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DraftKings Picks for The Rocket Mortgage Classic 2021

A round and a half later, Harris English defeated Kramer Hickok on the eighth playoff hole to claim the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on Sunday. This week the PGA Tour heads to Detroit Golf Club for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Let’s get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this weekend.

What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and our favorite DraftKings picks for the week. 

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Congrats to all the English backers. DB & Pat talked him up on the show last week and we got a little nugget in the Nut Hut which put a few more on em and bags were secured. ‘EPhops’ pulled down his third Nut Hut Listener League contest of the season while ‘ballinBM’ and ‘cwig8’ banked $15k+ scores. After half the golf world cried wolf on Abe Ancer Thursday morning, the stud got up and down from a fairway bunker for birdie on 18 Friday afternoon to make the cut and smiled at all the haters while collecting a solo 4th finish. 

Speaking of wolves, defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and 2020 runner up, Matthew Wolff are both back in the field this week. That pretty much peaks the strength of the field but we can expect a birdie fest and the likes of Patrick Reed, Will Zalatoris, Webb Simpson, Jason Kokrak, Joaquin Niemann, and Hideki Matsuyama should keep things interesting. In 2019, Nate Lashley was the last player to get in the field, not even entering the betting market prelock and proceeded to take the first round lead and held it for a wire to wire win. Lashley is back for more. The field has been set at 156 with the top 65 and ties making the weekend.

Detroit Golf Club Course Breakdown

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The 7,300 yard par 72 North Course at the Detroit Golf Club will host the Rocket Mortgage Classic for the third year this week. Designed by Donald Ross in 1916, the course is covered in Bentgrass with a mix of Poa Annua from tee to green and a Bluegrass mix in the rough, cut to 4”. The greens are smallish with water in play on just one hole. There are, however, 87 bunkers lining the course.

There is not much trouble to be found here. Easy, hittable fairways, easy scoring, and with all the rain the Detroit area has received and will continue to receive, the course will play extra soft. Trees line the front nine but not Nicklaus or Dye-esque where they are going to mess with slightly wayward tee shots. Put the ball in play, get to the green, and drain those putts! 

Bring on all the big birds this week. Birdies, eagles, and maybe we get to spot the elusive albatross! Bryson (-23) and Lashley (-26) along with a pile at the top both years, tore this course apart and this year could be even lower. The key stats we like this week are strokes gained off the tee, approach, putting, par 5 scoring and of course Fantasy National’s opps gained stat. Pair that with birdie or better %, dk scoring and 350-400/450-500 par 4 scoring.

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The Picks & Fades

Each week I will give you my plays and a fade from each DraftKings salary range.

$9k+:

DB: Play - Hideki Matsuyama | Fade - Sungjae Im

Pat: Play - Will Zalatoris | Fade - Bubba Watson

AC: Play - Bryson DeChambeau, Joaquin Niemann, Jason Kokrak | Fade - Webb Simpson

The defending champ is an easy pick this week even if his ownership is pushing 30%. The man does two things really well; smash the piss out of the ball and putt the lights out. Both of those things should equal flocks of birds. Niemann and Kokrak are two other birdie makers who are phenomenal ball strikers with the ability to drop putts and pound the ball off the tee. Webb’s scoring numbers have been slacking lately and I know he had the neck injury and an illness but not ready to climb aboard that train yet.

$8k:

DB: Play - Emiliano Grillo | Fade - Garrick Higgo

Pat: Play - Gary Woodland | Fade - Jason Day

AC: Play - Kevin Kisner, Max Homa | Fade - Jason Day

While I did not have a piece, I loved seeing Kiz shoot two 63s last week and especially with one on Sunday. The T3 here last year or enticing anyway but if his putter catches fire, Kiz has the ability to go real low. Homa has been struggling a bit but he was my fade last week and I alluded to a pattern he was in with back to back missed cuts leading to 6th place finishes. Well we just got to the MCs so Homa finishes in exactly 6th place this week and even with that he may lead the field in DK scoring. Day showed some promise last week but watching him down the stretch on Sunday even hurt my back. It looked like he was walking with a club up his ass.

$7k:

DB: Play - Doc Redman | Fade - Brandt Snedeker 

Pat: Play - Lucas Glover | Fade - Patton Kizzire

AC: Play - Sepp Straka, Alex Noren, Mito Perriera | Fade - Doc Redman

Give me a reason to play Straka-licious and I am all over it like Pat on a proximity stat. Rocket Mortgage history; 2020 T8, 2019 T11. 3rd in strokes gained total at DGC and a T10 at last week’s Travelers. CHECK! Noren also plays well at birdie fests and is 7th in strokes gained total over the last 12 months when scoring is easiest. Tee to green and putting numbers are also top 25 in the field and we might be the only ones playing him. With three wins on the Korn Ferry Tour including back to back wins in his last two events, Mito Perriera, is on his way to the PGA Tour and though he has made a start at the Puerto Rico Open, this will be his first big leap. Perriera has made at least 18 birdies in 6 of his last 8 starts and scored over 100 dk points in three of them. This is not going to be a popular pick but a 15+% Doc is not something I’m into. The course history is great but he’s still 93rd in opps gained, 62nd in ball striking, and 46th in birdies the last three months. 

$6k: 

DB: Play - Kevin Chappell, Henrik Norlander, Danny Lee

Pat: Play - Martin Laird, Cameron Champ

AC: Play - Satoshi Kodaira, Austin Eckroat, James Hahn

In the last three months Kodaira is 18th in BoB%, 21st in good drives, 17th in putting and 20th in DK scoring. Pair that with four made cuts in a row including 3 top 20s and I am in. Though the result wasn’t superb, Eckroat impressed last week with a T47. A birdie fest should be right up his alley in a field that is even more weak than the Travelers. I wasn’t sure if the Hahn-dar was tingling this week but looking through his stats when scoring is easy, I can feel a slight tingle. The price is a little bit disrespectful to a multi winning player but I am here for it. 

THE INS & OUTS

OUT: Charley Hoffman, Luke List, Erik Van Rooyen, Jim Knous

IN: Seamus Power, Peter Uihlein, Ben Martin, Tim O'Neal (Sponsor), Mito Pereira, John Pak (Sponsor), Curtis Thompson (Sponsor)

Monday Qualifiers:

65 (-6)

Connor Arendell (bogey-free; 1 eagle, 4 birdies)

66 (-5; via 9-for-3 playoff)

Tain Lee (6 birdies, 1 bogey)

Justin Suh (7 birdies, 2 bogeys)

Daniel Wetterich (bogey-free, 5 birdies)

  • Field is set at 156