Bryson DeChambeau opens as heavy favourite
After so many big names teed it up in each of the first three weeks following the PGA Tour shutdown due to COVID-19, it stood to reason there would be a tournament a lot of players declined to participate in.
That will be the case for this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, which debuted on the PGA Tour last season.
None of the top-five players in the world will compete this week at Detroit Golf Club.
Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed are the only top-ten golfers in the world that will compete. Reed is the only golfer from that group that played in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic a year ago, where he finished in a tie for fifth.
In the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic, it was the unheralded Nate Lashley who conquered the field by six strokes at -25.
The cut was set at -5, which meant that if you weren’t posting birdies in bunches then you were likely to be lapped by the field.
That could be the case again.
Over each of the last two weeks, it seems I’ve fallen in to a habit of being a week too early picking which guy will win the tournament outright.
I featured Webb Simpson in my lookahead to the Charles Schwab Challenge a couple of weeks ago only to watch him miss the cut.
One week later, he was back on top with a victory at the RBC Heritage at +2800 odds.
Instead of doubling down on Simpson, I had Dustin Johnson for the RBC Heritage.
He placed 17th.
Then last week, he won the Travelers Championship at +2500.
So, let’s try this again.
Here is our first look at the field for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Betting Odds To Win Rocket Mortgage Classic – Top-10
Bryson DeChambeau +650
Webb Simpson +1100
Tyrrell Hatton +1200
Patrick Reed +1400
Hideki Matsuyama +1800
Sungjae Im +2000
Viktor Hovland +2000
Tony Finau +2500
Rickie Fowler +2800
Kevin Na +3300
Bryson DeChambeau having trouble closing out a victory
DeChambeau has been playing really solid golf, posting six straight top-eight finishes. However, he’s still looking to find his way to the winner's circle.
That's becoming painful for bettors picking him to win each week.
There isn't any one area of his game that's been weak, making it harder to pinpoint why he hasn't earned his first PGA Tour victory since 2018.
Of the 12 rounds since the golf came back, his worst score has been a 70.
DeChambeau's Last Six Events
Travelers Championship - T-6th
RBC Heritage - T-8th
Charles Schwab Challenge - T-3rd
Arnold Palmer Invitational - 4th
WGC-Mexico Championship - 2nd
The Genesis Invitational - T-5th
This time around, he's set to play against an inferior field, which, in theory, should boost his chances to win outright significantly.
If you've been burned by the 'Mad Scientist' of late, perhaps betting on him at +150 to place in the top-five is the best bet.
Right now, he’s the betting favourite to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic at +650.
Rocket Mortgage spokesman Fowler sputtering
Fowler appears lost with his game.
In his two starts since the PGA Tour returned, he missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge by four strokes and then missed the cut at the RBC Heritage by one stroke.
He lost shots to the field off the tee in both events.
At Colonial in particular, he lost over two shots tee-to-green compared to his competitors.
Fowler's Last Six Events
RBC Heritage - MC
Charles Schwab Challenge - MC
Arnold Palmer Invitational - T-18th
Honda Classic - MC
Waste Management Phoenix Open - T-37th
Farmers Insurance Open - MC
Subsequently, his odds are higher than you'd normally expect at +2800.
That was also the case because last year at this event as Fowler finished with a pedestrian T-46th result.
Take a cautious approach when considering a wager on the five-time tour winner.
Rickie Fowler is 31st in the OWGR this week.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) June 29, 2020
It's the first time he's entered a tournament ranked outside the top-30 since the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst (finished T-2 that week).
Fore Your Information
Viktor Hovland +2000
Twenty-two-year old Viktor Hovland has been trending upward since an eight-tournament stretch without a top-ten towards the end of 2019 and early this year.
He won the Puerto Rico Open in February for his first PGA Tour title to break out of the funk.
He then immediately followed that up by missing the cut at the Honda Classic.
In the four events following that misstep, he's progressively improved in each of them with the following results: T-42nd, T-23rd, T-21st, T-11th.
The Norwegian sensation also had a strong T-13th showing at last year's Rocket Mortgage Classic.
At +2000, Hovland is sporting solid some value this week.
Brendon Todd +6600
Brendon Todd has been a classic case of an all-or-nothing golfer this year.
He won in back-to-back events in the Bermuda Championship and Mayakoba Classic at the start of the season.
At the next event, he was the leader after 54 holes at the RSM Classic.
He then made the cut in the six tournaments that followed, but didn't do any better than T-18th.
Todd then packed his bags after 36 holes in the first two tournaments following the hiatus.
Seemingly out of nowhere, he led the Travelers Championship a week later after 54 holes, punctuated by a career best round of 61 on Saturday.
He fell out of contention when he made a disastrous triple bogey on the 12th hole, allowing Dustin Johnson to take home the title.
At +6600, Todd sports amazing value for a golfer who was in the driver's seat to win just one week ago.
Bubba Watson +4000
Trying to figure out which Bubba Watson will come to play week-to-week is fool’s gold in 2020.
I was high on him last week at the Travelers Championship, where he's won three times – but he missed the cut.
In eight events this year, Bubba has three really solid results – T-3rd, T-6th, T-7th.
He's also missed three cuts, had a T-52nd and a T-18th making him the ultimate Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
He also failed to make the weekend by four strokes in last year's Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Which Bubba will show up? It's anybody's guess.
Brandt Snedeker +4000
Brandt Snedeker contended down the stretch at the Farmers Insurance Open in January before settling for a T-3rd spot on the leaderboard.
What has happened since hasn't been pretty – three missed cuts, a tie for 41st and a tie for 22nd.
He's an unseemly 190th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee this season and 172nd in SG: Approaching the Green.
Snedeker lost nearly six shots to the field in the latter category at last week's Travelers Championship.
He'd be hard pressed to recapture his past success (T-5th here last year) if he does that again at an event where tons of birdies are necessary.
*All Betting Information appears as listed by Bodog on Tuesday June 30th, 2020.