clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2020 Fantasy Golf — 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Picks, Rankings, Sleepers, Predictions

Pat Mayo breaks down the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic, making his picks and rankings for the event while previewing the course and key stats.

RBC Heritage - Round Two Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Picks, Rankings, Sleepers, Preview

Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Detroit Golf Club.

Complete 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Picks Show Coming Monday Afternoon

2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic — Picks + Preview | Picks/Field/Course | Picks Video | Stats/Tools

2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic DraftKings Research | Picks & Preview | DK Cheatsheet | Video | Own% Projections

The millionaire slate locks on Thursday morning, July 2nd, so set your lineups here: PGA TOUR $2.5M Millionaire [$1M to 1st].

DraftKings Golf Strategy — How/Where to Research | DK Showdown/In Play Wagering | Building Lineups

Subscribe to the Pat Mayo Experience — YouTube | Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Podbean | Castbox | iHeart Radio | TuneIn | Radio Public | Audioboom | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | E-Mail


2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Field

Field: 156 Players | Top 65 and Ties Make the Cut after 36 Holes

First Tee: Thursday, July 2 at 7:00 a.m. ET

Defending Champion: Nate Lashley

The three events coming out of the PGA hiatus — Charles Schwab, Heritage and Travelers — were beneficiaries of the world’s elite wanting to get back on the course. Those three tournaments, in the grand scheme of PGA events, are usually tier two in terms of field strength. Great venues, as we just witnessed, but they weren’t used to drawing Major level fields. Organizers for the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic must have been on their knee, praying, that top-end talent would continue along with the PGA Bubble to Detroit. They should have prayed harder.

The field for the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic, with the exception of a few bigger names, is pretty similar to the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic last year. After seeing almost every Top-10 golfer in the field the last two weeks, only two are teeing off at Detroit Golf Club: Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed. The remainder of this field’s class is made up of Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Kevin Na, Tony Finau, Brandt Snedeker, Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Erik van Rooyen, Alex Noren, and Mr. Rocket Mortgage himself, Rickie Fowler.

They have managed to draw a slew of high-end young talent, however: Viktor Hovland (now the first-ever Norwegian player to crack the Top 50 in the world rankings), Scottie Scheffler, Doc Redman, Maverick McNealy, Sahith Theegala, Peter Kuest and Will Gordon. Gordon was originally on a sponsor’s invitation, but played so well (T3) he earned his PGA TOUR card for the rest of the year and no longer needs it. Credit Brendon Todd for failing to card a birdie and making a mockery of No. 12, falling off enough to make it happen. Chuck in a few TOUR grinders like Jason Dufner and Brian Harman, with a dash of Euro talent like Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Matt Wallace, and the field is good. But it’s not great like we’ve been spoiled with lately.

Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.


2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic: Key Stats

Strokes Gained: Approach

Opportunities Gained

Par4s Gained

Eagles Gained

Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com


2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic: Course

Course: Detroit Golf Club

Par: 72

Yardage: 7,340

Greens: Bentgrass


2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic: Past Winners

2019: Nate Lashley -25


2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic: Strategy

In the first-ever trip to Detroit Golf Club, Nate Lashley got into the field as an alternate, then proceeded to post the second-largest margin of victory all season. Only Rory McIlroy seven-stroke Canadian Open dominance bested Lashley’s six-stroke win. He added to the field so late there wasn’t enough time to add him to the DraftKings player pool or position him in the tournament betting odds or first-round leader market, which he was. Not fun at all.

A Donald Ross course, Detroit GC has join Sedgefield (Wyndham Championship) and East Lake (Tour Championship), as the Ross venues in the regular PGA TOUR yearly rotation. Plainfield CC, Pinehurst No. 2, Oak Hill and Aronimink are other Ross designs that have sprung up on TOUR over the years as well. Sorting by the last 24 Round and clicking the “Donald Ross” button on Fantasy National, you’ll discover Rory Sabbatini, Josh Teater, CT Pan, Hideki Matsuyama, Viktor Hovland and Kyle Stanley as the best performers in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green.

The largest problem we’re going to face this week is how the course is going to play versus what we witnessed last year. A year ago, driving and chipping didn’t really matter. You needed hot irons and a scorching putter to end up in the Top 10. Obviously, putting means a lot, but you see a lot of weeks where some players still finish inside the Top 10 (or even win) even finishing in the negative for the event on the greens. In 2019, every player inside the Top 20 finished in the positives. And it’s not like it was all the best putters. When Byeong-Hun An and Hideki Matsuyama finish on the positive side, all bets are off. It essentially played out like a Korn Ferry Tour birdie fest, and in turn, we got a Korn Ferry style leaderboard.

Event officials said they’ve grown out the rough to make missing fairways more penal, which is a good start to keep the winner from challenging -30, but until they actually hit the course, it’s really unknowable whether that will actually have much of an impact on scoring conditions.

Here’s what we know: Last year the field was above TOUR average in accuracy, greens in regulation, and scrambling, while the average drive (296 yards) was over 13 yards longer than at the average course. Additionally, there’s a full complement of Par 5s for the first time since the hiatus ended, and two of them are reachable by the entire field in two shots ( No. 7 and No. 17), both posting eagle percentages above 2.5%. I find it hard to believe a few extra inches in the rough is going to tamper down scoring. It may result in a few more crooked numbers for those who inevitably miss the cut, but if players are striking it well, it shouldn’t be much of a concern.

Target the best iron players, and pray their putters, mere moments after the event, are offered the Denzel role in the “Man On Fire” sequel.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Harris English has withdrawn from the Rocket Mortgage Classic after testing positive for COVID-19.


2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic — Targets From Each Range

Patrick Reed $10,500

Underpriced against Webb and Bryson, which has nothing to do with talent, it’s all about perception. After a disastrous opening round with the flat stick, Reed kept is consistent ball striking and the putts finally started to fall on Sunday. Closing with a 64 and working his way into a tie for 24th. Not a great performance, but he was left for dead Thursday evening, so it’s encouraging to see him grind back. Fifth in this event last year, Reed enters the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic in a much better place with his game overall, and back on his preferred bentgrass putting surfaces. Plus, his maiden victory on TOUR came at a Ross design at the Wyndham Championship in 2013.

Tyrrell Hatton $10,700

Very quietly the No. 16 player in the world rankings, Hatton has a pair of victories and a four Top-Six finishes in his past five starts. In fact, the Brit only has one result worse than T18 in his past nine events; 46th at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to close out the European Tour season. And what does Hatton do? He crushes irons and makes putts. In bunches. Hatton has a bunch of experience in this type of birdie fest on the Euro Tour as well. Don’t sleep on that. His victory at the 2019 Turkish Airlines Open took a -20, his Italian Open trump was won at -21, and his pair of Alfred Dunhill Links crowns were -23 and -24.

Wes Bryan $6,500

I don’t quite get it, but if Brendon Todd was able to emerge from the abyss and win on TOUR again, why not Wes Bryan? Led all players in approach at Travelers, after gaining 2.5 with his irons at Heritage, and couldn’t make any headway on the greens. He’s always going to lose off the tee, that’s basically a given, but if he can just hit some fairways and be as close to field average as possible, back on bentgrass, where he’s +0.31 strokes per round putting, he’ll have a shot in a weaker field.

Other notable names appearing near the top of stat models and the win simulator at FantasyNational.com: TBD Tuesday

The millionaire slate locks on Thursday morning, July 2nd, so set your lineups here: PGA TOUR $2.5M Millionaire [$1M to 1st].


Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (NH).

NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details.