Rocket Mortgage Round 1 Matchup Bets: Betting Picks for PGA TOUR Live Featured Groups
Sam Greenwood, Getty Images. Pictured: Nate Lashley
It didn’t take long for the field to figure out Detroit Golf Club last year, as the first-round scoring average in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic was a miniscule 69.71, as Nate Lashley (the eventual winner) shot 63, two others shot 64 and seven more shot 65.
According to reports, the Donald Ross-designed venue is expected to play much tougher in Year 2, with more penalizing rough surrounding the fairways.
Even so, it’s tough to believe birdies will be that hard to come by – especially amongst the studs in the four featured groups.
Let’s take a look at these matchups for Round 1 and examine who should go low.
Bryson DeChambeau (+145) over Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama
At right around +650 to win outright, it’ll be tough to jump on the Bryson train in most formats this week. Unless you believe his next victory is a sure thing, that number is Tiger-in-his-prime-ish.
If you do like DeChambeau, though, you’ll have to be creative with other ways to get some money on him. This feels like a smart one, as he’s opened with scores of 65-67-65 in the three events since golf’s return.
While I do like Reed overall for the whole week, this is a nice way to get a piece of Bryson without shelling out for that low outright price.
Brendon Todd (+185) over Jason Day and Bubba Watson
This one is part-Day/Bubba fade, as neither one of them excites me too much this week, but it’s also part-Todd play.
Granted, that was a miserable final round in Connecticut which moved him from the 54-hole lead to outside the top-10 when it was all said and done, yet I still like what I saw from Todd for most of the week. The best thing he has going for him now is that he’s earning a rep as a streaky player.
He won two events in a row last fall (and nearly a third). Now that he’s striking it well once again, expect him to ride this heater for a little while longer.
Nate Lashley (+300) over Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler
Sometimes you’ve gotta use a little extra strategy in these three-ball matchups. Fowler is my favorite fade of the week; he’s clearly going through some swing issues and has yet to iron them out. That leaves Lashley and Simpson.
While the latter is obviously a much better all-around player, he was also home last week dealing with “an abundance of caution” over COVID-19 concerns, with rumors that someone in his family had tested positive.
I don’t expect that concern to linger for Simpson, but at plus-money, the defending champion should have plenty of good vibes on a place where he was FRL one year ago.
Brandt Snedeker (+240) over Tyrrell Hatton and Sungjae Im
This was the toughest one of the four featured groups for me. Hatton is obviously playing like a world-beater over his last three starts and while I don’t necessarily love him this week, I’ll at least give all due respect to the way he’s been hitting the ball.
Snedeker and Im are two of my favorite plays, but I’ll give the edge to Sneds for the same reason I’ve picked him in so many other formats this week – he’s won on three Ross courses in his career and finished top-10 on three others.
That familiarity should give him a leg up in the opening round.