Rocket Mortgage Classic 2024 Tips: Could be Taylor made for Detroit

 | Monday 24th June 2024, 16:26pm

Monday 24th June 2024, 16:26pm

jamie worsley pga tour

Following his worst finish in over 18 months at the US Open, it felt inevitable that Scottie Scheffler would bounce back in last week’s Travelers Championship.

In beating Tom Kim in a playoff at TPC River Highlands, Scheffler recorded his sixth win of the year – all of which have come in his last 10 starts – to continue his breathtaking winning form at present.

The world #1 will have his eyes set on finishing major season strongly at Royal Troon in a little over three weeks’ time. Fortunately for the players (and in some way us bettors) that may well be the next time we see Scottie and they’ll be looking to taking advantage of his absence (and that of almost every other top-20 player) in this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

That said, we've still got a decent enough field to contend with, so let's jump right in with star golf tipster Jamie Worsley's Rocket Mortgage Classic tips, which range from 35/1 all the way out to a massive 175/1...

Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Tips

  • 1.5 pts Taylor Pendrith each-way (1/5 - 8 places) - 35/1
  • 1.25 pts Taylor Moore each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 45/1
  • 1 pt Nick Dunlap each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 60/1 
  • 1 pt Lee Hodges each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 70/1
  • 1 pt Michael Kim each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 80/1
  • 0.75 pts Pierceson Coody each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 175/1

*Click on the linked odds to add the selections directly to your bet slip on betfred.com (or app)

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

We’ve had a mere five renewals of the Rocket Mortgage Classic so far, with the event having first been staged in 2019. Detroit Golf Club has hosted every previous edition and returns again to host this year.

First five winners:

  • 2023 – Winner: Rickie Fowler (-24, playoff); runners-up: Collin Morikawa, Adam Hadwin (-24)
  • 2022 – Winner: Tony Finau (-26); runners-up: Patrick Cantlay, Taylor Pendrith, Cameron Young (-21)
  • 2021 – Winner: Cam Davis (-18, playoff); runners-up: Joaquin Niemann, Troy Merritt (-18)
  • 2020 – Winner: Bryson DeChambeau (-23); runner-up: Matthew Wolff (-20)
  • 2019 – Winner: Nate Lashley (-25); runner-up: Doc Redman (-19)

Last year’s edition saw Rickie Fowler end his over four-year wait for a PGA Tour victory, as he beat Collin Morikawa and Adam Hadwin in a playoff. Fowler returns this week, aiming to become the first player to win multiple Rocket Mortgage Classic titles.

THE COURSE

Detroit Golf Club was designed by Donald Ross in 1916, though has undergone many renovations since, from the likes of Robert Trent Jones, Arthur Hills and most recently Bruce Hepner in 2015, who redid bunkers and restored aspects of Ross’ original design. It is scheduled to undergo another extensive renovation in the summer of next year, with Tyler Rae undertaking what is said to be a “Donald Ross-inspired renovation” of the course.

Since making its debut in 2019, this event has become one of the most birdie-heavy events on the PGA Tour. Four of the five renewals have been won in a score of -23 or better and it possesses an average winning score of -23.2.

As with previous editions, this par 72 will play to 7370 yards. It contains 10x par 4s (372-489 yards), 4x par 5s (552-635 yards) and 4x par 3s (160-233 yards).

This flat, classic course is tree-lined but fairly spacious, with the wide fairways ranking as some of the easiest to find on the PGA Tour. Despite the course possessing strategically-placed fairway bunkering and thick bluegrass rough, it isn’t usually penal when straying from the short grass.

The bentgrass/poa mixed greens are small (5100 sq. ft), but due to usually being reasonably receptive, they rank as the seventh-easiest to find on tour. They’re not quite as they were when Ross originally designed the course, but many of his hallmarks still survive, with the largely raised greens strongly-contoured and sloping, many of which are angled back-to-front.

Putting them is the most difficult aspect of play at Detroit Golf Club, though they are fairly simple to scramble around, with the bunkers not too hard to play out of and the rough that surrounds most of them not a severe penalty.

