This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Course: Detroit Golf Club (7,334 yards, par 72)
Winner: $1,350,000 and 500 FedExCup points
The second installment of the Rocket Mortgage Classic will feature a field far superior to last year's edition, however, many of the top players have elected to use this as a week off after playing each of the first three tournaments since the resumption of play. Detroit Golf Club is a Donald Ross design that features 17 holes from the North course and one hole from the South course to make for a composite course tipping at over 7,300 yards. Last year the par breakers were there for the taking. Just to play the weekend golfers had to turn in a five-under-par score through two rounds, and Nate Lashley won by six shots at a whopping 25-under-par. With minimal threat of precipitation throughout the week and temperatures into the 90's, the course should play firmer than it did last year, and the rough is expected to be up a bit more. Nevertheless, with almost no wind expected we should see a high volume of birdies and eagles again.
2019 – Nate Lashley
Key Stats to Victory
The last three weeks we saw courses that were on the shorter and tighter end of PGA Tour standards. The Detroit Golf Club will feature a lot more space to operate and a lot more ground to cover. The main defenses of the course are the numerous bunkers, tree-lined fairways, and undulating greens. This week I'm looking at the bombers. With the bunker placements, those that can carry it further actually will have more fairway to work with when using the driver. Iron and wedge play will be crucial once again to land on the proper tier and be aggressive with birdie putts. Those that putted well last week will enjoy these greens, which are the same makeup as TPC River Highlands with a mix of bentgrass and poa annua.
FanDuel Value Picks
Bryson DeChambeau ($12,200)
DeChambeau is head and shoulders the favorite for me this week. He will have plenty of room to unleash "The Kraken" as he calls it and fly some of these bunkers that many other players couldn't imagine doing. DeChambeau has gone T3-T8-T6 in the three events since the restart for a cumulative total of 46-under-par, which is the best of any player. He has gotten it done not just with brute strength, but also finesse as he ranks 23rd in SG: Putting and third in scrambling. DeChambeau is well worth the hefty price tag at this course.
Tyrrell Hatton ($11,100)
All the Englishman has done this season is produce. Hatton made his return from the hiatus two weeks ago at Harbour Town where he finished T3. In Hatton's four other PGA Tour starts this season, he has gone T6-T14-T6-Win. The 28-year-old currently ranks first in SG: Approach, first in SG: Tee-to-green, second in SG: Putting, and second in birdie average. Hatton has shown he can contend at any style of course. I'm going to keep riding with the now World No. 15 until he gives me a reason not to.
Viktor Hovland ($10,900)
Hovland was a bit of a rollercoaster prior to the suspension of tournament play, which was very unlike what he showed after he turned professional last season. He had a win at the Puerto Rico Open, but only one other top-25 in nine starts. Since the PGA Tour's return to action, however, Hovland has gone T23-T21-T11. The Oklahoma State standout is already showing to be one of the better ball strikers on Tour. Last week at the Travelers Hovland led the field in SG: Tee-to-green. On the season he ranks 11th in SG: Off-the-tee and 12th in SG: Approach. He also finished T13 in Detroit last year.
Tony Finau ($10,600)
Not often do you shoot 10 rounds of 70-or-better and your results are only T23-T33-MC. Finau by no means has played poorly, he's just been squeezed by the last three courses. Detroit Golf Club will offer some friendlier confines for a man who likes to play bomb and gauge. Finau's short game has also taken a major step forward this season, as he ranks sixth on Tour in SG: Around. He is also eighth in SG: Tee-to-Green and 22nd in par breakers as well.
Longer Shots with Value
Adam Hadwin ($9,800)
Hadwin's game has been very balanced this season. In the past he has relied too much on the putter, but this year he ranks 28th in SG: Putting and 35th in SG: Tee-to-green. Hadwin is also top-25 in driving accuracy and GIR percentage. While his two top-five's are his only top-25 finishes this season, the Canadian has only missed the weekend once in 10 starts.
Harold Varner III ($9,300)
In this field, Varner provides very nice value at just over $9,000. He is a sneaky-long hitter who ranks 21st in SG: Off-the-tee, 25th in SG: Approach, and 14th in SG: Tee-to-green. Varner was seventh in total birdies last week at the Travelers, but his eight bogeys and two doubles left him in T32. If the East Carolina product can clean up the short game a little bit, he certainly has the ball striking to put up a lot of points.
Will Gordon ($9,100)
Gordon has really impressed in limited time on the PGA Tour this season. In his last five starts, Gordon has four top-25's including a T3 last week at the Travelers. Statistically the one weakness for the 23-year-old was the putter, but last week he was 12th in SG: Putting and eighth in putts per GIR on greens that will be very similar to what he will face in Detroit. On the season Gordon ranks 26th in SG: Off-the-tee and 13th in GIR percentage.
Sebastian Munoz ($8,600)
You're going to have to make a ton of birdies to contend this week and not many have been better this season at that than Munoz. The 27-year-old currently ranks 13th in birdie average and sixth in total birdies. Munoz also doesn't have a noticeable weakness, as he is positive in every strokes gained category to rank 29th on Tour in SG: Total. He is sitting top-10 in the FedExCup race as well thanks to three top-10's and six top-25's, including his maiden PGA Tour win at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Most weeks I do think course history plays a decent factor in deciding who to roster, but with just one prior event to go off of, I'm not going to overly concern myself with a player who finished top-10 in Detroit last year versus one who might not have played or missed the cut. With how different of a course DGC is than any of the first three courses since the restart, I also don't think you need to sweat too much about taking a player who might have already missed a cut or two. It's really just going to come down to finding strong iron players, with length being a potentially big added advantage to cover some bunkers and reach the four par-5's in two.