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  • Writer's pictureJake Friedman (@THEJakeFriedman)

2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS & Outright Betting Guide

By: Jake Friedman



Introduction

After a great week at TPC River Highlands where Scottie Scheffler won his 6th tournament of the year, the PGA Tour heads to Detroit Golf Club in Michigan for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The course is a Donald Ross designed par 72, which measures 7,370 yards. Rickie Fowler took this tournament down last year, with a score of -24, in a dramatic 3 man playoff against Adam Hadwin and Collin Morikawa. Other previous winners of this event include Tony Finau, Cameron Davis, Bryson Dechambeau, and Nate Lashley.


The field this weak is rather weak considering the prior 2 events were a major and an elevated event. The favorites this week include a couple of my favorite golfers like Tom Kim, Min Woo Lee, and Akshay Bhatia. There's some additional golfers that carry some name value like defending champion Rickie Fowler, Cameron Young and Will Zalatoris. Overall, not the greatest field and in my opinion, not the most exciting course. I expect the winning score to come in at the low to mid 20's. With that being said, Scottie Scheffler is not in the field this week which opens the door in both BFS and the outright betting market for some fun.


DFS Guide

10k Range

Tom Kim ($11,000) - Coming off of a runner up finish last week to Scottie Scheffler at the Travelers Championship, I'm turning back to Tom Kim this week in a much weaker field. It was disappointing he couldn't take down Scottie last week, but he played some awesome golf we can hang our hats on this week. He gained across the board significantly, especially off the tee and on approach. On the PGA Tour this season, Tom Kim ranks 73rd in strokes gained off the tee, 64th in strokes gained on approach, 71st on strokes gained around the greens and 89th in strokes gained putting. In his last 5 starts, he has 2 top 5 finishes at birdie-fest events. He missed the cut here last year, but finished 7th in 2022. Although he will be making his 9th consecutive start in a row this week, I think this can be the one he lifts the trophy at.


Min Woo Lee ($10,500) - Given the ownership at the top between Tom Kim and Cameron Young, I'm going to pivot to Min Woo for a cheaper price than both. He was one of 3 players who took last week's elevated event off which I think puts him in a uniquely well rested position for this week. Over his last 5 starts (which includes 3 majors), he's been right around the T25 mark in all 5. On the PGA Tour this season, Min Woo Lee ranks 8th in strokes gained off the tee, 133rd in strokes gained on approach, 92nd on strokes gained around the greens and 92nd in strokes gained putting. Over the long term, Min Woo is extremely long off the tee and brings along a very solid short game. His irons have left a lot to be desired this year, but I think he profiles perfectly for Detroit Golf Club over the long term.


9k Range

Akshay Bhatia ($9,800) - I think the win is coming for Akshay this week, so seeing him in the 9k range is a smash play for me. Over his last 3 starts he's improved in each one with a T22, T16 and T5. On the PGA Tour this season, Akshay Bhatia ranks 36th in strokes gained off the tee, 23rd in strokes gained on approach, 110th on strokes gained around the greens and 29th in strokes gained putting. He missed the but here last year, but the flat stick was a nightmare and he's seemed to have turned that around this year. Thre's not much more to say than he is trending towards a win and what better time than in a weaker field event to take down his second tournament of the 2024 season.


Taylor Pendrith ($9,600) - Pendrith might garner a decent amount of ownership, but that's because he profiles nearly perfect for Detroit Golf Club. He took down the CJ Cup Byron Nelson at the beginning of May and in his 6 starts following he has 4 top 25 finishes. On the PGA Tour this season, Taylor Pendrith ranks 99th in strokes gained off the tee, 95th in strokes gained on approach, 66th on strokes gained around the greens and 4th in strokes gained putting. In his 2 appearences at Detroit Golf Club, Pendrith has finished T2 and T14. Given the weaker field, solid form, and great course history, I love Pendrith this week.


8k Range

Maverick McNealy ($8,900) - Seeing where his statistics rank on Tour this season, I couldn't help but hop on McNealy this week. On the PGA Tour this season, Maverick McNealy ranks 18th in strokes gained off the tee, 96th in strokes gained on approach, 6th on strokes gained around the greens and 32nd in strokes gained putting. These numbers far exceeded my expectations and my perception of him, but I have to trust them. Leading into this week, McNealy has a T23 at the PGA Championship, T17 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and a T7 at the RBC Canadian Open. In his 3 appearences at this event he has a T8, T21, and missed cut. It's sickening to play him at this price and bet him in the outright market at his number, but from the looks of it he is trending towards a win and what better time than now in a weak field event.


