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2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Round 2 Odds and Picks: Longshot Value on the Board Entering Friday

2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Round 2 Odds and Picks: Longshot Value on the Board Entering Friday article feature image
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(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Pictured: Callum Tarren

Last week’s winner, Tony Finau, picked up right where he left off on Thursday morning as he jumped out to an early lead at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He shot an 8-under 64 that would only be matched later by Taylor Pendrith. Those two players will take a two-shot edge into the second round on Friday, but once again the overall story was a heavy wave split.

The morning players fared 1.26 shots better than those that went off in the windier conditions on Thursday afternoon. All of the top seven players on the leaderboard went off early, though Charley Hoffman did his best to match them before ultimately settling for an afternoon best 5-under 67.

As we look toward Friday, I always tend to favor the morning, but there doesn’t look to be the same weather split for Round 2. I’ll be playing it mostly neutral as we get into the buys and fades for the second round in Detroit.

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Strokes Gained Explanation

Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer has truly played by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.

Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.

Every situation in golf is different. Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.

In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics:

  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)

In general, SG: Ball Striking and SG: Tee-to-Green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.

You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but are just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.

3 Golfers to Buy in Round 2

The first three years of tournaments at Detroit Golf Club have shown it to be a battle of iron play and putting. We have seen success from various players off the tee, whether they are short or longer hitters, so I will be more focused on who is striking it well on approach and in a position to stroke putts to score.

Callum Tarren is a player who has shown the ability to put both of those aspects together especially in his past few events. He gained 5.4 shots on approach and 2.6 with the putter last week in a T7 finish at the 3M Open last week. He came out of the gates strong on Thursday to fire an opening 67 and put himself just a few shots back of the lead going into the second round. Tarren has some value for me at +5000 on BetMGM as his game continues to trend upward and he is a great fit for this course.

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Another player showing some good form to open the week is Matt Kuchar. We can usually rely on a strong putter from him, as even in a down year he still ranks 8th in SG: Putting. The more positive sign for him on Thursday was his approach play that gained 3.15 shots on the field with his irons. He managed a 3-under opening round, despite losing strokes to the field with his typically reliable putter. That’s why I’m looking at him for a buy going into Friday. I’m skeptical he can still win at this stage, but at +10000 at PointsBet he’s worth a sprinkle, along with some placement bets.

Now, forget everything I said about the those two as I’m going to take a flyer on what has become a bit of a recent PGA darling in Chris Gotterup. He lost strokes to the field on approach and on the greens on Thursday as he relied almost entirely on his game off the tee to get in at 2-under. In fact, a late drive to inside of five feet on the 371-yard par-4 8th (not a typo) and the subsequent kick-in eagle is the reason he is just six shots back.

Gotterup is someone who has recently shown us he has the ability to put scores together in bunches and he’s coming off a week where he gained 4.7 shots on approach at the 3M. If his irons bounce back and he can get the putter hot, he could put a low score together in the morning during Round 2. I’ll take a stab at what seems like an overpriced number on BetMGM where he’s listed +25000 — triple digits more than the rest of the market. Either way, he’s a core guy for me in the second round for matchups and DFS.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2

I’m not quite ready to believe that Matt Wallace is back with his game that had him as one of the more promising European players in recent years. He has struggled mightily this season and even after a decent T26 finish at the 3M, I am skeptical he can hold it together for four rounds. Nothing in the Englishman’s opening round is going to scream fade for us going into Friday, but his overall lack of form has me steering clear of his prospects to contend through the weekend.

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You can basically cut and paste everything I said about Matt Wallace above for my fade on Charley Hoffman. The difference is Hoffman has shown no signs of life in any event leading in. His best finish since March is a 35th at the RBC Canadian Open and that’s surrounded by nine missed cuts and a couple of finishes in the 60s. We have seen him have some nice Thursday’s before and it is certainly a sign of moving in the right direction with his game, but I’m out until there is some semblance of a decent result to his record.

Sahith Theegala has played a lot of golf lately. Even after he got the weekend off last week at the 3M, I thought he may take a week of rest. Instead, he rolled right into another tournament here at the Rocket Mortgage and shot a 4-under to start the event. My concern is that he did it all with the putter on Thursday — he was the only player T22 or better who lost strokes to the field tee-to-green. He certainly has the skillset to turn it around in a hurry and find it for a low round on Friday, but the cons outweigh the pros for me heading into Round 2.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players in Round 1

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