While technically this tournament is a continuation of the former Quicken Loans Challenge in the D.C. area, this is the first time Detroit Golf Club has hosted a professional event. Therefore, there is zero history to draw upon to try and narrow down a list of potential winners.
In order to do so, one must break down the golf course to try and guess what types of players will excel. For those who missed a breakdown of Detroit Golf Club, click here.
Using this knowledge, here’s who I like this week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic (with odds courtesy of mybookie.ag).
Ryan Moore – 33/1: Moore hasn’t won on tour since 2016 but his solid ball striking could finally get him over the top against a relatively weak field this week. Over his last seven tournaments he’s gained over 0.75 strokes per round on the field tee-to-green, and he fits the mold of an accurate ball striker with his mid irons to show well at Detroit Golf Club. He’ll have to be better around the greens this week if he wants to get over the hump, but given how well he strikes his irons he should be in the mix to win the tournament.
Kevin Kisner – 35/1: Kisner went through a very rough stretch of golf after the Masters, posting very poor ball striking statistics. He seems to have things back on track the last few weeks, as he’s gained over 1.1 strokes per round on the field tee-to-green over his last two tournaments. At his best, Kisner is a precise ball striker and has a putter capable of getting hot. As his form trends upward, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself on top at the end of the weekend against a very mediocre field.
Jason Dufner – 45/1: Dufner was discussed at length in the DFS column this week, and I like him enough to be willing to put a futures bet down on him this week too. As mentioned in that column, Dufner is playing well lately and comes to a golf course that will look and play very similar to the site of his lone major championship – Oak Hill. Against a weak field, he could rise to the top of the leaderboard without having to fend off too much stiff competition.
Joaquin Niemann – 45/1: Like Dufner, Niemann was someone featured in the DFS column this week that is showing the form needed to break through. Niemann was in the midst of a sophomore slump after a very strong rookie campaign, but the form with his ball striking he’s shown over his last few tournaments is certainly of the caliber needed to climb to the top of the leaderboard. His putting has also been better lately, and if that continues he should finally check off his first victory on the PGA Tour.
Kyle Stanley – 70/1: Stanley technically is a former winner of this event back in 2017 when it was played at TPC Potamac, but that will be useless to gauge his odds at Detroit Golf Club this week. Stanley had a very rough beginning to his 2019 season, but things are slowly but surely starting to turn around for him. Over his last five tournaments Stanley has gained over 0.7 strokes on the field per round tee-to-green and shown good command over his mid irons throughout 2019. He’s starting to recall the ball striking form he showed in 2017 and 2018 where he reached a career high 26th in the Official World Golf Rankings. Where he’s struggled his with his short game, but he’s held it together in that area over the last few tournaments. In a weak field, Stanley has the upside to exceed his 70/1 price tag to win the tournament.
Matchups and Props
Hideki Matsuyama Top 10 – +130: It’s starting to become a running joke anytime I tout Hideki Matsuyama to win a tournament, so I’m going to resist my temptations and only advise to bet him to finish in the Top 10 at +130. If you’re a follower of my work, you know how much I fawn over his ball striking statistics and how elite they are. While I don’t see him holding the trophy by the end of the weekend, he’s too good tee-to-green not to be on the first page of the leaderboard by the end of the weekend.
Rory Sabbatini -110 over Jason Kokrak: Sabbatini’s ball striking is red hot at the moment, and Jason Kokrak is a player who’s starting to crash back down to earth. Kokrak was on a tear in the middle of the season, but his putting has taken a serious turn for the worse and his ball striking has dipped below his usual strong clips. I like Sabbatini to best Kokrak one on one.
Byeong Hun An -110 over Viktor Hovland: An is a player who I expect to bounce back this week after a putrid putting performance at the Travelers Championship. As for Hovland, he’s shown flashes of brilliance and the hype on him is well deserved. But his strengths in his debut has been off the tee and that should be neutered a bit at the tight corridors of the Detroit Golf Club. Precision with his irons and the putter will be necessary this week, and those are areas he hasn’t been sharp in during his brief professional debut. Hovland is still very green on tour and there will be ups and downs for him before he’s truly a star. This week might be a struggle.