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PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic

PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic 11 months 1 week ago #508078

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions for from various handicappers and websites for Wednesday 6/26/19
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PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic 11 months 1 week ago #508079

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PGA Tour Betting Preview
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Detroit Golf Club – Par 72 – 7,294 yards

It never feels right to write the word “classic” in the title of an inaugural event, but that's where the PGA Tour is at this week, as they are up in the Motor City for the first ever Rocket Mortgage Classic. A new event that's two weeks after a Major isn't going to attract the deepest of fields, if for no other reason then guys are drained and they don't want to put in the energy to learn a new course.

The Detroit Golf Club could easily end up being your standard run of the mill Par 72 track on Tour where a score around -20 wins the thing. At nearly 7,300 yards the course isn't particularly long, three of the four Par 5's should be reachable for nearly the entire field, most of the Par 4's are 450 yards or less, and as long as you keep it out of the trees, there really isn't a whole lot of trouble.

Like every week on Tour, accuracy with every club in the bag is likely going to be the most important here, but as a new event, there really is no general basis of results to go on in building a profile. If the winner is going to be near the -20 range, having a bit of length definitely doesn't hurt, especially with four Par 5's out there, as the guys that are able to play point-to-point golf with shorter clubs in their hands for the approaches are never a horrible option. There aren't likely to be too many big numbers out there, so backing guys that can go low is always an nice addition, especially if it's that approach game that's leading to plenty of makeable birdie opportunities.

The biggest name on the board this week is Dustin Johnson (+600), as he's the only player below +1200 odds, with Hideki Matsuyama (+1200), Rickie Fowler (+1200), and newly minted Major champion Gary Woodland (+1400) the only others below +2500 for the week. That's where last week's winner Chez Reavie sits alone, with the meat of the field in the +3300 to +8000 range just past him.

It's in that range where I'm starting this week's selections as the profile of guys who can poke the ball out there a little bit and score well as a “bomber” is the profile I'm looking to back.

Golfers to Watch

Bubba Watson (+3300) – With the entire field in basically the same boat having minimal to no experience with the Detroit Golf Club prior to this week, it never hurts to have a shot maker that can use his distance and creativity as a great weapon to go low. Bubba Watson fits that description quite well, and if he can do what he normally does – score very well on Par 5's – and improve his scoring on the Par 4's – ranked 164th in Par 4 birdie or better – we should find his name among the contenders at the start of Sunday.

Bubba is never shy to use his length as an advantage, and after a longer week of being the defending champion at the Travelers, Watson's time and energy is a bit more freed up this week. Granted, there is a minor concern of being burnt out given that it's three weeks in a row for Bubba, but it's not like the US Open was high stress for him in missing the cut.

Ranking 15th on Tour in birdie or better percentage is where I expect Bubba to gain the most ground on the field this week and go from there. The majority of the Par 4's are short enough that it's going to be a lot of driver-wedge combos for Watson if he decides to go that route, and even with that not being the sharpest part of his game in 2019, you give him enough of them early and it shouldn't be hard for Bubba to find a groove.

Luke List (+6600) – List is another guy that would be classified as a 'bomber' and that should work out for him well in Detroit this week.

List is another guy who's among the Tour leaders in driving distance off the tee and converts that length into great scoring on the Par 5's - 9th in birdie or better. He's even decent enough in that category on Par 4's as well, and as long as List is going from tee to green without many scrambling shots in there, you've got to be willing to live with the putting results with him.

List is far from a great putter, but he can get hot at times, and with everyone needing to go low here, sometimes the guys who give themselves more opportunities are going to end up there no matter how poorly they putt. That's not exactly what you're hoping for with List, but it's a reasonable outcome to expect, but who knows, maybe the fact that nobody really knows these greens actually turns into a huge plus for suspect putters like List. He's got all the length in the world to give himself birdie look after birdie look, and when a few of those fall, who knows how far that momentum train carries him up the leaderboard.

It's been quite the grind for List to break through and win that first Tour event, and it's almost gotten to the point where he could run off a string of a few wins in a short period of time IF, he ever breaks through in the first place. On a new course for everyone could be the spot List finally does earn that first win.

Wyndham Clark (+12500) – Clark is a young golfer from the University of Oregon that's starting to pop up on leaderboards more and more in 2019. He's probably a better bet for a Top 20 finish rather then the win outright, but every young guy has to get their first win somewhere, and if the guys with distance come into the week with a presumed advantage, it's hard not to consider Clark at this price given his comparables.

Take for example, the tournament favorite Dustin Johnson. On Tour, DJ ranks 6th in driving distance (310.8 yards), 184th in driving accuracy percentage (55.44%), 19th in Par 5 birdie or better percentage (51.88%), 23rd in Par 4 birdie or better percentage (18.98%) and 109th in Par 3 birdie or better percentage (12.95%). Those numbers are decent overall, but where DJ separates himself is on things like Par 4 scoring average (2nd), Back 9 scoring average (5th), and his overall approach game in general (15th in Strokes Gained: Approach).

