The PGA will be back in the Motor City this week for the second year in a row, as the players head to Detroit, Michigan to play in the Rocket Mortgage Classic. DraftKings has a $1K free-to-play pool on DraftKings Sportsbook that enables their users to get in on the action for free prizes. Additionally, you can create private pools to play with friends or family. To participate in the free pool, choose winners on props offered up by the contest and compete for $1,000 in free prizes. Head here to participate: DraftKings Sportsbook Pools.
This will be the second year in a row that this tournament is played at the Detroit Golf Club. The venue sets up as a 7,330-yard Par 72 venue that features Bentgrass greens and lots of scoring holes for the players. Last year’s winner Nate Lashley finished the event at 25-under par, winning by six strokes over Doc Redmon. Since it’s only the second year of the event, the players won’t have a ton of course history to go off, but the venue played quite easy last year, allowing a mix of styles to compete. The extra par 5’s in play will be a change from the last couple of stops as it’s the first Par 72 venue we’re seeing since the restart.
Regardless of how you’re approaching things, I’ve written up my thoughts on this week’s DK Sportsbook pool and have tried to give you decisive picks and strategies to employ at each level. Hope you enjoy.
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Who will have the best finishing position? Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton or 2 or more tie
DeChambeau is playing some of the best golf in the world at the moment and is now 46-under par over his last three events. That said, this is a tough match up as he’s going up against two players who can get red hot with their putter on a course where the winner here last season ranked only 44th in Driving Distance for the week. All three men are making their debuts at this event this week, so there’s no course history edge to go off either. While its tempting to go contrarian here right off the bat, especially with Simpson who has arguably been better than Bryson this year, I’m hesitant to do so with two men who have both been overly reliant on their putters compared to Bryson.
Choice: Bryson DeChambeau
• Despite being up against two of the best putters in the world here, DeChambeau gets two extra Par 5’s to destroy this week and that factor alone should push him to the win in this group.
Who will have the best finishing position? Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau or 2 or more tie
Reed has carried the best form of any of the three men in this group as the Texan scored a T7 finish in his first event back at Colonial three weeks ago. Both Finau and Matsuyama have been slow to get going, with Hideki having played just one of the first three stops, the RBC Heritage, where he promptly missed the cut by multiple strokes. The one advantage that Matsuyama does have this week is that, like Reed, he played this event last season and will also be putting on his preferred grass of choice as the greens at Detroit Golf Club are Bentgrass—statistically his best putting surface over his career.
Choice: Hideki Matsuyama
• Reed should be more of the chalk choice here this week, as he’s been in better form and finished T5 at this event last year, but I like this venue for Hideki and think we’ll see a quick return to form from him.
Who will have the best finishing position? Viktor Hovland, Rickie Fowler, SungJae Im or 2 or more tie
Viktor Hovland’s shown increasingly better form over his first three events and fought his way to a T11 finish at the Travelers last week. The winner of the Puerto Rico Open earlier in the season, Hovland gained 7.8 Strokes on his approaches last week and ranked first in SG: Tee to Green stats as well. All three of the men in this talented group played in this event last year, with Rickie Fowler putting up the worst result of the three as he only managed his way to a T46 finish. There’s been a clear gap between these three since the restart as Fowler comes in off two missed cuts here and Im has struggled to find consistency in his last two events as well, posting a MC and a T58 last week at the Travelers.
Choice: Viktor Hovland
• As talented as Fowler and Im are, there’s probably better players to get creative with lower in the pool. Hovland likely would have won last week if his putter had cooperated at all and also beat these two at this same venue last year. He’s in too good of form to fade.
Who will have the best finishing position? Bubba Watson, Scottie Scheffler, Harris English or 2 or more tie
Harris English withdrew from this week’s event early in the week as it was announced that he had in fact contracted the COVID-19 virus. While he’s reportedly doing fine, that leaves us with two players to pick from at this level in Bubba and Scheffler, both of whom missed the cut last week. Watson missing the cut feels more significant, as the Travelers is typically a place he thrives at, but Scheffler hasn’t shown much form either since returning as he only managed a T58 in his first event back and lost strokes with his irons in both rounds last week. It’s also worth noting that Bubba was the only one of the two to play this event last year where he promptly recorded a missed cut.
Choice: Bubba Watson
• Despite the poor showing last year, I think this venue should suit Watson just fine in the long run. The four scoreable Par 5’s should be something he can take advantage of and he really only struggled with his putter last week at the Travelers. He’d also played well in his prior two starts.
Who will have the best finishing position? Kevin Na, Jason Day, J.T. Poston or 2 or more tie
Day has been a pretty big disappointment since returning, as he’s only managed to record two missed cuts and a T46 finish at the Travelers last week through three weeks of play. Na pulled out of the RBC Heritage event before play started there but rebounded quickly at the Travelers, posting a solo 5th place finish on the back of a strong week on the greens which saw him rank sixth overall in Strokes Gained: Putting. Poston, meanwhile, finally fell off last week with a missed cut of his own, as he’d been riding a hot putter in the first two stops. The winner of the Wyndham Classic in 2019, Poston feels slightly out of place to me among these multiple PGA Tour Champions.
