Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 US PGA Tour: The Rocket Mortgage Classic

2020 US PGA Tour: The Rocket Mortgage Classic

Damien Kayat takes a look at the Rocket Mortgage Classic taking place at the Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Jockeys Ride HorsesDetroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Thursday, July 02  - July 05
Dustin Johnson returned to the winner’s circle in resounding fashion last week. The tour now moves many miles West to Detroit, Michigan.  The fears of a 2nd wave of Coronavirus infections are increasing in the United States. Harris English joined Dylan Fritteli in testing positive for Coronavirus this week (in what has become a depressing medical caveat to my weekly previews). So, you can expect the event organizers to be hyper-vigilant this week.  The Rocket Mortgage Classic returns for its 2nd renewal after replacing the Quicken Loans National on last year’s roster. This event was originally scheduled for May but has been reintroduced to the July schedule due to the Pandemic. The lack of spectators will be doubly sad this week, as last year’s inaugural staging was the first PGA Tour event held in Michigan since 2009.

Nate Lashley shot a 25 under par winning score last year- which gives you some indication of the test the players face this week.  Lashley actually came in last year as an ultra-late alternate, having failed to proceed through Monday qualifying. Detroit Golf Club features both a North and South Course, though all but one this week will be from the longer North Course. Donald Ross’ course is tree-lined, with smaller than average Poa Annua greens.  Apparently the rough this week is said to be more penal, though you can still expect to see fairly low-scoring. Aside from Lashley, last year’s top five was rounded out by Sabbatini, Tringale, Roach and Redman. This rouges gallery seems to suggest that backing an outsider may be wise this week.

That assertion is only amplified by the considerable drop in quality this week. The tour- at least in that sense- seems to have gone back to some semblance of normality. Despite the fact that the likes of McIlroy, Thomas and Koepka are missing, the best player on tour is in attendance. With form figures of 5-2-4-3-8-6, Bryson Dechambeau is the hottest golfer on the planet at present. Having said all that, the idiosyncratic American hasn’t won on tour since late 2018. Elsewhere, the likes of Webb Simpson and Tyrell Hatton will enter this event in fine form. Nate Lashley starts out at 125/1, hoping to make it one of the most unlikely back-to-back victories in PGA Tour history.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Past Winner
2019: Nate Lashley (-25)

Betting Favourites (To Win): 
Bryson Dechambeau (6/1)
Webb Simpson (12/1)
Patrick Reed (16/1)
Tyrell Hatton (16/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (18/1)

Value Bets

Harold Varner III
To Win (60/1), To Place (13/1)

Harold Varner III is exactly the sort of flat-track bully who could thrive this week. He has started to play far more consistently this year, though he does generally battle to keep out pesky outlier rounds. He shot opening rounds of 63 and 66 before limping across the lines at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He was more consistent last week- with four sub 70 rounds- but failed to shoot one of his traditional scorchers along the way. He ranks 6th in the field for shots gained approach, which should make him an ideal candidate on this forgiving, wide layout.

Scott Stallings
To Win (110/1), To Place (24/1)

Scott Stallings is a player steadily improving since the return of the PGA Tour. He followed a T48 at Hilton Head with an excellent T6 at the Travellers last week. He ranked 10th for shot gained tee-to-green and for approach. He also ranked inside the top 15 for shots gained around the green. The all-round quality of his game should make him an ideal fit for this test.  Stallings also has an affinity for Poa Annua greens: he won at Torrey Pines in 2014.  He opened with a 66 here last year and could be an attractive dark-horse.

Hollywoodbets Back on Track Punters' Challenge
The Man to Beat

Brandt Snedeker
To Win (45/1), To Place (19/2)

Snedeker has started the post-pandemic break in uninspired form: a missed cut at the RBC Heritage was followed by a 41st place at the Travellers. But Snedeker should relish this old classic, having finished 5th here last year.  Snedeker’s last PGA Tour victory came on at the 2018 Wyndham Championship- also a Donald Ross design. His love for old classics was on show at last year’s Canadian Open, shooting a 60 at the Hamilton Golf Club. But perhaps his greatest asset is his godlike status on Poa Annua greens. Snedeker is a two-time winner at both Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach, making him a great option this week at 45/1.  

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