Out of the Rough: Rocket Mortgage Classic (2022)
The module/formula works. Another week with another outright winner on the betting card. We had Tony Finau at +1300 on Monday of last week and he went on to claim victory at the 3M Open, erasing what was once a five stroke deficit to win by three. On top of that we had Tom Hoge and Sungjae Im who both tied for second. One of our lineups for DFS also saw everyone make the cut, which will almost guarantee some money. In just the last three weeks we have had two outright winners, Xander Schauffele at the Genesis Scottish Open and Finau at the 3M Open. We have also had Kurt Kitayama deep into Sunday at the Scottish Open as well as Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland tied for the lead at The Open going into the final day. A lot of money has been made on our card and we’re only getting started. Onto the Rocket Mortgage Classic!
Sungjae Im (-14) - T2nd
Maverick McNealy (-1) - T49th
Nick Hardy (+1) - T58th
Tom Hoge (-13) - T4th
Satoshi Kodaira (+2) - T64th
Tony Finau (-17) - 1st
Davis Riley (+2) - MC
Adam Long (-7) - T16th
Nate Lashley (+5) - MC
Ryan Armour (+5) - MC
In a new time slot in the PGA Tour Schedule and just two weeks until the FedEx Cup Playoffs, we’ll see a bigger field than we’re used to in the fourth year of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.
Headlined by five of the World’s top 25 golfers (Patrick Cantley, Finau, Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young and Max Homa,) we’ll see a full field of 150 golfers this week. Last year’s winner Cameron Davis too is in the field as well as 2019 winner Nate Lashley. Bryson DeChambeau won the event in 2020 but of course will not be in attendance.
Detroit Golf Club’s North Course is a par 72 that plays at 7,330 yards and features Poa Annua/Bentgrass greens which is a bit of a unique green on tour.
The course is a Donald Ross design and plays rather straightforward. In preparation to join the PGA Tour Schedule a few years back, the course underwent some reconfiguration that included the lengthening of a par five to 625 yards.
The North Course offers wide fairways and is rather flat. There are clean lines to every pin on nearly every hole when hitting these large fairways.
It’s known for its closing stretch of holes that features a risk-reward par five with water guarding the green.
Last year the greens proved to be quicker than they were in 2019 and 2020 which helped deflate some of the super low scores, such as Lashley going -25 in 2019.
With weather looking to be similar to that of last year, expect the winner to flirt with -20 and land somewhere in the high-teens.
The four par-fives offered on the course play as some of the easiest on tour. Those looking to compete for a win will have to manage these holes and not drop any strokes.
Additionally, of the 11 par-fours on the course, four measure between 350-400 yards with another one going just a few yards over 400 yards. Like those easy par-fives, these short par-fours are going to need to be taken advantage of.
Weather for this week is ideal. There is no rain in the forecast for Thursday through Sunday. Temperatures will range in the low-to-mid-80’s, with a high of 87 for Sunday. Wind too should not be a factor as it is set to peak at just 15 miles-per-hour and get as low as seven miles-per-hour.
Important statistics to consider this week include Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP,) Proximity to Hole 75-100 yards, Good Drive Percentage, Greens in Regulation Percentage, Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT,) Strokes Gained: Putting Five-to-Ten Feet, Birdie or Better Percentage and Par Four Efficiency 350-400 Yards.
The consensus favorite (and Vegas’) too is my favorite this week in Patrick Cantlay ($10,700.) I locked in my outright bet on him at +1000 on Monday. Cantlay is also the most expensive golfer on DraftKings and that’s all for good reason. He’s almost automatic while putting from five-to-ten feet as he’s sixth best on tour. On top of that he’s 19th in SG: PUTT. Putting is going to make the difference this week in my opinion. He’s also sixth on tour in birdie or better percentage and 31st in greens in regulation percentage. He’s top 89 in all of the statistical categories we mentioned, which puts him above average across the board (just one other of our suggestions this week checks all of the boxes as well.) He’s 61st in proximity to hole 75-100 yards, 71st in SG: APP, 78th in par four efficiency 350-400 yards and 89th in good drive percentage. In his last five events, his worst finish was a T14th at the US Open. In that same time span he has two top fives, three top tens and five top 14s. He’s one of the hottest golfers on tour which has helped propel him into being the World’s number four. This is his week to get his second tour win of the season to go along with his victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Also consider Will Zalatoris ($10,400.) Zalatoris is arguably the best ball striker on tour as he ranks first in SG: APP and 13th in proximity to the hole 75-100 yards. He’s also second on tour in par four efficiency 350-400 yards and sixth in greens in regulation percentage. Additionally, Zalatoris is 23rd in birdie or better percentage. Now, we know his struggles on the greens and what that has cost him in the past. He’s below average in both SG: PUTT and SG: PUTT five-ten feet. We’ll hope he can get a few to fall in his favor this week as the rest of his game will carry him. In this calendar year alone, Zalatoris has missed just three cuts in 15 events. In those 15 events he has three second place finishes, six top fives and seven top tens. It’ll take some work on the greens but Zalatoris could be in line for his first tour win of the year this week.
