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2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS Picks

2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS Picks

2023 ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC DFS PICKS – While Keegan Bradley played hometown hero at the Travelers Championship last week, the boys over at Clubhouse Picks had barely a puncher’s chance after Friday. The course proved to be much easier than expected and Bradley hung a huge lead on the field, even after a shaky performance off the tee on Sunday. 

While I didn’t have much to boast about last week, I’m looking to bounce back at the Rocket  Mortgage Classic played at the Detroit Golf Club. There is a ton of course history in Detroit and, while the tournament doesn’t always draw the best golfers in the world, we get to see some players who often fly under the radar perform at a high level. 

The bad news?

The weak field means these players who we usually see at bargain prices (looking at you, Dough Ghim) are much more expensive. The challenge of a tournament like this is not picking at the top of the field, but finding some deep value among cheap players who have produced mercurial results thus far this season.

I’ve cracked the code this week, so read on to find out how I’m building my DFS lineup for DraftKings. 

Jack's betting card for outright winners for the Rocket Mortgage Classic
Jack’s betting card for outright winners for the Rocket Mortgage Classic

The Field

Eight of the world’s top 30 OWGR will be in contention this week. The field includes defending champion, Tony Finau, along with Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa, all of whom are listed at 14/1 outright to win this weekend. Finau will look to repeat the success he found in Detroit last year, while Fowler searches for that elusive win this season. If you’re thinking about putting Fowler on your card, I recommend reading Nate’s excellent spotlight on Fowler’s game this year. 

Hideki Matsuyama, Max Homa, and Tom Kim round out some of the favorites in Detroit. If you like these guys, it’s going to cost you more than usual to build your lineup. I wouldn’t recommend selecting more than one of these golfers, as the price will wipe you out and you’ll be scrambling to find strong golfers in the $7,000 – $8,00 range. 

Justin Thomas is another interesting entrant in the field this week. After a difficult U.S. Open where Thomas shot 81 on Friday and missed the cut, he bounced back in Connecticut last weekend at the Travelers and finished T9. It doesn’t take much for Thomas to get hot and if you’re thinking about putting him on your card, I won’t stop you. 

Some other notable golfers this week are Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Keegan Bradley, Austin Eckroat, and Ludvig Aberg. Harris English – who has played well over the last month or so – has been ruled out with an injury for the Rocket Mortgage. 

Harris English
Harris English has been ruled OUT for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The Course

The Detroit Golf Club was founded in 1899 and updated by Donald Ross in 1916. The course will play over 7,00 yards and will feature wide fairways, 4 inch rough, bentgrass, and undulating greens. The greens will be a mix of bentgrass and poa annua and will often be the most challenging aspect of the course.

While the course will play over 7,000 yards, the fairways favor bombers, who can often drive the ball over 350 yards here. It features a number of reachable par 5’s with wide fairways and, while approach play can be an advantage, it’s important to favor players who are strong off the tee and are flashing a hot putter. 

The course will also be a birdie-fest, much like we saw at TPC River Highlands at the Travelers. A good, recent course comp could be the Oakdale Country Club at the RBC Canadian Open. Look for bombers to take advantage of the fairways. Anyone with a hot putter can run away with this. 

Based ont he historical data we have for Detroit, here are the stats I will be looking at this week:

  • SG: T2G
  • SG: OTT
  • SG: PUTT
  • Total Driving Efficiency 
  • Birdie of Better Conversion %
  • Par 4 Scoring Average

The Lineup

*Salary is $50,000

Rickie Fowler – $10,400

Fowler has found his game now that he’s back with his old swing coach, Butch Harmon. He’s been on an absolute tear lately with a slew of T20 finishes: Travelers (T13); U.S. Open (T5); Memorial (T9); Charles Schwab (T6); Wells Fargo (T14); and RBC Heritage (T15). 

He’s 10th in total strokes gained for the season and 7th in SG: APP. While his numbers don’t exactly fit my model of golfers I’m looking for this weekend, I’m willing to eat the price on Fowler here. He’s going to win a tournament at some point soon and I want to be there when it happens. 

  • SG: T2G – 12th
  • SG: OTT – 64th
  • SG: PUTT – 48th
  • Total Driving Efficiency – 3rd
  • Birdie of Better Conversion % – 17th 
  • Par 4 Scoring Average – 18th


Sungjae Im – $9,400

One of the workhorses of the PGA Tour, Sungjae Im should be able to feast this week. He’s had some incredible success at this tournament before, as he cruised to an 8th place finish in 2021. 

Sungjae also fits my model for success here very well:

  • SG: T2G – 26th
  • SG: OTT – 18th
  • SG: PUTT – 55th
  • Total Driving Efficiency – 107th
  • Birdie of Better Conversion % – 15th
  • Par 4 Scoring Average – 24th

The one aspect of Sungjae’s game that gives me pause is that he’s not playing particularly well right now. He’s missed the cut in three out of his last five events. But I’m hoping he can recapture some of the magic he flashed earlier in the season, which landed him seven top 10 finishes for the season. 

Sungjae is comfortable playing at the Detroit Golf Club and has had success here in the past. 

Ludvig Aberg – $8,700

The biggest issue with Aberg is his rookie status. He hasn’t played enough golf on the PGA tour yet to qualify in most statistical categories. Consequently, it’s hard to handicap his game or know how he’ll perform on any given course. We simply don’t have enough information. 

Here’s what we do know. He’s played four events this year and has made the cut in all four. At the RBC Canadian (not a bad comparison for the Rocket Mortgage), Aberg finished T24. 

He’s long off the tee with a polished short game and a competitor’s mindset. He was the No. 1 college amateur before he turned pro, so he’s not used to losing. In a weak field, where we’re trying to find value, Aberg offers a strong choice at a decent price. 

J.J. Spaun – $7,500

Spaun is circulating the ranks of the unapologetic golf degenerates because of his unmitigated success at the Rocket Mortgage Classic over the last four years. He has performed well above his ability time and again in Detroit, posting the following finishes: 2022 (8th); 2021 (32nd); 2020 (30th); and 2019 (13th). 

Those are the most consistent finishes for a player on tour at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in the last four years. 

Let’s see how he fits into my model:

  • SG: T2G – 47th
  • SG: OTT – 61st
  • SG: PUTT – 127th
  • Total Driving Efficiency – 67th
  • Birdie of Better Conversion % – 130th
  • Par 4 Scoring Average – 29th

Those numbers don’t inspire much confidence, especially the inability to capitalize on birdies, but I’m willing to roll with Spaun based on his past success and his ability to drive the ball. In a weak field, the choices look pretty stark in the $7,000 – $8,000 range and we could do worse than a guy who consistently outperforms his ability in a tournament. 

FUN My Pillow

Patton Kizzire – $7,000

I’m back on Patton and why not?

He missed the cut at the Travelers, but before that Kizzire had made three cuts in a row and placed no worse than T48. His game has been in solid form for a player who is always near the bottom in terms of price on the DFS boards. 

Let’s look at his stats:

  • SG: T2G – 129th
  • SG: OTT – 145th
  • SG: PUTT – 105th
  • Total Driving Efficiency – 85th
  • Birdie of Better Conversion % – 25th
  • Par 4 Scoring Average – 110th

Okay, none of these numbers inspire much confidence. There’s not much of an argument here, except that he’s cheap and he finished 25th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2021. There’s always hope. 

Sam Bennett – $6,900

Sometimes you just want guys who are your card who you like. Bennett is another rookie without much statistical data to help us sort through his game. 

Let’s keep this simple: I like rooting for Sam. Go Sam.

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