Rocket Mortgage Betting Preview

If last year’s tournament is any indication, it’s going to be a high-scoring affair in Detroit this weekend at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Bryson DeChambeau won this tournament a year ago, shooting 23 under par. Ten players shot at least 15 under, as Bryson was followed by Matthew Wolff (-20) and Kevin Kisner (-18). The rest of the top ten included Ryan Armour, Adam Hadwin, Tyrell Hatton, Danny Willet, Maverick McNealy, Troy Merrit, Webb Simpson, and Sepp Straka.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Dossier

Below you’ll find critical information on the course setup and Detroit Golf Club key stats.

Detroit Golf Club Course Information

  • Donald Ross design
  • Poa/Bent greens
  • 7,370 yards
  • Par 72

Detroit Golf Club Key Stats

The Detroit Golf Club is made for bombers. While the front nine features tree-lined fairways, the back nine is wide open. It’s not hard to imagine Bryson tearing this course a new one yet again in 2021. With the course length, and the wide-open nature of the finishing nine holes, success off the tee should be prioritized.

With that said, the rough here is extremely short, and drivers are not penalized nearly as much for off-target shots.

Here are the six key stats I’ll be honing in on this week to fill out DFS lineups and place bets:

  • Off the Tee
  • Approach
  • Tee to Green
  • Par 5
  • Birdies
  • Opps Gained

Opps Gained and Birdies

Opportunities gained is one of my favorite stats. Regardless of how a player gets it done, the more scoring opportunities one has, the more one is going to cash in. I often like to pair opportunities gained with birdies, as it shows a player actually is cashing in on those chances.

Ignore Putting

I rarely use strokes gained putting in my model because it can often be impossible to predict putting. However, that is especially the case this week with how much rain the course has received. If the greens are softer than usual, the players with pinpoint accuracy on approach will be left with much easier putts.

The constant rain that leads to soft greens is especially important to note on a Donald Ross design. Typically, Ross-designed courses have what can be referred to as “volcano greens.” These are greens that can be difficult to hold on approach, as they slope down on all sides. But with soft greens, the sloped greens could be neutralized.

Par 5 Success is Paramount

There are four par 5’s on this course. But the reason for the emphasis on SG: Par 5 this week is that those four holes are the four easiest on the course. Meaning, if you aren’t consistently scoring on these par 5’s, you likely will not play well relative to the field.

Conversely, the ten par 4’s are relatively short. With a quality drive, most players will be hitting wedges to the green.

Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Off the Tee

The stats I’m focusing on have two overlaps. The first is with SG: OTT overlapping with SG: T2G. The second is again with SG: T2G, but this time with strokes gained on approach. Due to this overlap, I will be weighting the three of these stats evenly. The end result will be more weight given to performance with the driver, and I don’t mind overweighing these stats especially if the players have soft, inviting greens to attack.

Detroit Golf Club Betting Model

  • SG: OTT – 20%
  • SG: T2G – 20%
  • SG: APP – 20%
  • Opps Gained – 15%
  • SG: Birdies – 15%
  • SG: Par 5 – 10%

When you plug these stats into a custom model filtered with only Donald Ross-designed courses, the results are quite interesting.

Have a look at the top 10 in the past 24 rounds:
  1. Jason Kokrak (+2800)
  2. Rory Sabbatini (+20000)
  3. Byeong Hun An (+15000)
  4. Jason Day (+3300)
  5. Matthew Wolff (+3000)
  6. Hideki Matsuyama (+1800)
  7. Camilo Villegas (+20000)
  8. Kevin Stadler (+50000)
  9. Webb Simpson (+1600)
  10. Harold Varner III (+8000)

Only two of these players cost over $10k at DK (Webb $10,600 and Deki $10,400), while four cost under $7k (Stadler $6000, Sabbatini $6,900, An $6,600, and Camilo $6,700).

When we remove the Donald Ross filter, here are the unadulterated results:
  1. Jason Kokrak (+2800)
  2. Hideki Matsuyama (+1800)
  3. Keegan Bradley (+4000)
  4. Gary Woodland (+5000)
  5. Bryson DeChambeau (+750)
  6. Lucas Glover (+7000)
  7. Joaquin Niemann (+2500)
  8. Patrick Reed (+1400)
  9. Emiliano Grillo (+4000)
  10. Garrick Higgo (+5000)

Kokrak topping both lists is hard to ignore, especially at reasonable DFS prices. I’ll take a half-unit shot on him to win the tournament outright at +2800 as well.

Let’s try one more filter, this time with Poa/Bent greens:
  1. Emiliano Grillo (+4000)
  2. Luke List
  3. Cameron Davis (+9000)
  4. Bryson DeChambeau (+750)
  5. Sungjae Im (+3300)
  6. Bubba Watson (+4000)
  7. Will Zalatoris (+2500)
  8. Patrick Reed (+1400)
  9. Jason Kokrak (+2800)
  10. Joaquin Niemann (+2200)

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