Henry Ford, the automaker, was the most prominent member at the time. Ross’ brother Alec, the 1907 U.S. Open champion, became the head pro in 1916 until his retirement in 1945.
The course dates from a bygone era and is the PGA Tour’s oldest host location. Even though the Detroit Golf Club has been lengthened to 7,340 yards to accommodate today’s power game, the length had no impact on scoring last year. Nate Lashley shot 25 under par to win by six shots after the 36-hole cut was made at five-under-par, the lowest on Tour since 2016. Holes 14-16, known as Area 313 after the city’s phone area code, should result in even lower scores.
The Detroit Golf Club’s holes appear to be very easy at first, but they quickly get more rigid on the approach and the greens. To squeeze landing zones, fairway bunkers are deliberately placed. The raised greens provide the only respite on an otherwise flat course. Mature trees line almost every hole. As a result, the layout at Detroit Golf Club rewards strong decision-making and precise shots. The rough is expected to be slightly higher this year, but it shouldn’t pose a serious barrier to the field.
The weather will be a real mixed bag this week as it starts wet and finishes the same way with a couple of dry days in between. However, it's worth noting that the forecast is rain for the three days leading up to the tournament also, so the greens could play very slowly.
The field for the PGA Tour's Rocket Mortgage Classic, which takes place this week at Detroit Golf Club and features some of golf's greatest names, was released at Friday's deadline for entries.
Bryson DeChambeau will defend his title, while Phil Mickelson, the reigning PGA Championship winner, will make his tournament debut and compete in his first PGA Tour event in Michigan since the Buick Open in Grand Blanc in 2002. Hideki Matsuyama, the reigning Masters champion, will also be in the 156-player field for the third time at the Rocket.
Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Lucas Glover, Jimmy Walker, Danny Willett, and Gary Woodland were among the other notable winners in the 156-player field.
We run each player in the field through our BeerLife Sports profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Sensational Saturday – Although there have only been two years of data to go through, it's clear the winners and runners-up of this tournament have made their move on day three of the championship. This has been the lowest scoring round on average, and both tournaments have been won by the player leading after day three.
Round Three Scoring Average
- Webb Simpson
- Sergio Garcia
- Emiliano Grillo
- Raphael Campos
- Russell Henley
Starting each hole on the right foot – It doesn’t take a genius to work out starting each hole well with give you a better chance of scoring lower. However, on a course with many doglegs, our players will need to shape the ball well both ways.
Strokes Gained Off The Tee
- Bryson DeChambeau
- John Rahm
- Sergio Garcia
- Jhonattan Vegas
- Viktor Hovland
Putting Perfectly – Putting well around here is probably the key to victory as both of the previous champions finished inside the top two for strokes gained putting. With all the rain forecast this week, we will need players who can read a putt well.
Strokes Gained Putting
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Jason Kokrak
- Chesson Hadley
- Brendon Todd
- Zach Johnson
Scramble to victory – Lastly, we should cover ourselves and pick a player who can scramble. The PGA has promised more arduous rough conditions this week, and with all of the rain due, the ball could plug in some bad lies around the course. The previous two winners have also scrambled well on their way to the title.
Scrambling From The Rough
- Chris Baker
- Jason Dufner
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Patrick Cantlay
- Abraham Ancer
After looking at the above data and running the field through our Beerlife profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
Must-Have Players – These players may cost a bit more but are sure to be worth it.
|Odds To Win +1800|
|Draft Kings $10,600|
|Webb Simpson has the game to win around here, and he came eighth last season. He has the best third-round record on Tour, is the best scrambler, and has the lowest scoring average. He is also ranked sixth for driving efficiency, which makes him an excellent all-around bet this week.|
|Odds To Win +750|
|Draft Kings $11,400|
|It’s hard to ignore the defending champion as he could easily blitz the field and lead from the front once again. He’s the biggest hitter, has more eagles than anyone, and is known to attack a golf course. As this is a risk-reward course, this makes him the ideal candidate to go all the way again.|
Long Shots – These guys will offer the most value as they won’t cost you much but could return a tidy score.
|Odds To Win +50000|
|Draft Kings $6,000|
|Campos has missed many cuts this season, but he comes alive in the third round if he does make the cut. He is a great approach play player and fantastic putter.|
These are my picks, what say you about any chance of anybody other than Bryson repeating at the Rocket Mortgage Classic? And who might that be?