The PGA Tour heads to Detroit as it winds down the 2021-2022 PGA Tour season with the Rocket Mortgage Classic from the North Course Detroit Golf Club. FedEx Cup points will be on everyone’s mind, just two events away from the playoffs. Patrick Cantlay, who has the best PGA golf odds, Tony Finau, and Will Zalatoris headline the field teeing it up this week.
This 7,370-yard par 72 Donald Ross design was updated before it became a regular stop in 2019. This event has favored the longer hitters, as it is where Bryson DeChambeau won his first post-bulk tournament in 2020, and last year Australian Cam Davis claimed his first PGA Tour title in a playoff over Joaquin Niemann and Troy Merritt.
Draining 'em in Detroit 🔥
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 27, 2022
Rocket Mortgage Classic Props
Hayden Buckley has been playing some excellent tee-to-green golf the past two months and offers tremendous top 10 value at 11/1 this week. Buckley has gained with the driver in nine straight events, amassing 1.5 strokes gained per round Off-the-Tee in his last 20 competitive rounds.
Buckley has been just as impressive with his irons, especially of late, gaining 4.5 and 4.3 strokes on Approach in his previous two events. He has made the cut in five straight, but his short game has been holding him back from better results. Given that scrambling figures to be easier at Detroit Golf Club than most stops on tour, I like him to etch his first top 10 this week.
When looking at Luke List’s stats compared to the rest of the field this week, it’s shocking to find him this far down the outright markets at 66/1.
Unfortunately, putting is still a big part of golf, and although a cellar dweller in that category, I am backing List this week to finish inside the top 10 and his outright price. Over the field’s past 50 rounds, List is first in Tee-to-Green, second in total Ball Striking, third in Approach, and fourth Off-the-Tee.
He got the job done this year at the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, and I think this is the right spot to expect another contending performance from him.
Another player who is near the tops in every statistical category this week but still looking for his first win on Tour in seven years is Chris Kirk.
Kirk has four top 10s this year and has gained Off-the-Tee in each start in 2022. He has also been consistent with his irons (24th in this field) and short game (third). Kirk also is the No. 1 player in the field on Donald Ross courses and has a T21, and T12 to his name in his two Rocket Mortgage Classic starts.
He should feel comfortable from the start this week, so back his outright with confidence.
It is long past due for Will Zalatoris to claim his first PGA Tour victory, and although a win here wouldn’t be as sexy as the major championship victories he has come close to, it will be a fine story heading into the playoffs for the 25-year-old Wake Forest alum.
Three top-5 finishes in his last five against some of the strongest fields in the sport (U.S. Open, PGA Championship, the Memorial) have left backers shaking their heads, but do not jump off the train here as 16/1 still is excellent value on a player of his caliber compared to the field.
He can do it all Tee-to-Green, and hopefully, these small bentgrass greens won’t trip him up on the short putts that have been his Achilles heel since joining the Tour.
Rocket Mortgage Classic Predictions
Hayden Buckley (+1100)
Luke List (+550)
Luke List (+6600)
Chris Kirk (+4000)
Will Zalatoris (+1600)
First Round Leader
Joel Dahmen (+8000)
Kurt Kitayama (+8000)
Luke List (+6600)
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