PGA Picks: Rocket Mortgage Classic Predictions and Betting Odds
With the end of July, for many players, this is an important golf tournament. The PGA Tour playoffs begin in two weeks. And if ranked 110 or higher in FedEx Cup points, you know you have two chances to get into the Top 125 before Memphis.
That’s among the goals of several players among the group of 156 that will tee it up Thursday in Detroit for the fourth running of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Of course, teeing it up doesn’t mean much unless you are among the top 65 players (and ties) that will spend the weekend in the Motor City.
Though nothing official has been stated, the field boasts a few more Top 50 players than usual, and one cannot help but wonder if PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan promised a little something with the LIV Tour at Bedminster, NJ, this week.
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A Look at the Field of The Open
Here is a look at the Top 12 favorites and ties for golf odds this week.
Patrick Cantlay +800 - Will Zalatoris +1200 - Tony Finau +1400 - Max Homa +1400
Cameron Young +1800 - Maverick McNealy +2500 - Adam Scott +2800 - Cameron Davis +3500
Kevin Kisner +3500 - Keegan Bradley +3500 - Denny McCarthy +3500 -Sahith Theegala +4000
Cameron Tringale +4000 - Davis Riley +4000 - Adam Hadwin +4000 - Chris Kirk +4000
Initially, Cantlay was going to take three weeks off after The Open and return for the playoffs. Was he asked by Monahan to play or does he want to just stay sharp and chase winning the Tour Championship again? Cantlay leads the field in scoring and birdies on easier courses and is second in ball-striking. A deserving favorite.
We can all see Zalatoris's talent and he plays well in majors. Nevertheless, he has three missed cuts in his last seven starts, and to contend one has to go low. Any real contender has to make short putts, and Zalatoris ranks 172nd from five feet or less.
Finua took advantage of an opportunity last week and won the 3M. Hard to repeat mentally, but his ball-striking is Top 10 tee to green in his past five starts.
Homa, McNealy and Scott don’t appear to be true win candidates. Of this contingent, Homa has the most potential to finish in the Top 10.
The three most bet players to win are Cantlay, Zalatoris and Young. The 25-year-old Young can hit it deep (7th in driving distance), go low (7th in birdies average) and string together putts (15th in scoring). If he brings the mental aspect, a genuine threat.
Davis is the defending champion. And like last year at this time, he was getting close to pins on approach and looked like he was putting into a one-foot diameter cup. Probably no-repeat for Davis, yet a chance to cash a Top 20 ticket.
As far as the rest of the contingent, more questions than answers. Two that stand above the rest are Kisner and Kirk. Kisner finished T-8 last year and was third the year before in Detroit. He plays better on these simpler courses in general, and he’s 13th in strokes gained putting.
Kirk is a top-flight ball-striker. And lately, his short game has gained strokes around the green. He could well be up on the leaderboard Sunday.
Course Characteristics of Those Who Can Win or Secure Winning Golf Bets
The Detroit Golf Club is the host course once again. This layoff was originally designed by the great Donald Ross more than a century ago. As was the case of the “old school” layouts, there are an ample amount of doglegs, which can be a deterrent for bombers, unless the corner is short and the player can sail it over the trees.
This old course has been stretched out to 7,370 yards. However, with the par at 72, scores will be low.
This track has numerous par 4s that are not exceptionally long (only one over 460 yards), which helps the entire field, as almost everyone is hitting a shorter club into greens on most holes.
When hitting the driver, the landing areas are more generous than they appear to the naked eye from the tee because of the large trees that pop up in the general vicinity, giving the appearance of being narrower than they are.
As long as you don’t get too close to the trees, each golfer should have a good look at DGC’s small greens (that’s how older courses were designed), with several having false fronts. This leads to ball strikers seeking to hit more towards the middle of the putting surface to avoid uncomfortable putts that can go astray if hit incorrectly.
Because of heat this summer in the Midwest and Eastern portions of the Eastern U.S., the greens have been watered heavily and will be receptive to sticking iron shots. The speed will be about average with a 12 on the stimp meter, and they should roll very true with the added moisture.
In truth, there are few defenses for Detroit Golf Club. And if you are not shooting 67 on average, you are not a contender.
Those with a chance to win or be high on the leaderboard will be long off the tee or nicely positioned to hit the greens, which are among the easiest to land on for the Tour. If you hit the right portion of the green, birdie putts will be ample, and the rest is up to the player to drain the putts and end up -20 or lower.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
Patrick Cantlay should win this tourney, but the safer wager might be Top 10 because it’s hard to guess what his mental approach might be.
Tony Finau and Will Zalatoris might be best suited for Top 10 picks, and their betting odds are reasonable for Top 20 plays.
Cameron Young should be the most versatile bet for a Top 10 and Top 20, and small head-to-head wagers against comparable players seem winnable.
After four straight missed cuts, Kevin Kinser has a T-6 and T-21 in his past two starts, and he’s been up the leaderboard here the past two years and should be a true Top 20 threat.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports was in the golf business for over 20+ years and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to find winners on the Tour. Doug's picks this year include having the winner four times and at the British Open, he picked up a $850 profit.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 23 Documented No. 1 Titles - 97 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 28 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: NBA March 2022) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.