Water is only in-play on two holes and it is simply a venue that doesn’t ask too many difficult questions. Everything is right there in front of you and if you give this type of course – with wide fairways and receptive greens – to PGA Tour pros, they are bound to score so well.

THE WEATHER

Players will be greeted with stormy conditions at the start of the week in Detroit, though it is forecast to disperse by the time the tournament starts. Before potentially returning again on Saturday.

The other days are predicting pleasantly dry, warm and sunny conditions and though forecasting sporadically-strong gusts, wind doesn’t appear to be a major factor over the course of the four tournament days.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Approach
  • Greens-in-Regulation

It is not a surprise to see high-class iron play into these small greens proving to be a significant asset across the renewals of the event so far.

Rickie Fowler ranked 2nd in the field in approach last year and was 4th in greens-in-regulation. Meanwhile, his two closest challengers, Collin Morikawa and Adam Hadwin, each ranked top-10 in approach.

Tony Finau ranked 6th in approach and led the field in GIR when winning in 2022. This was a year in which the top of the leaderboard was very approach heavy, with six of the top-9 ranking inside the top-10 in approach.

Cam Davis hit his irons well in the most difficult renewal of the event to date, ranking 9th in approach and 25th in GIR in 2021. Whilst the dominant winner of the inaugural 2019 edition, Nate Lashley, ranked 6th in approach and 4th in GIR.

Approaches at over 200yds look the most prevalent here, and there are an uncommonly high amount at 250yds+. However, there are plenty of holes that will also require a strong wedge game; therefore, I think it’s more important to be good across the board in approach this week.

  • SG: Putting (bentgrass/poa mix)

You’re going to need to hole plenty of putts in a birdie-fest and we’ve seen every previous winner putt well at Detroit GC.

Rickie Fowler was 12th on the greens last year, Tony Finau ranked 14th in 2022 and Cam Davis was similarly solid the previous year, ranking 22nd.

The first two renewals saw winners who were much more reliant on the putter than those to follow, with Bryson DeChambeau ranking 1st on the greens in 2020 and Nate Lashley 2nd in 2019.

Further to this, their nearest challengers often putt well too, with each of the 17 players to finish inside the top-3 since the tournament began ranking inside the top-30 on the greens.

  • Birdie Average/Birdie or Better %

I want to keep it simple this week due to the nature of the event, which is why I’ve decided not to focus too much on the driver - for all longer hitters should enjoy these wide, non-punishing fairways – or scrambling stats.

Instead, I’m going to finish with birdie average/birdie-or-better %. In an event which boasts an average winning score lower than 23-under-par, it should go without saying that players who make plenty of birdies will be favoured by the event.

Rickie Fowler ranked 9th on tour in BOB% prior to winning last year, Tony Finau ranked 28th in 2022, Cam Davis was 25th in 2021 and Bryson DeChambeau was 10th in 2020.

CORRELATING EVENTS (COURSES)

3M Open (TPC Twin Cities)

Whilst a touch more penal, the tee-to-green challenge at TPC Twin Cities is similar to Detroit GC. Well bunkered, with thick bluegrass rough and similarly-challenging bentgrass greens, it should act as a good comp this week.

Notable correlating form:

Tony Finau:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / 3M Open (1st)

Bryson DeChambeau:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / 3M Open (2nd)

Matthew Wolff:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / 3M Open (1st)

Adam Hadwin:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd, 4th) / 3M Open (4th, 6th)

Alex Noren:

Rocket Mortgage (4th) / 3M Open (3rd)

Cameron Tringale:

Rocket Mortgage (5th) / 3M Open (3rd)

Ryan Armour:

Rocket Mortgage (4th) / 3M Open (6th)

Shriners Open (TPC Summerlin)

The Shriners Open is another of the lowest-scoring events on tour. TPC Summerlin provides a similarly-simple and largely stress-free ball-striking test as to this week, whilst it possesses receptive bentgrass greens that are among the easiest to hit.