I’m going to go with a golfer in the top of this price range and one in the bottom. First off we have Max Homa ($9,900) who is one of five golfers in the top 25 in the Official World Rankings in attendance. Homa, like Zalatoris, is an elite ball striker. He’s fourth on tour in proximity to hole 75-100 yards and 19th in SG: APP. He’s also much better on the greens than Zalatoris as he’s 41st in SG: PUTT and SG: PUTT five-ten feet. On top of that, he’s 39th in birdie or better percentage and 76th in par four efficiency 350-400 yards. He is slightly below average in both good drive percentage and greens in regulation however. When we last saw Homa at The Open, he missed the cut. Prior to that he made 13 straight cuts, highlighted by a win at the Wells Fargo Championship in early May. Also consider Kevin Kisner ($9,100.) Kisner is one of the best putters on tour and that propels him this week as we put an emphasis on putting. He’s 13th on tour in both SG: PUTT and SG: PUTT five-ten feet. Kisner is also 23rd in good drives percentage, 34th in birdie or better percentage, 53rd in greens in regulation percentage and 57th in par four efficiency 350-400 yards. Kisner is below average in SG: APP and proximity to hole 75-100 yards but with his elite putting and being above average in the rest of the statistical categories could help propel him this week. In his last two tournaments Kisner has gone T6th at the Travelers Championship and T21st at The Open. We’re betting on his putting carrying him this week.
This is typically a price range I’m not normally in love with but this week both suggestions rank rather high in my module. First off we have Russell Henley ($8,200.) Henley has missed just two cuts on the entire season to go along with one top five, two top tens and eight top 25s. Henley actually comes in second in our module to only Cantlay. He’s third on tour in SG: APP, tenth in greens in regulation percentage, 12th in birdie or better percentage, 17th in good drives percentage, 25th in proximity to hole 75-100 yards and 50th in par four efficiency 350-400 yards. His game falters on the greens as he’s slightly below average in SG: PUTT and well below average in SG: PUTT five-ten feet. Like Zalatoris, he’ll need some putts to fall if he wants to compete into Sunday. Also consider Adam Hadwin ($8,400.) We alluded previously when talking about Cantlay that just one other golfer in the field is above average in all of the statistical categories we’ve taken into consideration this week and Hadwin is the second. His worst placement in any stat is 70th in SG: PUTT five-ten feet. He’s 17th in proximity to hole 75-100 yards, 36th in greens in regulation percentage, 45th in SG: APP, 49th in good drive percentage, 54th in birdie or better percentage, 62nd in par four efficiency 350-400 yards, 67th in SG: PUTT and 70th in SG: PUTT five-ten feet. If you’re looking for a well rounded bet this week, Hadwin is your guy. On top of that he’s priced very well at $8,400 on DraftKings and currently sits at +4200. I’ll take that. Hadwin has missed just one cut in his last six events, highlighted by a T7th at the U.S. Open.
We’ll lead this price range off with Chris Kirk ($7,800.) Kirk is a very good ball striker. He’s 17th on tour in proximity 75-100 yards and 51st in SG: APP. He’s also 23rd in par four efficiency 350-400 yards, 36th in good drives percentage, 89th in greens in regulation percentage and 100th in birdie or better percentage. Kirk has also not missed a cut in six consecutive events. In that same time span he has a T5th at the PGA Championship and T7th at the RBC Canadian Open. He’s priced very well on DraftKings and is at a nice +4200 to win. He’ll have a few of my dollars this week on him. Also consider Joel Dahmen ($7,200.) Dahmen comes in with a rather well-rounded game to compete at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s 16th in good drives percentage, 27th in greens in regulation percentage, 47th in SG: APP, 73rd in proximity to hole 75-100 yards, 82nd in birdie or better percentage and 86th in SG: PUTT five-ten feet. Although he’s below average in SG: PUTT, he gets it done when he’s close. Dahmen has also missed just two cuts in his last 14 tournaments. His highlights include a T6th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, T10th at the U.S. Open and T12th at the RBC Heritage. Priced at the bottom of this price range and sitting at +6500 to win, I like those numbers.