But those are the numbers for the big favorite this week, and then you've got Clark ranking out on Tour as 7th in driving distance (310.5 yards), 195th in driving accuracy (53.82%), 12th in Par 5 birdie or better percentage (53.92%), 17th in Par 4 birdie or better percentage (19.17%), and 121st in Par 3 birdie or better percentage. Those numbers are awfully close to what DJ's putting up this season, and this is a young guy in Clark who's still battling the inconsistencies that tend to come with being a 22-year old on Tour.

If Clark can limit those miscues and put it all together for four days, that first win may end up coming here, as it's not like he doesn't know how to go low. And considering the eventual winner will have to make plenty of birdies on the Par 4's and Par 5's, I've got no quarrels about taking a guy like Clark who's easily comparable in scoring on those holes to the overwhelming favorite at the event for a fraction of the price.

Rocket Mortgage Classic - per Sportsbetting.ag
Dustin Johnson 6/1
Hideki Matsuyama 12/1
Rickie Fowler 12/1
Gary Woodland 14/1
Chez Reavie 25/1
Billy Horschel 33/1
Bubba Watson 33/1
Kevin Kisner 33/1
Patrick Reed 33/1
Ryan Moore 33/1
Sung-Jae Im 33/1
Aaron Wise 40/1
Abraham Ancer 40/1
Jason Dufner 40/1
Joaquin Niemann 40/1
Viktor Hovland 40/1
Byeong Hun An 50/1
Charles Howell III 50/1
Charley Hoffman 50/1
Jason Kokrak 50/1
Kevin Streelman 50/1
Kevin Tway 50/1
Kyle Stanley 50/1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 50/1
Rory Sabbatini 50/1
Brian Harman 66/1
Jimmy Walker 66/1
Keith Mitchell 66/1
Luke List 66/1
Matthew Wolff 66/1
Nick Watney 66/1
Vaughn Taylor 66/1
Cameron Smith 80/1
Chesson Hadley 80/1
Harold Varner III 80/1
J J Spaun 80/1
Mackenzie Hughes 80/1
Martin Laird 80/1
Peter Malnati 80/1
Si Woo Kim 80/1
Sung-Hoon Kang 80/1
Brendan Steele 100/1
Bud Cauley 100/1
Corey Conners 100/1
Danny Lee 100/1
J B Holmes 100/1
Roberto Diaz 100/1
Russell Henley 100/1
Zack Sucher 100/1
Austin Cook 125/1
Beau Hossler 125/1
Brian Stuard 125/1
Cameron Tringale 125/1
Max Homa 125/1
Michael Thompson 125/1
Peter Uihlein 125/1
Sam Burns 125/1
Troy Merritt 125/1
Wyndham Clark 125/1
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PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic 11 months 1 week ago #508080

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By Joe Williams

The PGA TOUR moves to the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan for the inaugural event outside of the Motor City. The tournament replaces the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour schedule, an event previously played at Congressional Country Club outside of Washington D.C.

PRIME MATCHUPS

Each week we'll take a look at the best round matchups to try and build up a nice bankroll.

Billy Horschel (-110) vs. Chez Reavie: Horschel is the 10th-highest ranked player in this week's field, according to the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). He has missed just one cut this season, and he faces Reavie, who is coming off a victory at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut last week. Reavie has back-to-back top-5 finishes and is due for a letdown. Reavie is just so-so in the Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee category, and he ranks 82nd in Par 5 Scoring Average, a fairly critical area for success at this course.

Last event (Travelers): 2-2 (-25)
This season: 26-27-2 (-415)

OTHER BETS

72-Hole Group Betting - Billy Horschel (+350): In a five-golfer group featuring Brandt Snedeker (+350), Horschel, Ryan Moore (+350), Kevin Streelman (+360) and Joaquin Niemann (+360), I am banking on Horschel to use his big-dog OWGR status to his advantage. The only thing which should give bettors pause is his poor work in the Putts Per Round (143rd on Tour) category.

Top 20 Finish - Dustin Johnson (-300): Johnson is the cream of the crop in this week's field, and it really isn't even close. Rickie Fowler (-175) and U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland (-150) are tempting, too, but D.J. should be able to easily finish inside the Top 20 in this one.

Top 20 Finish - Kevin Kisner (+150): Kisner is an interesting play this week due to his accuracy off the tee. He has hit 602 of a possible 863 fairways, ranking 13th in Driving Accuracy Percentage. He is also a respectable 41st on Tour in Scoring Average (70.565), and a very sharp 37th in Putts Per Round (28.53), an area which should serve him well at Detroit Golf Club in this inaugural event.

Top 20 Finish - Jason Dufner (+225): Dufner is a Midwest guy who showed out in his home region earlier this season. The Ohio native was seventh at Jack's place during the Memorial Tournament outside of Columbus.

Top 20 Finish - Luke List (+333): List will look to use his muscle to his advantage this week. DGC is a Par 72 layout at 7,340 yards, so length off the tee will be key. He checks in third in Driving Distance at 313.4 yards, and he is 11th in SG: Off-the-Tee, a key area of focus for bettors this week.
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