The PGA TOUR heads to Detroit Golf Club (par 72, 7,370 yards, Bentgrass/POA greens) this week for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Since the inaugural edition of this event in 2019, Detroit Golf Club – which was designed by Donald Ross – has been the only course to host the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Last season, Tony Finau dominated Detroit Golf Club, finishing at a tournament-record 26-under-par, five shots clear of the rest of the field.
As you can see from Finau’s low-winning number last year, Detroit Golf Club is one of the easiest venues used at the PGA TOUR level. The course features small putting surfaces and 87 bunkers, but wide fairways and only one water hazard on the entire property. Ranging from true bombers like Bryson DeChambeau, to short course mangers like Nate Lashley, we have seen both long and short hitters win at Detroit Golf Club, and we can freely target any length of player this week.
At this birdie fest, our focus needs to be primarily on golfers who are in pristine form with both their irons and putter. Of the four victors at Detroit Golf Club, three have finished the event top-10 in SG: Approach. Furthermore, three of the four Rocket Mortgage champions have ranked top-15 in SG: Putting during their victories.
As for which holes are the most vital for success at Detroit Golf Club, walking away with a birdie nearly every time you face one of the four easy par 5s at this Ross design will be essential if you want to contend at this low-scoring event. During his win at last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, Finau birdied 75% of the par 5s he faced at Detroit Golf Club, good enough to rank him second in par-5 efficiency for the week. Overall, all four of the golfers to take home the top prize at the Rocket Mortgage Classic have ranked top-five in par-5 efficiency during their victories.
Headlined by Finau in his title defense – who is the current betting favorite to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic at +1200 on the DraftKings Sportsbook – nine of the top-30 ranked players in the world will be teeing it up in the Motor City this week.
There will be a normal top-65 and ties cut following the first 36 holes, and below I break down four of my favorite DraftKings bargain plays for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, that all cost less than $7.5K.
Samuel Stevens ($7,300) – Stevens is a great bounce back candidate this week after missing the cut at the Travelers. Despite being sent home early from TPC River Highlands last week, the 26-year-old still gained strokes on approach, and prior to this missed cut, was playing excellent golf, making nine of his previous 11 cuts at standard stroke play events. During this span, the Oklahoma State product carded four top-30 finishes, most notably with a T3 at the Corales Puntacana Championship and a runner-up at the Valero Texas Open, both of which were played at unchallenging par 72s, similar to Detroit Golf Club.
This will be Stevens first attempt at the Ross creation, but the rookie is a strong match for the scoreable track, ranking 37th in SG: Approach, 24th in BOB% and 11th in par-5 efficiency over his last 50 rounds. Stevens is vastly underpriced for the upside he brings in this weak field, which is evident when we compare DFS salaries to outright odds. On the DraftKings Sportsbook, Stevens carries +7000 odds to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic this weekend, which are the same odds as Tom Hoge, who is significantly more expensive for DFS at $8,400.
Nate Lashley ($7,300) – Just like Stevens, Lashley is a player that we need to be attacking, regardless that he is coming off a missed cut at the Travelers. Lashley still gained strokes with his irons during that missed cut, and this was only the second time he has missed the weekend in last seven starts. Lashley has carded seven top-30 finishes this season and ranks top-15 in both SG: Approach and par-5 efficiency over his past 50 rounds, setting him up perfectly for a return to Detroit Golf Club, where the 40-year-old won the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2019 by a whopping six shots.
Lashley should beat his cheap salary with ease at this track he is fond of and is without a doubt one of the best values available this week.
Nick Hardy ($7,300) – Hardy missed the cut in his Rocket Mortgage debut last season, but should redeem himself with a quality finish in his second attempt at the track this week. After recording a T20 finish at the U.S. Open, Hardy kept his foot on the gas at the Travelers this past week and posted a solid T38 finish. The 27-year-old collectively gained strokes on approach and with his flat stick in both of these starts, and has now made seven of his past 10 cuts, with the highlight of this run being his first ever PGA TOUR win, which came at the team-based Zurich Classic with Davis Riley as his partner.
Producing a T13 finish at the Corales Puntacana Championship in March, Hardy has shown he has the tools to contend at birdie fests and he is a tremendous target this affordable price tag, who shouldn’t be popular after missing the cut at last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic. Hardy comes into this week sitting at a career-best No. 147 in the world golf rankings, which is a huge improvement from his No. 233 ranking heading into last year’s edition of this tournament.
Henrick Norlander ($6,600) – After an inconsistent start to his season, Norlander has advanced to the weekend in eight of his last 10 starts, including three top-25 finishes. The Swede’s irons have come alive as of late – gaining strokes on approach in three of his past four starts – and Norlander has been outstanding at Detroit Golf Club, finishing T12, T38th and T30th at the track over the last three years. Among all the players competing this week that have played this Ross design at least twice, Norlander ranks fifth in average finish at 26.7th place.
The 36-year-old at the minimum should get us four rounds of golf this week and is a terrific punt play to consider at this sub $7K price tag.
Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $1M Sand Trap [$200K to 1st]
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building lineups. 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.