2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic Final Round Odds & Picks: Rooting for Rickie Fowler

2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic Final Round Odds & Picks: Rooting for Rickie Fowler article feature image

Pictured: Rickie Fowler. (Photo by Raj Mehta/Getty Images)

There are plenty of weeks during the long PGA season where it is difficult to find a storyline that turns an event into must-see TV. However, the Rocket Mortgage Classic has hit the jackpot this week as Rickie Fowler leads the way and looks to close out his first win since the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

If there was ever a time for that first victory in more than four years, it would certainly seem to be this week. Fowler is headlining a top five that has just two top-10 finishes to their name, outside of tour veteran Adam Hadwin, who is just one shot back. Meanwhile, Taylor Pendrith, Aaron Rai and Peter Kuest are all looking for their first win at this level. Additionally, Fowler may have caught a bit of a break with the weather as the field will go off in threesomes early Sunday morning in an attempt to beat some incoming weather. This means Fowler won't have to sit around all day thinking about his position.

This all seems to set up as a big opportunity for Fowler, but that doesn't mean this is a foregone conclusion, especially on a course that can yield really low scores. In fact, Hadwin's 63 Saturday was a sign of how a player can jump seven spots on the leaderboard in just one round. That should all make for an exciting Sunday, so let's get to the final round picks.

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 aren't getting putts to drop.

Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.

2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic Round 4 Best Bets: 3 Golfers to Buy

Maybe I'm going soft, but in a spot where I would typically want a player like Fowler to get it done and prove me wrong, I'm actually turning toward him Sunday. He's played outstanding golf over the past several months and the only thing left for him on the checklist is a win. I know I am treading in tough territory as wins have evaded Fowler — even during his prior peak years — but part of me believes he is ready to turn that corner, and part of me knows I am trying to will him to win. It certainly helps my cause that he is leading the field this week in SG: Tee-to-Green and on approach.

That's the playing side of it. Additionally, golf is better when players like Fowler are on top and winning, and that's what I am rooting for Sunday.

Taylor Moore's ball striking caught my eye early this season and that play eventually led him to his first win at the Valspar Championship. He has struggled since that first victory and missed each of his past three cuts, but his putter is carrying him this week with more than seven strokes gained through two rounds. He has my interest going into Sunday as he seems to be finding something with his irons. He gained a stroke on the field on approach Saturday, which was a nearly a three-shot swing from the issues he had coming into the greens in Round 2. If the positive trend continues, he could be one to watch as he sits just four shots back of the lead. I feel great taking Moore both in DFS and for a top-five type of finish, but I also like a sprinkle on him at +2800 on FanDuel.

The ups and downs have been pretty drastic for Cam Davis this year. He started the year with a sickness that derailed some momentum he had built up last fall. The good thing heading into the final round at the Rocket Mortgage is that when the Australian has brought his game, he's closed well on Sundays. He has top-10 finishes in three of the biggest events of the year, including The Players, RBC Heritage and a recent top-five at the PGA Championship.

If he can continue to close well, he could work his way toward a top-10 type of result. He is certainly one of my favorite plays in DFS Showdown contests, but I think there is also place for him in the Sunday betting markets.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players After Round 3

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