Notable correlating form:

Bryson DeChambeau:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / Shriners (1st)

Rickie Fowler:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / Shriners (4th)

Matthew Wolff:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / Shriners (2nd, 2nd)

Adam Hadwin:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd, 4th) / Shriners (2nd, 4th)

Taylor Pendrith:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / Shriners (3rd)

Rory Sabbatini:

Rocket Mortgage (3rd) / Shriners (3rd)

Alex Noren:

Rocket Mortgage (4th) / Shriners (3rd)

Cameron Tringale:

Rocket Mortgage (5th) / Shriners (2nd)

Barbasol Championship (Keene Trace Golf Club)

Keene Trace GC is a par 72 that is close in length to this week’s course, where anything less than -20 is unlikely to see you win. It ranks closely to Detroit GC in most aspects, with generous fairways, receptive bentgrass greens and bluegrass rough acting as further similarities that should make it a strong comp for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Notable correlating form:

Troy Merritt:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / Barbasol (1st)

Taylor Pendrith:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / Barbasol (6th)

Doc Redman:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / Barbasol (9th)

Ryan Armour:

Rocket Mortgage (4th) / Barbasol (5th)

Wyndham Championship (Sedgefield Country Club)

Sedgefield CC is a classic, tree-lined design by Donald Ross and with approach play into the similarly sloped, raised greens key, it can give us some clues as to who might go well this week.

Notable correlating form:

Cam Davis:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / Wyndham (7th)

Doc Redman:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / Wyndham (3rd)

Taylor Moore:

Rocket Mortgage (4th, 6th) / Wyndham (5th)

Kevin Kisner:

Rocket Mortgage (3rd) / Wyndham (1st)

Rory Sabbatini:

Rocket Mortgage (3rd) / Wyndham (4th)

Ryan Armour:

Rocket Mortgage (4th) / Wyndham (4th, 8th)

John Deere Classic (TPC Deere Run)

Possessing generous, tree-lined fairways, small bentgrass greens, plentiful bunkering and generally low scoring, the John Deere Classic and its closely-matched ball-striking test is another event worth a look.

Notable correlating form:

Bryson DeChambeau:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / John Deere (1st)

Cam Davis:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / John Deere (8th)

Cameron Young:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / John Deere (6th)

Hank Lebioda:

Rocket Mortgage (4th) / John Deere (8th)

Cameron Tringale:

Rocket Mortgage (5th) / John Deere (9th)

Sanderson Farms Championship (Country Club of Jackson)

Finally, the fairways are much narrower at the Country Club of Jackson but the punishment for missing them isn’t severe, much like here. It supplies players with a comparable challenge in approach, with both a strong wedge and long iron game important.

Notable correlating form:

Cam Davis:

Rocket Mortgage (1st) / Sanderson Farms (6th)

Cameron Young:

Rocket Mortgage (2nd) / Sanderson Farms (2nd)

Ryan Armour:

Rocket Mortgage (4th) / Sanderson Farms (1st)

THE FIELD

After a three-week stretch that included a major and two Signature Events, it’s somewhat of a relief to get a lower-quality and more diverse field for this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic. As these events often prove the most interesting to examine.

Last week’s runner-up, Tom Kim is the highest-ranked player in the field at #16 and the only player from inside the top-20. He is joined by a further nine of the world’s top-50, which includes our defending champion, Rickie Fowler.

Fowler is accompanied by two more past champions: 2019 winner, Nate Lashley and 2021 champion, Cam Davis.

Former #2 amateur and the No 1 player on the PGA Tour University (a scheme designed to give the top amateurs a step up once they begin their pro careers), Michael Thorbjornsen begins his life as a professional this week, in a field with plenty future stars of the game.

Current top-5 amateurs, Jackson Koivun (#2), Ben James (#4) and Luke Clanton (#5) are all in the field alongside the leading amateur at both this year’s Masters and US Open, Neal Shipley.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Rocket Mortgage Classic market on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this tournament.

