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Dustin Johnson (28/1) took home his 21st career PGA Tour title at the Travelers Championship. It was an impressive week for DJ, who shot a career-low round of nine-under on Saturday to charge up the leaderboard. This marked his first win since the WGC in Mexico last February, and he has now collected a PGA Tour tournament victory in 13 consecutive seasons.
There was a moment of uncertainty before the beginning of the Travelers Championship, as a few players and caddies tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Brooks Koepka’s caddy, Rickie Elliot, unfortunately, was one of those who received a positive test result. Koepka did not test positive, but he withdrew out of respect for his competitors and their safety. The PGA commissioner made it clear that they will continue to protect the players to the best of their ability and continue on with golf.
The PGA Tour now heads to Detroit, Michigan, for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. This is the second year of the event, and it will once again be played at the Detroit Golf Club. While the field is not too deep compared to these last few tournaments, six of the top-20 golfers in the world will tee it up. Bryson DeChambeau (+650), Webb Simpson (+1100), Tyrell Hatton (+1400), and Patrick Reed (+1600) headline the field. Defending champion, Nate Lashley, broke through for his first win in 2019. He finished at 25-under for the week. We can once again expect a birdie fest in Detroit.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic will be played at the Donald Ross-designed Detroit Golf Club. It will play as a par-72, and it measures 7,340 yards. The switch to some Bentgrass greens should be beneficial for many after we saw a few very poor performances on the Poa Annua greens at the Travelers. That said, this course features a mix of both Bentgrass and Poa Annua greens, so golfers will need to be good at both. Birdies and Eagles should be plenty this week, as there are four Par 5s on the scorecard. Two of these Par 5s are reachable in two strokes. Target players will rank high in Par-5 scoring, birdie-or-better, and hope their putter gets hot.
- Par-5 Scoring
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Performance on Bentgrass Greens
- Performance on Donald Ross Designs
Best Outright Bets
Patrick Reed (+1600)
Reed was vocal about his love for Detroit GC after his T5 showing in 2019. He stated that it was the perfect shot-making golf course that allows him to be creative and work the golf ball in different directions. This week is shaping up to be another birdie fest. That should be no problem for Reed, who ranks fifth in birdie-or-better scoring and is coming off low rounds of 63 and 66 at the Travelers.
Donald Ross designs have treated Reed well in the past, evinced by his 2013 win at the Wyndham Championship. He should have no problem whatsoever on the Bentgrass and Poa Annua greens that have plenty of undulation. Reed ranks fourth in strokes gained: putting, in 2020, and he is the ninth-best putter on Bentgrass in the last 50 rounds. Expect Reed to keep rolling in the Motor City this week.
Tony Finau (+2500)
Fairways and wedge play are the name of the game at the Detroit Golf Club, so there is no reason why Finau can’t go low. The Bentgrass greens should also be a welcome sight for Finau, as statistically, this is his best putting surface. The runner-up of the Waste Management Phoenix Open already has two rounds of 62 this season and can rack up a ton of birdies in a hurry.
It’s no surprise to see that FanShare Sports has Finau ranked second in their course suitability ranking this week. He sets up great on Donald Ross designs and is a top-five performer on them dating back to 2008. Finau ranked 17th in Par 5 scoring last season, so he should be able to score well on the four that Detroit GC offers.
Best Matchup Bet
Doc Redman (-112) vs. Harold Varner III
Redman returns to Detroit in efforts to repeat an impressive second-place showing in 2019. Redman finished at 19-under-par last year but was still six strokes shy of a red-hot Nate Lashley. He now comes in with very good form, placing T11 and T21 in his last two events. Redman finished the Travelers with a round of 63. His underlying stats looked fantastic for the entire week as well. He finished third in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and first in strokes gained: off-the-tee. Redman has both the current form and course history boxes checked to win this matchup.