2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview: Everything To Know About Detroit Golf Club

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Written By John Haslbauer | Last Updated
Rocket Mortgage Classic odds

The Rocket Mortgage Classic returns to Detroit Golf Club in a new position on the 2024 PGA TOUR schedule. Find bigger golf odds at the best golf betting sites to increase your potential payouts. Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris, and Tom Kim are the favorites for this year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The PGA TOUR cruises on over to the Motor City as its next stop. A Midwest swing looms as the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club is next on tap. As always, our weekly preview covers Rocket Mortgage Classic odds and a course breakdown.

Established in 1899, Detroit Golf Club has a long history. But it’s still fresh to the PGA TOUR, with it added just five years ago. From a betting perspective, I’ve looked forward to the Rocket Mortgage Classic each year, landing on the winner in 2021 (Cam Davis) and runner-up finishers in 2022 (Cameron Young, Taylor Pendrith) and 2023 (Adam Hadwin). We’ll look to keep that momentum going into this week following the same tried and true formula.

In five years at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, we’ve seen dramatically different sets of leaderboards. It’s a great week to diversify exposure on a longer card and reach for some longshots in trending form. While a fair mix of bombers (DeChambeau, Davis, Finau) and plodders (Kisner, Spaun, Merritt) have found success here, it’s the longest hitters who possess the greatest scoring upside, as the bomb-and-gouge approach has proven effective with little penalty for wayward drives. Advantageous to those with plus-driving distance, I’ll be looking closely at skilled putters, particularly on Bent-Poa hybrid greens, as well as elite wedge players and birdie-makers in easy scoring conditions.

Now, let’s run through the key facts and info about Detroit Golf Club ahead of the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic.

ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC ODDS: THE FAVORITES

Scroll to the bottom for complete outright odds. Here are the favorites with odds shorter than 25-1 in a week with no significant favorite.

THE FIELD AT A GLANCE

The Rocket Mortgage Classic seems to have found a new home on the schedule. Once a revolving door on the PGA TOUR schedule, it seems to have found its home now sandwiched between the Travelers Championship and John Deere Classic in late June. Understandably, the PGA TOUR has leaned in to these northern/mid-west venues in the heat of the summer, avoiding the heat wave that has been crossing through Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

Last year, this new position on the schedule was attractive enough to lure in star first-timers like Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, and Max Homa. In 2024, none of those stars will return (including Morikawa, who lost in a three-way playoff last year). It’s been a busy summer for the PGA TOUR’s stars, as three consecutive weeks of Signature Events (the Memorial, U.S. Open, The Travelers), so this fledgling event makes for a sensible “bye” week.

To that end, there are no players inside the OWGR top-20 set to tee it up this week, but we will still see a talented field headlined by Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris, Tom Kim, Rickie Fowler, Akshay Bhatia, and Min Woo Lee.

Rocket Mortgage company man Rickie Fowler is back to defend his title. His playoff victory here over Collin Morikawa and Adam Hadwin was one of the signature moments of the 2024 season and catapulted him onto the Ryder Cup team later that year. Tony Finau is a bit of a surprise no-show, but Cam Davis and Nate Lashley will each be back to represent the list of past winners.

INTRODUCTION TO DETROIT GOLF CLUB

The course stands at 7,370 yards, but it plays on the shorter side by TOUR standards. It has produced equitable leaderboards of bombers and plodders.

A narrative to chase long hitters’ upside has grown recently and paid off handsomely. Finau, Cantlay, Pendrith, and Cameron Young were the top four finishers in 2022, and each ranked top-20 in driving distance leading in. Of the top-15 finishers, just two (Tom Kim, JJ Spaun) were outside the top 30 in Driving Distance for the week. In short, you don’t need distance to play well at Detroit Golf Club, but bombers do possess the greatest upside to generate the most birdie opportunities.

This course lacks bells and whistles. The classical design doesn’t feature many water or lateral hazards. And although Detroit Golf Club is tree-lined, wider fairways make this less of a positional test than other parkland courses. With its lack of hazards, non-penal rough, and accessible back-to-front sloping greens, Detroit Golf Club may be the course most prone to the bomb-and-gouge approach on the PGA TOUR.

Given the wide fairways and options off the tee, I would describe Detroit Golf Club as a second-shot course. It’s boiled down to a putting contest each of the first four years. A premium on putting is consistent with Donald Ross courses. We see a similar theme on his other regular PGA TOUR tracks like East Lake and Sedgefield CC. While putting is the most volatile and difficult stat to predict, there is still a skill to putting consistently well. This week, more than most, I’ll put a premium on the best long-term putters.

