Best Bet in Sport 06-28-23: Detroit Golf Club – The Bet Club

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Welcome to The Bet Club Preview for the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. The Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit is up next on the PGA Tour, following the Travelers Championship. Keegan Bradley emerged as the victor in the previous event, securing his second win of the year. Although Bradley didn’t have his best performance down the stretch, he held onto his lead on the leaderboard. Meanwhile, Brian Harman, whom I backed at 100/1, finished tied for second with a strong final round of 6-under. I also made some money off Harman by placing top-10 bets on my top picks.

Now, it’s time to shift our focus to the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Despite coming right after a major and a designated event, the tournament boasts a decent field. Headline names like Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, and Tony Finau are set to tee it up this week. The tournament is being held a bit earlier in the schedule this year, and we can expect an exciting week of golf.

Tournament Course Overview: Detroit Golf Club

Founded in 1899, Detroit Golf Club is hosting the Rocket Mortgage Classic for only the fifth time. The course measures 7,370 yards but plays as a par 72, making it relatively shorter compared to others on the tour.

Looking at past champions and successful performers at this venue, it’s clear that the course accommodates various playing styles. Finau won the tournament last year, and Bryson DeChambeau claimed victory in 2020, with Matt Wolff in close pursuit. However, in 2019, Nate Lashley, who ranked 101st in driving distance, emerged as the champion. These different winners demonstrate that there are multiple ways to succeed at Detroit Golf Club.

To excel at this course, strong putting, excellent wedge play, and an overall solid tee-to-green performance are crucial. The fairways are lined with trees but are relatively wide, and there are fewer water hazards, offering players multiple options off the tee. Notable holes include the 635-yard par-5 4th hole and the par-5 17th hole, which is one of the easiest on the course, providing late scoring opportunities.

Scoring is expected to be low again this year, as the course is not particularly challenging except on the greens. As we assess the field, it’s essential to consider players with great tee-to-green game, birdie-making abilities, and strong putting skills. Past performance and momentum entering the tournament should also be taken into account.

Knox’s Knockout Rocket Mortgage Classic Golf Picks

  1. Rickie Fowler (+1400)
    After a positive week at the Travelers Championship, where Fowler finished tied for 13th, he has now secured nine top-17 finishes in his last ten starts—an impressive feat. The 2023 version of Rickie Fowler looks like a completely different player compared to last year. Additionally, Fowler has a strong connection with the Rocket Mortgage Classic as the tournament’s poster boy. He achieved a T12 finish in this event three years ago, and with his current form, confidence, and support from both fans and the title sponsor, this could be his week.
  2. Tom Kim (+2200)
    Tom Kim is known as one of the most likable guys on the Tour. He recently celebrated his 21st birthday alongside Scottie Scheffler, and both players showed promising performances last week. Kim finished tied for 38th after a final round of 65. Although his performance has been a bit inconsistent, his T8 finish at the U.S. Open proves that his game is in good shape. Kim excels in iron play and approach shots, ranking 8th in strokes gained: approach this season. A solid tee-to-green game will be crucial at Detroit Golf Club, and Kim’s 15th ranking in total driving and 6th ranking in driving accuracy will help him navigate the tree-lined fairways.
  3. Ludvig Aberg (+6600)
    Ludvig Aberg, a recent PGA Tour graduate from PGA Tour University, turned pro earlier this month. He immediately made an impact by securing a top-25 finish at the RBC Canadian Open. Last week at the Travelers Championship, Aberg continued his strong play, finishing inside the top-25 once again. Putting well and gaining strokes off-the-tee, he showcased his potential. Considering his recent performances and his odds, Aberg appears to be a promising contender in this tournament.
  4. Troy Merritt (+30000)
    Troy Merritt has a remarkable record at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, finishing T8, T2, and T14 in the past three years. He clearly enjoys playing at this venue and feels that the course suits his game, especially on the greens, where he has gained almost three strokes on the field over the last three years. Furthermore, Merritt has personal connections to Detroit, with family in the area, including his cousin, the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Detroit Mercy. Although Merritt has struggled this season and has only made the cut in the Zurich Classic team event since January, his past success at Detroit Golf Club makes him an interesting pick. I would be cautious with this selection but consider placing a smaller wager on Merritt to finish in the top-10 at +1800.

As we look forward to the Rocket Mortgage Classic, these are my top picks to watch and potentially back. Rickie Fowler, Tom Kim, Ludvig Aberg, and Troy Merritt each bring unique qualities and past performances that make them intriguing candidates for success at Detroit Golf Club. Enjoy the tournament and good luck with your bets!

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