SELECTIONS

Market leaders: Tom Kim 12/1, Cameron Young 14/1, Min Woo Lee 20/1, Akshay Bhatia 22/1, Alex Noren 30/1, Maverick McNealy 30/1, Will Zalatoris 30/1, Keith Mitchell 30/1

This wide-open field gives opportunities aplenty and while it looks an ideal spot for Tom Kim to bounce back from his playoff disappointments last week, I’m going to stay away from the very top of the betting in an event that can turn into a putting contest.

However, just behind these market leaders there is a player who has already won a birdie-fest on bentgrass greens this year and maintaining strong form since, I’m taking Taylor Pendrith to double his PGA Tour tally this week.

1.5 pts Taylor Pendrith each-way (1/5 - 8 places) - 35/1

That breakthrough win for Pendrith came just six starts ago, as he narrowly beat Ben Kohles in the CJ CUP Byron Nelson, firing a score of -23 for victory. He followed that up with a 10th-place finish in the Wells Fargo Championship and has bounced back from a missed cut in the PGA Championship with three top-25s in his last four starts, including a 16th-place finish in the US Open two weeks ago.

He has been in good form with the putter all season, ranking 4th, though his recent results have been thanks to him finally finding form with the long game; gaining strokes in six out of his last seven appearances off-the-tee and four out of seven in approach. Ranking top-30 in birdie average and top-50 in birdie-or-better %, he has the birdie-making ability to go well here.

We don’t have to look hard for proof of the Canadian’s suitability to the course. He was tied for the lead at Detroit GC entering the final round on debut in 2022, before eventually finishing 2nd to Tony Finau, whilst last year he was 3rd with 18 to play, though closed out with a poor 73 to finish 14th.

Pendrith has also finished 3rd in the Shriners Open and 6th in the Barbasol, to further emphasise this course as an excellent fit and with that breakthrough win now in the bag, I’d be much more confident that if finding himself in contention going into the final round this time, he’ll fare much better than his previous two tries.

1.25 pts Taylor Moore each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 45/1

Just five starts ago, Taylor Moore recorded his best ever major result when finishing 12th in the PGA Championship. Though his form since has been poor, he should relish a return to a place at which he’s finished top-6 on two attempts.

Moore’s performance at Valhalla GC was the culmination of a rock-solid start to the season, having made his first 12 cuts of the season and going close to recording his second tour victory when 2nd in the Houston Open. Since then, he’s missed three cuts and finished right down the field in the Travelers Championship last week, and he’ll need to turn that around here.

He was able to do just that last year. Coming into this event, he’d been in similarly poor form, with finishes of 72-MC-MC-MC in prior weeks and then recorded four rounds in the 60s to finish an impressive 4th. Following on from him finishing 6th in 2022, where he fired three rounds of 67 of better.

Moore’s liking for Donald Ross originals is further evidenced by a good 5th in the Wyndham Championship in 2022 and as a generally strong bentgrass putter, I fancy him to once again return to form at this venue.

1 pt Nick Dunlap each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 60/1 

Nick Dunlap burst onto the scene with a victory in the low-scoring American Express at the start of the year when still an amateur. He immediately turned pro and showing more positive signs throughout the season, where he’s proving himself to be a prolific birdie-maker, this looks a good spot for him.

Dunlap has been a star right through the ranks of his amateur career, winning the US Junior Amateur in 2021 and the US Amateur Championship in 2023. With that incredible victory at PGA West – that made him the first amateur winner on tour in 33 years – he also assumed top spot in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings).

He initially had a hard time replicating that level of performance once he turned pro, though has started to threaten again over the last few months. Recording finishes of 11th in the Houston Open and 12th in the Memorial Tournament just three starts ago.

It’s hard to know exactly what he is about, but he has shown glimpses of quality across all areas over the season so far. He’s long off-the-tee and typically a strong putter, whilst over recent starts he’s begun to find form in approach.

