Rocket Mortgage Classic

A matchup bet I like, a look at the winds and a couple of models for the week in Detroit

Good week to just bet your guys. With different styles winning this and a field that’s missing all of the top golfers, this feels like a week where you can make a case for just about anyone.

I’ll be light on outrights and likely just look for some guys with higher prices and the ability to spike it with the putter and bet them in the top 5/10/20 markets. I’ll have some that I like posted in the discord along with any other matchups. A nice week last week with the books giving damn near 2/1 for Thorbjornsen to beat Webb Simpson (he did).

Here are a bunch of names that no one is going to be excited to back, and I for sure need to dig into the rest of their game to sort a few out, but using the Rabbit Hole, I pulled some Floor/Ceiling stats for putting over the past year (min. 20 rounds). Each column represents the percentage of rounds they gained at least x amount of strokes putting over the past 12 months. Some of the usual suspects, but also a surprise or two, to be sure.

A look at the course from Ron’s preview for

Detroit Golf Club 🚀

The North Course at Detroit Golf Club is a Par 72 course that measures 7,370 yards. It features the standard breakdown of four par-3s, 10 par-4s, and four par-5s. Let’s cut right to the chase here. It is one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour rotation. Through the event’s four years of existence, it has played as the ninth easiest course on Tour at -1.79. Players will need to shoot low rounds each day to be in contention. Winning scores in the first five years of this tournament have ranged between 18-under to 26-under.

It is a traditional parkland venue with tree-lined fairways and flat topography. When the course entered the Tour rotation in 2019, its standard deviation of terrain change stood at 2.18 feet, edging TPC Louisiana (2.23) as the flattest course on Tour. Other than a few holes, not many stand out because there is not much variation from tee to green throughout the round. Most of the holes are north to south or south to north with a few doglegs mixed in.

With a course that lacks length and any real penal areas off the tee, birdies will be dropping left and right. In such an easy-scoring environment, more golfers will be able to contend on the leaderboard. Because the course does not penalize poor shots, there is not much separation between great and below-average tee-to-green play. This, in essence, boils the tournament down to a putting contest. Recent rainfall and typically soft conditions lead to receptive greens and only add to the scoring potential.

Unlike a course such as TPC Twin Cities, there are no “blow-up” holes here where players are threatened with double-bogey or worse. There are only two holes with any threat of water danger. In fact, there are only two holes on the course with a bogey or worse rate above 20%. The course has the second-fewest number of penalty strokes on Tour, which speaks for the lack of danger off the tee and on approaching the green.

While not as penal as one would think, the Bluegrass rough at Detroit Golf Club is one of the longest in non-major events that golfers will see all year at four inches. Even with many of the greens being diminished in nature from Ross’s original design, the main defense of Detroit Golf Club is the green complexes. Greens are a mix of Poa annua and bentgrass and run around 12 on the stimpmeter. They contain just enough slope and undulation to cause players to take some precautions with the flat stick. The greens are also smaller than average at only 5,150 square feet.

Betting 💸

My exact quote last week was, I hate that no matter what, we’ll be grinding this for 72, but I like the better approach player to shine over a bigger sample”.

It turned out I needed the 72 holes, and the no-cut helped as Adam Scott was trailing Harris English by four after 18 and three after 36. A strong weekend, 67-64, got it done, and the newsletter matchup bet is on a two-week winning stretch!

Adam Scott > Harris English -105 (DK)💰💰💰

YTD: 13-10-1, +2.06u

This Week’s Matchup: Adam Schenk > Ryo Hisatsune -115 (FD)

Backing a guy in horrid form for most of the past 5 weeks, including multiple missed cuts and a 1st round WD due to a back injury at the Chuck Schwab. But he’s got the makeup (driving and putting) for an easy course like this and was doing a fairly decent job gaining strokes off the tee last week. He found the putter a bit as well as the week went on and closed out the Travelers with a Sunday 64.

I make him a bigger favorite based on his skillset and how high his scoring ceiling should be here.

Detroit Model 📊

Pain in the ass week as you can’t just rely on great ball strikers and approach players to separate from the pack. All stats were grabbed from a “last 24 months” sample size:

  • Total SG, in easy or very easy scoring conditions

  • SG: Off The Tee on Driver Heavy Courses

  • SG: Ball Striking on courses with easy GIR%

  • SG: Putting on Bent/Poa greens

  • Par 5 Birdie or Better %

Here’s the top ten it spit out; check out the rest of my model on the site:

Members can see the rest of this one as well as custom builds for this week from Ron Klos, Andy Lack, Matt Vincenzi & Ryan Noonan. Promo code NEWSLETTER gets you 25% off your first month.

Weather/Wind ⛈

It’s been wet, which again bodes well for low scores. The already easy-to-hit greens will be receptive, and we should see a lot of circles on the scorecards.

There are some rain chances on Saturday, but we’re still a few days out, and I’m not banking on anything a meteorologist says that far out. There is a possibility of some heavy winds to go with the storms as well, but the really interesting part is the wind being a little goofy this week. Higher chances of bigger gusts Thursday morning rather than the normal afternoon climb. I’m not sure if it’s enough to stymie scoring on a course like this, but I’d have to say that there’s a slight bump to the PM/AM guys who’ll get the calmer afternoon winds into a nice-looking Friday morning.

News and Notes 📝

Lots of going back and forth on golf Twitter about the strength of the PGA tour compared to other eras, a lot of it in regard to how we’d rank Scotties’ current run compared to other great stretches. I’m willing to listen to both sides, but for the most part, I’m in the camp that “the tour is slightly weaker compared to an average year” since some of the LIV defections. To ignore that Brooks, Bryson, Rahm and a handful of others who would be playing in all the signature events are missing for those eight weeks seems stubborn. DG has a similar sentiment via its rankings.

I’m not 100% sure what the reasoning is, even after reading a few things about this. Why not just let these guys golf in the spots they’ve earned?

Not one but TWO great feel good stories this week. Miles Russell is back in his tour debut, nice article from Paul, who is a better writer than most…

…and, of course, the Monday qualifier/guy who found the exact right amount of beer to play well, Nick Bienz. I’ve managed this at the bowling alley, but did not get any sponsorship offers for my 226 game.

Lastly, Yes.

As always, bet responsibly, have fun, and remember: it’s not long until The Open!

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