History has shown us this is not a course where poor putters have suddenly caught fire. So, I’ll take a stance and fade the worst putters in the field. 

For Detroit GC course specs, hole-by-hole breakdown with yardages, and past Rocket Mortgage Classic winners with their pre-tournament odds, visit our Rocket Mortgage Classic odds page.

Editor’s Note

COURSE HISTORY AND COURSE COMPS

Similar to the 3M Open, which also joined the PGA TOUR schedule in 2019, five years of data is still not a massive sample size to draw conclusive course history trends. That’s especially the case at Detroit Golf Club, considering the role the greens play. Of the first four winners. Nate Lashley, Bryson DeChambeau, and Cam Davis posted a combined 0-for-5 in made cuts at the Rocket Mortgage Classic outside of their respective wins. Tony Finau finished T53 in his only prior appearance at this event. Last year’s winner, Rickie Fowler, showed some encouraging Course History signs leading in but missed the cut the year prior to his win.

I won’t fade any players on the basis of poor course history alone this week. It should create a great buy-low opportunity to catch drifted odds on longshots who either have poor past results or are making their tournament debut.

Player History

Just 10 players avoided missing the cut with at least three prior appearances at the Rocket Mortgage Classic: Matt Wallace, Henrik Norlander, Chris Kirk, Patrick Rodgers, Josh Teater, and J.J. Spaun. Spaun is the only player in the field to have made the cut in each of the first five runnings of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

There are 11 players who have recorded multiple top-15 finishes: JJ Spaun, Taylor Moore, Taylor Pendrith, Stephan Jaeger, Chris Kirk, Cam Davis, Troy Merritt, Alex Noren, Kevin Kisner, Rickie Fowler, and Matt Wallace. Of note, Cameron Young and Aaron Rai have finished inside the top 10 in one prior appearance at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The top 10 players in total strokes gained at Detroit Golf Club over its first five contests are: Taylor Pendrith, Taylor Moore, Stephan Jaeger, Troy Merritt, Cam Davis, Cameron Young, Aaron Rai, JJ Spaun, Alex Noren, and Rickie Fowler.

Course Comps

TPC Twin Cities stands out as the clear top comp to Detroit. Both events produced a top two of Bryson DeChambeau and Matthew Wolff in their inaugural year. Both feature similar lengths on the scorecard with ample birdie opportunities and similar Bentgrass agronomy. They’re also advantageous to bombers, and, of course, both were taken down by Tony Finau in successive weeks in 2022.

The absence of lateral hazards and emphasis on putting at Detroit GC is the glaring difference between the two. Bombers can get away with swinging a bit more freely here as long as they avoid being blocked out by the tree lines. Eight players rank top-30 in SG: TOT at both venues: Ben Griffin, Aaron Rai, Tom Kim, Alex Noren, Hayden Buckley, Cam Davis, Roger Sloan, and Callum Tarren.

Sedgefield CC is also very high on the list of comps. It has the Donald Ross connection, emphasis on wedges and putting, and overlapping success from players like Kevin Kisner and Webb Simpson. I’ll also give a close look at performance on other comps like Silverado Resort, TPC Deere Run, TPC River Highlands, TPC Craig Ranch, Hamilton G&CC, and Oakdale Golf & Country Club, given the similar Bent/Poa-blended agronomy and easy scoring conditions in open, “putting contest” set-ups.

From a Donald Ross standpoint, East Lake, Oak Hill, and Pinehurst No.2 may serve as a useful comp if only for the consistent style of greens. Given the disparity in scoring difficulty at these events, however, I won’t be modeling from strokes gained on these courses.

Combine performance across this list and the top 10 players in Comp Course History here are: Cam Davis, Brandon Todd, Aaron Rai, Keith Mitchell, Will Zalatoris, Ben Griffin, Alex Smalley, Tom Kim, Ryo Hisatsune, and Eric Cole.

