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Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA Expert Outright Picks

Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA Expert Outright Picks

ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC PGA EXPERT OUTRIGHT PICKS – Well, after taking a week off from handing out our dubious picks, we are back. It was another close call for us over here, as we had Rickie Fowler at 50/1 in the U.S. Open only to have the wheels fall off in the final round.

But, after a week of vacation, we are back and rejuvenated. More importantly, we are trying to turn these close calls into an actual bonafide winner.

Detroit Golf Club is gaining a bit of a reputation as a bombers’ course where elite skill off the tee is paramount. It’s not overly long and the fairways are generous, so guys can be aggressive off the tee. Judging by the last few leaderboards for this event, it certainly seems that way with Bryson, Cam Davis, and Finau hoisting the trophy. Aside from the winners, the top of the leaderboard in general for those events was littered with great drivers of the ball.

I’m not terribly sold on the narrative because I’m still clinging to hope that solid iron players with ability to flash a hot putter can get it done, like Nate Lashley did in the first event at the Detroit Golf Club four years ago. Jack remains skeptical and thinks I’m grasping at straws with my analysis. Both of our picks are included at the top, with one of them singled out, as usual. It follows the format of the podcast, Clubhouse Picks. If you want deeper analysis on a player that I don’t cover, be sure to give the podcast a listen or view on Spotify or YouTube.

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, June 14, 2023

The Driver (Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler)

These are the guys who are at the top of the leaderboard, usually at +2000 or better. They are the favorites for a reason, and though we don’t always bet them, these are our favorite bets from the top of the board.

Rickie Fowler (+1400)

I’ve already waxed philosophical about the renaissance of Rick Yutaka Fowler, but I’m starting move away from my earlier feelings and think Rickie may be a safe bet, despite the shifting odds for both players.

If you don’t want to read all of the pros and cons of Rickie this week, here’s the TL;DR version: he’s almost certainly the best player in this field at this moment. Finau and Collin Morikawa are both tied with him at +1400, but neither has flashed even remotely the same form as Rickie has in the last few weeks.

Pretty much every element of his game is clicking. The one worry is the SG: Off the Tee numbers in this event, but Rickie still boasts elite power, his strokes gained numbers are dragged down by accuracy issues. At Detroit Golf Club, finding the fairway isn’t so difficult and misses aren’t heavily penalized.

Of the favorites, everything points towards this being a good spot for Rickie.


The Irons (Harris English, Sungjae Im)

Our reliable players. You can usually find these heroes in the 20/1-80/1 range. They’re reliable and often a good bet for top-5, top-10, or top-20 props if you’re not feeling especially frisky.

Sungjae Im (+2200)

Harris English withdrew after hearing I picked him on the podcast which is essentially, at this point, a guarantee that he won’t win. Better to save his energy.

Ironman Sungjae Im will have to be wheeled off the golf course before he withdraws, so we’ll focus on the hardest working man in show business.

His odds aren’t great for a guy coming to this event having missed three cuts in his previous five tournaments. Before that, he’d been on an electric run, but after hopping across the Pacific to compete in and win on the Korean Tour, his game hasn’t been the same.

That said, he certainly has the game to win this. He’s good at basically everything and he’s plenty long enough to handle Detroit Golf Club. He posted a top-10 two years ago in his most recent trip to the Motor City.

You’ll be hoping for a massive turnaround in form at pretty low odds, but he’s certainly got the talent if you just can’t quit betting Sungjae (I am a recovering addict).


The Wedges (Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Chris Kirk)

We bet on these guys all the time and they never seem to actually win. Nevertheless, we’re enamored with what they bring to the table and will ride with them for as long as it takes. 

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+8000)

My man, Bez, is somebody I tend to gravitate towards in tournaments where you can be a little weak off the tee. Bez isn’t particularly long, but he is accurate. We’ve just talked about how this is a bombers’ course and picking him here sounds like idiocy. I still, however, think that this course is gettable for guys like him. Players tend to exceed their season average at Detroit Golf Club because the relatively wide fairways allow them to reach back for a little more power.

Bezuidenhout has been strong around the greens and decent on approach all season. The putter, lately has swung from ice cold to red hot with very little in between. The driver is really what’s been killing him, as the lack of distance is just too much to overcome on some courses. Everything here should be within reach for him though.

The most common approach shots this week will come in the 100-150 yard range, and those are Bez’s best areas on approach.

Every week lately, he’s had 3/4 major strokes gained categories clicking, but he just hasn’t put everything together. I’m hoping that this week he can sync all aspects of his game, catch a hot putting week, and cash me a long shot.

The Putter (Austin Eckroat, Ludvig Aberg)

Bet regret. We fired off these bets in the heat of the moment, then we pondered them a little while longer. Now we’re wondering if that money would’ve been better spent on literally anything else. 

Ludvig Aberg (+3500)

Aberg is the next stud to burst onto the scene, fresh on the heels of a dominant college season that earned him automatic membership though the PGA Tour University program. A former No. 1-ranked amateur, his pedigree is outstanding.

We don’t have a ton of data from him in his short pro career, but it’s evident that he’s well-rounded and ludicrously good when he’s swinging the big stick.

All off that being said — and even though he’s finished in the top-25 in three of his first four events as a pro — he’s probably getting an irrational amount of love in the betting market. He was probably a decent bet in the +5000 range or higher, but +3500 is a high premium to play on potential alone in such a young player. If he wins, it may break the golf Twitter universe because it feels like everyone in the world will be rushing to show off their winning bet.

The Hybrid (Carson Young, J.J. Spaun)

This is our fun long shot that could make us all rich. Or not. It’s tough to hit these, but it’s a damn good time sweating them if they’re in contention. Tread lightly on these guys, but sometimes miracles happen.

J.J. Spaun (+5500)

This is Jack’s pick, and I’ll be frank with you: I have no idea how this became a good idea. J.J. Spaun popped some fun early returns this season, but he hasn’t posted a top-10 in a stroke-play event since the Sentry ToC in January, and hasn’t notched a top-25 since the Valero Texas Open in early April.

He’s missed two of his last four cuts, and didn’t qualify for the U.S. Open. His relative strengths tend to be short game and approach play. The putter is typically erratic, and has been terrible this season, ranking 127th in SG: Putting.

If this is a bombers’ course, this might not be the place for Spaun as he ranks 104th in distance.

Ultimately, this is a hope-and-a-prayer. HIs only win came at a course (TPC San Antonio) that is far from bombers’ paradise. If you ride along with Jack for this fun long shot, it will just be J.J. and y’all celebrating because nobody else will have picked him (which is useful for DFS).

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