Dunlap is somewhat of a birdie-machine, ranking 14th in BOB% and 22nd in birdie average this season. This was clear for all to see in his victory in California earlier in the year, with his 29-under-par winning score helped by a 12-under 60 in round three and with scoring conditions here similarly kind, I suspect he’ll enjoy his first spin around the course.

1 pt Lee Hodges each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 70/1

Lee Hodges has been playing consistently well in recent starts and earning his tour breakthrough in a low-scoring 3M Open last year, this looks a perfect opportunity for him to turn that consistency into a second tour win.

Hodges has had an in-and-out year, starting off poorly but finding some form in February/March, including top-25s in Signature Events, the Genesis Invitational and Arnold Palmer Invitational. He again struggled for form in April but regained it in the Wells Fargo Championship in May, finishing 24th and has continued to perform well since, with finishes of 12th in the PGA Championship – his best ever major finish – 12th in the Charles Schwab Challenge and last week he was a solid 31st in the Travelers Championship.

He has been at his best in approach and on the greens this season, and it is these areas that have inspired recent results, ranking 12th in approach and 28th in putting over his last 20 rounds. He was again strong with his irons last week at TPC River Highlands, ranking 10th in approach.

Hodges has played here twice and there were plenty of positives to be found on debut in 2022, as he opened with a pair of 66s to sit 3rd after 36 holes, before a poor 77 in round three did for his chances. A missed cut last year was disappointing but that hugely impressive seven-shot demolition in last year’s 3M Open - where he fired a -24 winning score - bodes well and he looks great value in the field this week.

1 pt Michael Kim each way (1/5 - 8 places) - 80/1

Michael Kim’s strength in approach and on the greens makes him one of the most productive scorers on tour. Currently enjoying his most consistent spell of the year, he can put himself among the main contenders in Detroit.

Kim has had five top-25s this season, with his best effort coming when 6th in The AmEx. Though three of those efforts have come over his last five starts, as he finished 14th in the Corales Puntacana Championship, 20th in the Myrtle Beach Classic and when we last saw him, he was 14th in the Canadian Open.

He’s hitting plenty of greens, ranking 36th in greens-in-regulation and is a solid 65th on the greens. Whilst last time out, he produced his best approach performance of the season, ranking 2nd in Canada. These are assets he relies on to rank a majorly-impressive 3rd in birdie average and 6th in BOB%.

With his heavy scoring, it’s perhaps a surprise that Kim has missed the cut on each of his three previous visits here. Having said that, he hasn’t played since 2021 and has become a more well-rounded player in the meantime. With his incredible eight-stroke win in the 2018 John Deere Classic and a 5th-place finish in last year’s Wyndham Championship, he certainly has the comp form to suggest he can go well here.

0.75 pts Pierceson Coody each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 175/1

I’m going to finish with former #1 amateur, Pierceson Coody. He’s slowly started to find his feet at this level as the season has gone on and as a proven winner in low-scoring conditions, this big-hitter should relish the generous fairways in Detroit this week.

Coody had a hard time at the start of his rookie season, recording four missed cuts, two withdrawals and just one top-40 across his first nine events. However he’s been more assured over recent starts.

He recorded his first top-20 of the season six starts ago, finishing 18th in the Corales Puntacana Championship and just two starts ago he hit the top-5 for the first time, finishing 5th in the Charles Schwab Challenge; then following with a perfectly sound 35th-place finish in Canada when we last saw him.

The putter has been strong all season, ranking 19th and considering his early-season adversities, rankings of 65th in birdie average and 77th in BOB% are entirely respectable. Having said that, his recent upturn in form has more to do with him getting on top of his ball-striking, which had been wildly out of control earlier in the season. Not only is he now driving the ball straighter but his approach play has also improved, indeed he ranked 8th in approach when 5th at Colonial two starts ago.

Coody doesn’t have any course or comp course form but we can find evidence of his ability in similarly easy conditions from the Korn Ferry Tour last year, as he won the Price Cutter Charity Championship – one of three victories on that tour in a little over 12 months – with a score of 25-under-par. He’s got a higher ceiling than many in this field and with recent signs positive he looks a big price to contend this week.

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

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