Weekly Preview: Rocket Mortgage Classic

Weekly Preview: Rocket Mortgage Classic

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

Rocket Mortgage Classic

Detroit Golf Club
Detroit, MI

The PGA Tour heads to Detroit for the third installment of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

It admittedly felt strange when Detroit became the home of a PGA Tour event three years ago, but I have to say, this tournament is starting to grow on me. It certainly doesn't hurt when you've got a big name to hang your hat on, as Bryson DeChambeau won this event last year and is returning for another try. This spot on the schedule is generally a wasteland for PGA Tour events, as the U.S. Open is in the rear-view mirror and the Open Championship is still a few weeks off. Many golfers are taking the opportunity to take some time off as, you know, it is the summer after all. What we are left with then is a handful of top players teeing it each week – if we are lucky – and the odds of those guys playing well are pretty long, so when we get a star like DeChambeau coming through we should be elated.

The field this week isn't completely void of talent, as there are a few major winners in attendance like Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson and Phil Mickelson. Those are interesting names to be certain, but only DeChambeau currently ranks among the elite of the elite.

LAST YEAR

Bryson DeChambeau shot a final-round 65 on his way to a three-stroke victory over Matthew Wolff.

FAVORITES

Rocket Mortgage Classic

Detroit Golf Club
Detroit, MI

The PGA Tour heads to Detroit for the third installment of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

It admittedly felt strange when Detroit became the home of a PGA Tour event three years ago, but I have to say, this tournament is starting to grow on me. It certainly doesn't hurt when you've got a big name to hang your hat on, as Bryson DeChambeau won this event last year and is returning for another try. This spot on the schedule is generally a wasteland for PGA Tour events, as the U.S. Open is in the rear-view mirror and the Open Championship is still a few weeks off. Many golfers are taking the opportunity to take some time off as, you know, it is the summer after all. What we are left with then is a handful of top players teeing it each week – if we are lucky – and the odds of those guys playing well are pretty long, so when we get a star like DeChambeau coming through we should be elated.

The field this week isn't completely void of talent, as there are a few major winners in attendance like Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson and Phil Mickelson. Those are interesting names to be certain, but only DeChambeau currently ranks among the elite of the elite.

LAST YEAR

Bryson DeChambeau shot a final-round 65 on his way to a three-stroke victory over Matthew Wolff.

FAVORITES

Bryson DeChambeau (8-1)

It's no surprise to see DeChambeau atop the list once again. While his odds seem a little steep, it's probably deserved in this event. Well, maybe not deserved, but necessary, as the public will be all over him with few viable options. DeChambeau has played this event just once, but he ripped through the course, shooting 23-under-par last year on his way to victory. This course suits his bomb-and-gouge style as well. He'll be in the mix, even if he doesn't win.

Patrick Reed (14-1)

As mentioned earlier, there are a few bigger names in the field, and Reed is near the top of the list, so the fact he's the second option on the board isn't all that surprising. Reed's record here is mixed, as he posted a T5 two years ago and missed the cut in 2020. Reed has played pretty well this season and comes in on a streak of three consecutive top-25s in PGA Tour events.

Hideki Matsuyama (18-1)

As expected, Matsuyama has not been at his best since picking up his first major win at the Masters. He hasn't played poorly since then, but he's lacked any spark on the weekends, posting just one top-25 in four starts. He's the third favorite because of his name and his familiarity with this course – he has posted two top-20s in two starts – but his odds don't provide a ton of value.

THE NEXT TIER

Will Zalatoris (25-1)

It might seem strange listing Zalatoris here after he missed the cut in his most recent start, but perhaps what he needed more than anything was some time off after a busy schedule early in the year. With an MC at the U.S. Open two weeks ago, he had that weekend off and skipped the following event as well. He should be recharged, and the fact that he's on a bomber's course should help even more, as his most recent PGA Tour memory was the tight U.S. Open track.

Jason Day (35-1)

Did Day unlock something this past week at the Travelers Championship? Although he fizzled on the weekend after entering it as the leader, he still landed in the top-10, which is something he hadn't done in quite a while. He's obviously not the player he once was, but he still has something left in the tank, and perhaps his second-round 62 this past week opened something up. Day should be able to take advantage of the open layout, as he ranks near the top 50 in driving distance.

Doc Redman (40-1)

Redman was in a bit of a rut earlier this year, but he's flashed a couple times the past few months and I think he's ready to break out. He almost won a few weeks ago at the Palmetto Championship, where he tied for second, and getting back to a place where he's had success might put him over the top. Redman finished runner-up at this event in 2019 and posted a T21 here last year.

LONG SHOTS

Max Homa (50-1)

It's not often that I peg a guy for this column off of two straight missed cuts, but Homa is the type of golfer that just pops out of the blue. He did it at the Memorial, when he posted a T6 after missing the cut in his two previous starts, and he's certainly capable of doing the same here. This pick isn't about an expected bounce-back, it's about value. Homa is one of the better golfers in the field, and 50-1 is a sweet price.

Sepp Straka (80-1)

Straka should be a nice sleeper in this week's event. He has yet to win on the PGA Tour, and quite honestly hasn't been in contention that often, but he posted a top-10 in his most recent start and he's played well in his two starts here, posting a T8 and a T11. He's a long shot to win, but you can't say he hasn't been close.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: Bryson DeChambeau - DeChambeau was a popular play this past week, but that will be nothing compared to his usage in this tournament. There are a couple spots remaining on the schedule where he'd be put to good use, but he's not going to this big a favorite anywhere else this year, so if you still have him available now is the time to deploy him.

Moderately-owned Pick: Hideki Matsuyama - If not for the fact he's one of a few golfers that have played well here twice, I wouldn't have Matsuyama listed here. However, since he hasn't fallen off a cliff since his Masters win and does seem to like this track, I'll list him as an option this week...if you still have him available, that is.

Lightly-owned Pick: Doc Redman - Redman's play this season has placed him dangerously close to the "no-fly zone" for most OAD players, but he's shown signs of life lately and seems to have a feel for this course. The options at the top outside of DeChambeau don't seem great, so if you have to look lower on the list, Redman could be your guy.

Buyer Beware: Matthew Wolff - Wolff came out of nowhere at the U.S. Open and posted a quality result, but he failed to build on that momentum at the Travelers Championship. He returns to a place where he's had some success, and I can see some OAD players thinking he will get right back on track. I would proceed with caution, as I don't think he figured everything out at Torrey Pines.

Last Week: Brian Harman - T5 - $253,820

Season Total: $6,551,821

This Week: Will Zalatoris - I've been looking for the right place to use Zalatoris all season, and while I wish he were in better form, this might actually be the best spot to use him. I doubt many OAD players will be on him this week. The length of the course should play into his hands, and the tune-up time he got the past couple weeks will be a benefit.

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: Bryson DeChambeau ($12,200)
Middle Range: Doc Redman ($10,100)
Lower Range: Sepp Straka ($8,900)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

Last Week: Brian Harman - T5

Streak: 2

This Week: Bryson DeChambeau - It seems like a waste using a golfer of DeChambeau's caliber in an event like this, but there simply aren't many tournaments left on the schedule, and you have to deploy him at some point. I wouldn't consider using DeChambeau in this format at the Open Championship, so why not take the layup this time around? DeChambeau has only played here once, so it's not a given he makes the cut, but he did rip through this course last year and I can't imagine him not playing the weekend.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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