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Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Preview and Picks: Which Stats Matter at Detroit Golf Club?

Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Preview and Picks: Which Stats Matter at Detroit Golf Club? article feature image

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Joaquin Niemann

For the third consecutive year, the PGA TOUR heads to Detroit Golf Club to play the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

A Donald Ross design, Detroit Golf Club is a 7,370-yard par 72. The course is extremely flat throughout and features Poa greens. The front and back nine play quite differently with the front being tree-lined and the back being a wide open layout. The event will very likely be a “birdie-fest” considering the course offered very little resistance in the first two years.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic will play host to 156 golfers this week including defending champion Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Kokrak, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, and Matthew Wolff.

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Past Winners at The Rocket Mortgage Classic

  • 2020: Bryson DeChambeau (-23)
  • 2019: Nate Lashley (-25)

5 Key Stats For Detroit Golf Club

Let’s take a look at five key metrics for Detroit Golf Club to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

1. Strokes Gained: Off The Tee

Most of the holes on the back nine at Detroit Golf Club are wide open, which really favors the bombers. If you need more evidence, the leaderboard last year was topped by Bryson DeChambeau and Matthew Wolff, who are two of the longest hitters on TOUR.

SG: OTT Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Bryson DeChambeau (+26.1) (+700)
  2. Cameron Champ (+18.8) (+12500)
  3. Charles Howell III(+17.1) (+8000)
  4. Bubba Watson (+17.1) (+4000)
  5. Tom Lewis (+16.8) (+14000)

2. Strokes Gained: Approach

Using approach in our statistics will be a good indicator of current form, as it almost always is. At a course where most golfers will be playing from the fairway, proximity to the hole will be the separator.

Strokes Gained: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Emiliano Grillo (+33.2) (+6000) 
  2. Hideki Matsuyama (+24.1) (+1400)
  3. Charley Hoffman (+22.8) (+4000)
  4. Will Zalatoris (+20.9) (+2200)
  5. Kyle Stanley (+19.8) (+9000)

3. Strokes Gained: Par 5

With four par 5’s on the course that all average under par, taking advantage of these easy holes will be a requirement to contend.

SG: Par 5 Past 24 rounds:

  1. Jason Kokrak (+17.8) (+2500)
  2. Charley Hoffman (+14.3) (+4000)
  3. Bo Van Pelt (+14.3) (+30000)
  4. Danny Willett (+13.3) (+6600)
  5. Joaquin Niemann (+10.6) (+2800)

4. Birdie or Better

The Rocket Mortgage Classic will most certainly be a “birdie-fest” this year. It will take birdies (and potentially a few eagles) in bunches to win this this event.

Birdie or Better: Gained Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jason Kokrak (+22.8) (+2500)
  2. Charley Hoffman (+17.1) (+4000)
  3. Emiliano Grillo (+16.0) (+6000)
  4. Patton Kizzire (+15.8) (+12500)
  5. Danny Willett (+14.7) (+6600)

5. Strokes Gained: Total Donald Ross Designs

Detroit Golf Club is a Donald Ross design. Many golfers who play Ross designs well do so on a regular basis.

SG: Donald Ross Over Past 36 Rounds

  1. Webb Simpson (+44.2) (+1800)
  2. Rory Sabbatini (+34.9) (+17500)
  3. Jason Day (+32.6) (+4000)
  4. Ryan Armour (+29.6) (+12500)
  5. Nate Lashley (+17.4) (+16000)

The Rocket Mortgage Classic Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the six key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: OTT (25%), SG: Approach (22%), Birdie or Better (20%), SG: Par 5 (16.9%), and SG: Donald Ross (17.2%).

  1. Jason Kokrak (+2500)
  2. Hideki Matsuyama (+1400)
  3. Joaquin Niemann (+2800)
  4. Bryson DeChambeau (+700)
  5. Webb Simpson (+1800)
  6. Garrick Higgo (+5000)
  7. Keegan Bradley (+4000)
  8. Charley Hoffman (+4000)
  9. Gary Woodland (+3500)
  10. Lucas Glover (+9000)

2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic Best Bets

Joaquin Niemann (+2800, Bet365): I strongly believe that Joaquin Niemann is going to start to pile up wins on the PGA TOUR but I haven’t backed him in a long while because I didn’t love the course fits for him. That changes this week.

Detroit Golf Club is the perfect setup for the skill set of “The Wonder Kid.” Niemann ranks no worse than 22nd in the field in all five of my most important statistical categories this week. He is extremely long off the tee and gained 14.7 strokes on the field at The Travelers Championship in Driving Distance: Gained. The wide open layout this week will allow the 22-year-old Chilean to let it rip off of the tee and should have easy approach shots into the green.

Niemann also ranks fifth in the field in Strokes Gained: Par 5. With four par 5’s at Detroit Golf Club and his power, he should be able to take real advantage of the birdie and eagle opportunities.

Niemann’s biggest detractor of late has been his concerning around the green play. The green in regulation percentage at Detroit Golf Club is about 8% higher than the average PGA TOUR event. With his distance off the tee combined with the wide open layout I don’t anticipate around the green play being a major factor this week. All signs point to Niemann having a great chance to earn his second PGA TOUR victory at The Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Doc Redman (+5000, BetMGM): With two top 10 finishes in his past five starts, Doc Redman is starting to regain the form that had many intrigued with his potential last season. Redman finished 62nd last week, but did so while gaining 3.9 strokes on approach. The 23-year-old got especially hot on Sunday when he gained 2.0 strokes on approach and will be looking to carry that momentum with him to Detroit.

Historically, Redman plays easy courses much better than he does hard courses, gaining 0.8 strokes per round in easy events as opposed to playing moderate and easy events at roughly field average. Redman is also a bit of a Donald Ross design specialist. He has four top three finishes in his career, and two of those are at Donald Ross designs; including a runner-up finish at Detroit Golf Club in 2019. The Rocket Mortgage Classic feels like a great bounce back spot for Doc.

Byeong Hun An (+17500, Bet365): First of all: Yes, I’m serious. Although he is coming off of a missed cut and has only one top 10 in the past year, there is some reason to believe in Byeong Hun An this week. Despite the missed cut at The Travelers, his statistics were actually impressive.

An gained strokes both off of the tee and on approach for the second consecutive week, which is the first time he has done that since October of 2020. While the stats are decent, the main reason I am intrigued with An this week is his history on Donald Ross tracks. At the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic, Benny finished 13th when he was also coming off of a missed cut in the week prior at The Travelers.

An also has some success at Sedgefield Country Club, another Donald Ross design and home of the Wyndham Championship. In his most recent start at Sedgefield (2019), he finished in third. It’s most certainly a long shot, but there is reason to believe Benny An could contend at Detroit Golf Club this week.

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