Davis Thompson ($8,300) - One of my favorite DFS plays this week is Thompason in the low 8k range. He has had a very respectible 2024 PGA Tour season which include a top 10 finish in his only major appearence. His game should line up well for Detroit Golf Club. On the PGA Tour this season, Davis Thompson ranks 81st in strokes gained off the tee, 33rd in strokes gained on approach, 13th on strokes gained around the greens and 87th in strokes gained putting. In his 2 appearences here, Thompson has a T58 and T24 finish. His above average numbers across the board over the long term, highlighted by distance off the tee and great around the green play, should help him have a great finish this week.


7k Range

Adam Svensson ($7,600) - I was on him last week and he paid dividends in my lineups, so I'm going back to the well. The putter was green and that lead to a top 20 finish for Svensson. He's now made the cut in 11 straight PGA Tour events. On the PGA Tour this season, Adam Svensson ranks 87th in strokes gained off the tee, 35th in strokes gained on approach, 74th on strokes gained around the greens and 161st in strokes gained putting. In his 3 appearences at Detroit Golf Club, Svensson has a missed cut, T24 and T40. If Svensson can maintain, or dare I say build, off of that putting performance last week, we can be in for a big finish this week from the Canadian.


Nicolai Hojgaard ($7,300) - I'm calling my shot here as Detroit Golf Club should fit Hojgaard's game very well. There was a lot of promise heading into the 2024 PGA Tour season for Hojgaard and unfortunately he's fallen pretty flat. Each week it feels like one aspect of his game lets him down big time. On the PGA Tour this season, Nicolai Hojgaard ranks 63rd in strokes gained off the tee, 74th in strokes gained on approach, 154th on strokes gained around the greens and 121st in strokes gained putting. Over the long term, he is very long off the tee, has a solid approach game, and is above average with the putter. That is a recipe for success at Detroit Golf Club. In his only appearence here last year, he finished T21. I think Hojgaard has potential to break out here and get his first PGA Tour victory, but that would require a bit of a 180 from what we've seen so far this year.


6k Range

Thorbjørn Olesen ($6,900) - I'm turning to the DPWT veteren Olesen to lead off the 6k range. In his last 7 PGA Tour starts, including 2 majors, he's made the cut in 6. He won the Ras Al Khaimah on the DPWT back in January and littered top 10 finishes consistently before that. On the PGA Tour this season, Thorbjørn Olesen ranks 153rd in strokes gained off the tee, 57th in strokes gained on approach, 49th on strokes gained around the greens and 31st in strokes gained putting. Over his last 3 starts the putter has been hot and consistent, the approach play has been trending in the right direction, and he's been above field average in driving distance. I think Olesen is a great option this week at hopefully a small ownership.


Seonghyeon (S.H.) Kim ($6,400) - Calling my shot here on S.H. Kim, I love his ability to spike in categories on any given week. Although it's mostly with the putter and the off the tee and appraoch are a disaster. He has made the cut in 5 of his last 6 starts including at both the PGA Championship and U.S. Open. On the PGA Tour this season, S.H. Kim ranks 134th in strokes gained off the tee, 144th in strokes gained on approach, 30th on strokes gained around the greens and 23rd in strokes gained putting. I'm hanging my hat on his ability to get nuclear with the short game.


5k Range

Sami Valimaki ($5,900) - I might be reaching here for Valimaki but I think he is a viable option if you need to dip into the 5k range this week. Not many people who follow the PGA Tour are acquainted with Valimaki, but he actually has some game on the DPWT. He won the Qatar Masters back at the end of October. It's been a brutal adjustment for him coming over to the PGA Tour and missing more cuts than he's made. On the PGA Tour this season, Sami Valimaki ranks 51st in strokes gained off the tee, 94th in strokes gained on approach, 134th on strokes gained around the greens and 87th in strokes gained putting. His game is actually decently well rounded outside of around the green. Coming off of a T35 at the RBC Canadian Open, I'm taking my chances he can build off of that finish and get some footing on the PGA Tour.


Benjamin James ($5,000) - I'm joining the X community this week and taking my chances on Benjamin James out of the University of Virginia. He does not have any stats on the PGA Tour site, but what I am seeing from his results in college is impressive. His strokes gained total over the last 4 years has been +1.43, +2.14, +1.68, +2.29. Over a 4 year span that is some very solid golf. He is the 4th ranked world amateur and coming in at $5,000 flat, I'm willing to take my chances he makes the cut this week as long as the ownership stays within reason.


Outright Betting Guide

Akshay Bhatia +2800

Maverick McNealy +3000

Taylor Pendrith +3500

Nicolai Hojgaard +6600

Good luck in all your action this week and please remember to gamble responsibly!

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