Sobel’s Round 2 Rocket Mortgage Matchup Bets: A Good Spot to Target Harold Varner III?
Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Harold Varner III
- Jason Sobel analyzes three Round 2 matchups for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic: Cameron Smith vs. Aaron Wise (12:45 p.m. ET), Vaughn Taylor vs. Kevin Streelman (1:25 p.m. ET), and Harold Varner III vs. Danny Lee (1:35 p.m. ET)
We shouldn’t be surprised at all the low scores in the opening round of the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic. Those in the know insist that the Donald Ross-designed Detroit Golf Club was never going to be the toughest test anyway, but throw in the fact that the PGA Tour usually errs on the side of caution when setting up new venues and it’s understandable why the first-round scoring average on the par-72 course was a mere 69.71. With that in mind, let’s find a few players capable of going low on Friday afternoon.
Cameron Smith (+120) over Aaron Wise
12:45 p.m. ET
Conventional wisdom tells us to chase the players who struck the ball well and putted poorly. That describes Smith perfectly, as he ranked ninth in strokes gained on approach shots, but 144th in strokes gained putting on Thursday.
This is a matchup between two guys who are each due a title contention at some point. While I like the fact that Wise battled back from a 2-over-through-four-holes start to shoot 3-under, the numbers are clearly in Smith’s favor here.
Vaughn Taylor (+120) over Kevin Streelman
1:25 p.m. ET
Two underrated veterans who have been playing better lately than most people realize. This one is a hunch-based pick on regression both ways after Streelman opened with a 66 and Taylor had a 70. Throw in the fact that the latter has posted 68-or-better in three of his past four second rounds and he’s a nice play at plus-money.
Harold Varner III (-105) over Danny Lee
1:35 p.m. ET
Classic case of fading the low guy after an impressive Thursday. Lee posted a 66, but there’s a trend here. For the season, his second-round scoring average is nearly a stroke higher than his first-round average, dropping from a rank of 61st to 128th. Varner actually hit his irons pretty well in the opening 18; expect that to lead to a few more birdies on Friday.