Choice: Jason Day
• I’m OK giving Jason Day one more week to give his act together here. The Aussie made some progress last week by making the weekend and did start to get hot with his putter at points in the event. He’s shown no signs of injury thus far which is another plus.
Who will have the best finishing position? Lucas Glover, Adam Hadwin, Doc Redmon or 2 or more tie
Glover and Redmon should both be popular targets this week in both the betting and Daily Fantasy arenas. Redmon closed with a 63 last week to vault himself up to a T11 finish while Glover has now posted three top-25 finishes in a row since the PGA Tour returned to play. Redmon also gets even more intriguing as a prospect though as he finished in solo 2nd-place at this event last season, losing out only to the hot putter of Nate Lashley, who gained over nine-strokes on the greens here last year. The wild card is definitely Hadwin, who has played decent golf through two starts, posting finishes of T43 and T41 thus far, he’s gained strokes with his irons and putter in both starts.
Choice: Adam Hadwin
• It feels like both Glover and Redmon may be close to hitting a wall. The two men have outplayed Hadwin thus far but will both be starting their fourth event in a row here. Hadwin feels like he’s building to a better week and looks like a solid contrarian pick against two potentially popular players.
Who will have the best finishing position? Rory Sabbatini, Erik van Rooyen, Brandt Snedeker or 2 or more tie
Sabbatini and Snedeker both featured at this event last season, as the two men managed to put in T3 and T5 finishes here respectively. Snedeker looked in a bit better form last week as he turned in a T41 performance, although it’s been Sabbatini who has looked the best of the three men in this group, recording T21 and T14 finishes in his first two outings. Despite all that, I’d argue Van Rooyen is actually the most talented of the three at the moment, as he recorded a T3 finish earlier in the year at the very competitive WGC Mexico and also a T21 finish two weeks at Hilton Head. Van Rooyen’s biggest knock against him here is that he doesn’t carry the year of experience the other two players do.
Choice: Erik van Rooyen
• While it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if either of the two veterans nabbed this, van Rooyen has shown he’s capable of competing against the best in the world and is coming off a solid week of play in his last outing.
Who will have the best finishing position? Brian Harman, Harold Varner III, Christiaan Bezuidenhout or 2 or more tie
This is a very interesting grouping, with three talented players who have all shown a bit of form coming out of the break. While Brian Harman is certainly an interesting player who is capable of some big weeks with his putter, the real decision here comes down to Varner and Bezuidenhout for me. Varner was in contention to begin Sunday at the Charles Schwab but fell off badly. He backed that finish up with a T32 at the Travelers though and has looked solid throughout the bag off the restart. Bezuidenhout is the 45th player in the world at the moment and is coming off a T28 finish at the Heritage where he shot 69 or better in all four rounds. This week will mark just his sixth PGA Tour start, however, and Varner does have the edge of having played this event last season.
Choice: Christiaan Bezuidenhout
• All things considered, more people will have heard of Varner, given he’s been on the PGA Tour the past couple of seasons, but Bezuidenhout is likely the more talented player. A winner overseas at multiple levels, he feels like the sort of player ready to take a big jump in this sort of field.
Who will have the best finishing position? Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Branden Grace, Kevin Kisner or 2 or more tie
This trio features two savvy European Tour stars and a multiple-time winner on the PGA Tour, who have all featured in major championships at some point in their career. Cabrera-Bello might be in the best form of the three as the Spaniard is coming off a nice Sunday last week that saw him shoot 64 in the last round and vault up to T37. He also finished T23 at the Charles Schwab two weeks ago and is capable of making noise in an event like this. However, the same can truly be said for all three players. Kisner is the most prolific of the three from a win standpoint, but he’s coming off two bad missed cuts and lost over four strokes with his irons alone last week. Grace also has a PGA Tour title and was in contention on Sunday at Colonial before falling back late. He missed the cut by a shot last week as well.
Choice: Rafa Cabrera-Bello
• If ever there was a spot you might choose the tie option, this would probably be it. Still, Cabrera-Bello, to me, has been the most consistent of the three and was striking the ball solidly last week. If that carries over even a little he should have tons of birdie looks in Detroit.
Who will have the best finishing position? Alexander Noren, Brendon Todd, Maverick McNealy or 2 or more tie
Brendon Todd was ever so close to picking up his third win on the 2019-2020 season last week, as he entered the final round with a two-stroke lead but imploded on the back-nine to eventually finish T11. Todd was amazing through three rounds last week but is going up against two solid players here who are capable of delivering big weeks at any moment. McNealy is the youngster of the group and both he and Noren have posted two made cuts a piece through two starts, although neither of the results is anything to write home about. None of the three men have played this venue prior so once again we’re left with a group where there doesn’t seem to be much to differentiate between our selections.
Choice: Alex Noren
• Noren has either been red hot or ice cold since returning, posting four rounds of 66 or better and two of 71 or worse. The Swede has the best Par 5 stats of the group though and with four such holes in play here that could be the difference maker this week.
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