This is where the money is made. Where you set yourself apart from other DFS lineups and get those high odds golfers to get a big payday. If you’ve been following us, you know that I have continual success in this price range. I’ll lead off with inaugural event winner Nate Lashley ($6,800.) I know I play Lashley a lot and that has a lot to do with how he measures up statistically. However, he has proven success here at this event and course and his game lines up. Lashley is 27th on tour in par four efficiency 350-400 yards, 29th in birdie or better percentage, 30th in good drives percentage, 51st in greens in regulation, 57th in SG: PUTT and 92nd in SG: PUTT five-ten feet. He’s also right around average in SG: APP. Lashley has missed consecutive cuts and four of his last five events. However, recently, he has a T7th at the Puerto Rico Open, two top 15s and six top 25s in his last 12 events. Also consider John Huh ($6,800.) Huh is elite when approaching the green from 75-100 yards. He’s ninth on tour in proximity to hole 75-100 yards. He’s also 16th in par four efficiency 350-400 yards, 42nd in good drives percentage, 70th in birdie or better percentage and 97th in SG: APP. Huh has missed three cuts in his last four events but dating back to late May went T12th at the Charles Schwab Challenge, T25th at the RBC Canadian Open and T13th at the Travelers Championship. At +16000 to win, he’ll get a few of my dollars as well.
Strokes Gained: Proximity to Course
Strokes gained: Proximity to Course (SG: PTC) is the patented statistic developed by Lenny of the Out of the Rough Podcast. Each week, Lenny will pick a golfer local to the course to be his SG: PTC choice. Last week Lenny went with American tennis legend Mardy Fish who had a sponsorship exception to the event. Fish missed the cut in his one and only PGA Tour event and went +13.
This week he’s going with Ryan Brehm. Brehem is from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, about two-and-a-half hours southeast of Detroit. He also went to Michigan State University.
SG: PTC Past Results
The Honda Classic - Chase Seiffert (+1) - T25th
The Arnold Palmer Invitational - John Pak (+8) - T52nd
The Players - Billy Horschel (WD)
The Valspar Championship - Sam Ryder (-1) - MC
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play - MC
The Valero Texas Open - Adam Long (-5) - T35th
The Masters - Patrick Reed (+6) - T35th
The RBC Heritage - Brian Harman (-6) - T35th
The Zurich Classic - Jay and Billy Haas (E) - T59th
The Mexico Open - Carlos Ortiz (-5) - T51st
The AT&T Byron Nelson - Harry Higgs (-4) - MC
The PGA Championship - Talor Gooch (+1) - T20th
The Charles Schwab Challenge - Tom Hoge (+4) - MC
The Memorial Tournament - Mackenzie Hughes (+2) - T37th
The RBC Canadian Open - Adam Svensson (-6) - T21st
The US Open - Fran Quinn (+13) - MC
The Travelers Championship - Keegan Bradley (-9) - T19th
The John Deere Classic - Doug Ghim (+1) - MC
The Genesis Scottish Open - Robert MacIntyre (+5) - MC
The Open - Tyrell Hatton (-11) - T11th
The 3M Open - Mardy Fish (+13) - MC
One and Done
*Rules: A golfer can only be played once all season unless the chosen golfer wins the respective tournament. If the chosen golfer wins, he can be used again. We will keep track of success via monetary earnings to add value to bigger tournaments. We will track my choices for the rest of the season below.
We put together back-to-back quality picks with Rory McIlroy at The Open and Sungjae Im who placed second last week at the 3M Open. We’re nearing that $10,000,000 total on the season. This week I’m also in position to take my event favorite in Patrick Cantlay.
The Masters - Shane Lowry ($870,000)
The RBC Heritage - Adam Hadwin ($54,844)
The Zurich Classic - Marc Lesihman ($24,111.50)
The Mexico Open - Gary Woodland ($60,955)
The AT&T Byron Nelson - Sam Burns ($0)
The PGA Championship - Justin Thomas ($2,700,000)
The Charles Schwab Challenge - Mito Pereira ($246,540)
The Memorial Tournament - Xander Schauffele ($142,800)
The RBC Canadian Open - Corey Conners ($315,375)
The US Open - Matt Fitzpatrick ($3,150,000)
Travelers Championship - Joaquin Niemann ($0)
The John Deere Classic - Nate Lashley ($0)
The Genesis Scottish Open - Justin Thomas ($0)
The Open - Rory McIlroy ($933,000)
The 3M Open - Sungjae Im ($667,500)