Who is fancied to do well on the PGA Tour in Detroit?
Rocket Mortgage Classic Golf Betting Tips 2021
What a bonus treat the Travelers served up on Sunday with that mesmerising eight-hole play-off between our 40-1 selection Harris English and 300-1 outsider Kramer Hickok.
This was all set up by Bubba Watson’s bogey-bogey-bogey-double bogey-bogey finish which sent the three-time River Highlands champion hurtling down from first to 19th place. A car crash likely to haunt him for a good while.
This week’s PGA Tour offering, the Rocket Mortgage Classic in unlovely Detroit, will do well to match that cliffhanger in a field containing only two of the world’s top ten, defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed.
On the credit side, there are also two current Major champions on parade, Phil Mickelson and Hideki Matsuyama.
It would be a fairytale if Hickok, a 125/1 chance this week, could go one better after showing a superb nerve under pressure and a putting stroke that made you wonder why he had never finished higher than ninth before.
The play-off in which he played such a noble part wasn’t the longest on record – that was the 11-holer between Lloyd Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff in the 1949 Motor City Open. The pair were still locked together when darkness descended and they agreed to share the title.
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This is the third edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic – the tournament used to be called the Quicken Loans – and the North at the Detroit Golf Club, the flattest course on the circuit, was the source of a riot of birdies in the first two.
Nate Lashley’s 25-under got him home by six in 2019 while DeChambeau, 40lb heavier and 40 yards longer than when last seen, shot 23 under last year in one of the first tournaments back after the long COVID interruption.
The “mad scientist” closed the deal with three straight birdies to win by three from Matt Wolff and is a warm favourite for an encore.
Winner at Bay Hill in March, he has had no top-tens since the Wells Fargo in early May and ruined potential high finishes in the last two Majors with last-round 77s. I am not convinced he is at the top of his game.
Reed’s 2021 win came back in January at the Farmers. Top-eight finishes at Augusta, Quail Hollow and Memorial read well enough for an each-way punt but I’m taking both men on with Jason Kokrak, a much-improved putter this year.
After a great run of top-tens on quality courses Sawgrass, Bay Hill and The Concession, Kokrak won at Colonial two outings ago on an old-fashioned course not unlike Detroit which was laid out by the great Donald Ross in 1916.
Matsuyama, 21st last year and 13th in 2019, can also challenge – he’s had time to get used to being Masters champion and a national hero in Japan. Decent finishes in the two subsequent Majors indicate he’s ready to strike at this easier level.
The chance of Kevin Kisner, third to DeChambeau last year, also has to be respected. He is coming out of a rough patch and fired in two 63s on the way to fifth place at the Travelers.
Webb Simpson, Will Zalatoris, Si Woo Kim and Max Homa are feared while the best outsider might be hefty Austrian Sepp Straka, who improved on 11th here in 2019 by taking eighth spot last year.
He’s inconsistent but tenth place at the Travelers on Sunday sets him up nicely for a course that clearly fits his eye.
At 7370 yards, this par 72 is there for the taking once you get past the tree-lined front nine. The back nine is very open.
It’s going to be humid and thundery early in the week and may still be that way on Thursday but the weekend will be cooler and drier.
Check out how the GM Tipster is getting on this year on our Golf Betting Tips homepage.
Rocket Mortgage Classic Golf Betting Tips 2021 – Advised Bets
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