PGA Tour Golf Predictions
Date: Jul 28–31, 2022
The Rocket Mortgage Classic is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour. It was first staged in 2019 at Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan. The tournament replaced the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour schedule.
Now even though this course plays easy in comparison to most courses on tour, there is an aspect of course navigation here in that there are a few holes where you must play smart and accept that par is a good score. There are also a few holes, especially par 5s, where you have to play aggressive and be able to score or you’re going to lose strokes on the field. 3 of the par 5s boast birdie rates of over 38% and eagle rates of over 1.5%. The past winners and top finishers here have dominated the par 5s so that tells me par 5 Scoring is going to be vital this week. Check this out for a stat, here’s how the past 3 winners played the par 5s: 2 eagles, 30 birdies, 15 pars, and 1 bogey. That makes for an unreal 33 under par combined on the par 5s between the last 3 winners.
Next, we’ll talk about Strokes Gained: Approach because we know that will always correlate highly with top finishers. This is going to be an absolute wedge-fest as this event sees nearly double the amount of approach shots come in from 75-100 yards than the tour average and 10% more shots from 75-150 yards than tour average. This is one of those courses where players can kind of pick what distance they want to play their approach shot from, they aren’t forced to hit driver and aren’t forced to back off the driver on very many holes. I do think it’s worth mentioning that 2 of the par 3s will likely come in above 200 yards each round and so I’ll be factoring that range into my model a little bit.
We touched on it a bit already but with winning scores in the high teens and low 20s, Birdies or Better Gained is going to be an important stat to look at. Plain and simple, if guys can’t string together some birdies and shoot multiple scores in the mid to high 60s, they don’t have a chance at winning. If the weather cooperates, we should see another winning score in the low 20s. I also noticed that all the top finishers did seem to be very solid putting from the 5-10 ft range, I’m not going to factor that heavily into my model, but I do think it’s worth considering since that stat popped in all 3 years at this event.
Lastly, we’ll talk a little bit about scrambling/short game. The rough here does play long and there are a handful of holes that are tree-lined, so it can be easy to get out of position. Another thing to consider is if guys just hit driver as far as possible to shorten the holes, that will bring the rough more into play. The scrambling percentage here is about 5% higher than tour average so we’ll factor that in our model as well. I’m going to be targeting solid wedge players that are reliable putters and I’m going to put a lot of emphasis on par 5 scoring.
SG: Approach w/focus on 75-125 yards
SG: Putting w/focus on 5-10 ft
Par 5 Scoring
Birdies or Better Gained
Tony Finau @12/1
Finau will be buzzing after his win in the 3m last week and could follow up here.
Troy Merrit @66/1
Chris Kirk @55/1
Kevin Kisner @35/1
*most firms will pay 8+ places so shop for value, we will update post with odds and more picks once markets open. UPDATED 22.21pm 25/07
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