KEY STATS TO CONSIDER WITH ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC ODDS

  • SG: OTT / Driving Distance
  • SG: APP
  • Good Drives Gained
  • SG: Putting (L36) / SG: P (Bent-Poa) / SG: P (5-10 ft)
  • Birdies or Better Gained / Opportunities Gained
  • Prox 75-150 Yards
  • Par-5 Scoring
  • Par-4 Scoring: <400 Yards
  • SG: TOT (Easy Courses)
  • Course & Comp Course History

Ball striking form has not correlated very well with results at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Prior winners of Nate Lashley, Bryson DeChambeau, Cam Davis, Tony Finau, and Rickie Fowler should tell us that truly anything can happen at this event. But if there’s one trend emerging from the first five years of this event, it’s an advantage for the pure bombers who wedge their way into these accessible greens. Among the players who are above average to the field in SG: TOT leading into this week, the top 10 in Driving Distance are: Min Woo Lee, Keith Mitchell, Gary Woodland, Alejandro Tosti, Joseph Bramlett, Chris Gotterup, Taylor Pendrith, Kevin Yu, Ryan Fox, and Sam Stevens.

While ample randomness exists this week, SG: APP remains a logical place to start in any birdie fest. With a unique layout producing 40% of approaches inside 150 yards, I’m looking to hone in on the top iron players with an emphasis on shorter distance. The top 10 in SG: APP who also rank above-average in Prox: 75-150 include: Keith Mitchell, Aaron Rai, Kevin Yu, Doug Ghim, Alex Noren, Patton Kizzire, Greyson Sigg, Ryan Moore, Akshay Bhatia, and Chandler Phillips.

Putting And Good Drives

SG: OTT has not proven to be very predictive of success in this event, given how accessible these greens still are from the rough. At an event where Kevin Kisner, JJ Spaun, and Troy Merritt have enjoyed similar success as Taylor Pendrith, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau, Good Drives Gained has acted as a useful combo stat to measure those who position themselves well to reach greens in regulation regardless of distance. The top 10 in Good Drives Gained this week are: Tom Kim, Daniel Berger, Zac Blair, Ben Kohles, Carson Young, Zach Johnson, Chez Reavie, CT Pan, Adam Svensson, and Aaron Rai.

As a pure example of a PGA TOUR putting contest, I’ll hone in on the most well-rounded putters in this week’s field. At Detroit Golf Club, total (L36 rounds), Bent-Poa blend, and Donald Ross putting have proven fairly predictive, leading in. Additionally, with greens reached in regulation well above the TOUR average, conversion in the 5- to 10-foot range has proven a significant indicator. Weighting these characteristics together, the top 10 includes Taylor Montgomery, Taylor Pendrith, Aaron Baddeley, SH Kim, Beau Hossler, Matt Kuchar, Ben Griffin, Chad Ramey, Ben Silverman, and Justin Suh.

As a basis for success this week, I’m looking for players above average in all key putting categories, as well as Prox: <150 and Birdies or Better Gained. 10 players in the field fit those criteria: Matt Wallace, Ben Griffin, Jacob Bridgeman, Troy Merritt, Thorbjorn Olesen, Davis Riley, Dylan Wu, Stewart Cink, Chandler Phillips, and Sami Valimaki.

Looking more broadly at key all-encompassing stats of Comp Course History, SG: APP, Driving Distance, Par-5 Scoring, and Par-4: 350-400 just nine players rate above average in each: Matt Wallace, Nate Lashley, Thorbjorn Olesen, Jhonattan Vegas, Keith Mitchell, Greyson Sigg, Stewart Cink, Andrew Novak, and Chandler Phillips.

Correlations

Looking at the correlation charts this week, we have limited data from the four years of this event. But what we have has started to tell a more cohesive story. Par-3 Scoring and SG: OTT sees a notable decline in importance compared to the TOUR average, each falling outside the top 15.  At Detroit Golf Club, the correlation charts continue to tell the same story as the names on the leaderboards. SG: P, particularly on putts from 5–10 feet, continues to be the greatest indicator of success.

Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT
Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT at Detroit GC

Only 10 players in the field rank above average in each of the above 10 key stat categories: Matt Wallace, Alex Noren, Maverick McNealy, Ben Griffin, Mark Hubbard, Thorbjorn Olesen, Chandler Phillips, Stewart Cink, Nick Dunlap, and Jacob Bridgeman.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: maverick McNealy

A bomber whose putting is the strength of his game and who flexes the ability to catch fire with shorter wedge shit approaches in easier conditions, Maverick McNealy is the exact archetype of player I’m looking for to attack Detroit GC.

Seemingly fully recovered from an injury that derailed his 2023 season, McNealy has quietly put together one of the more consistent seasons on the PGA TOUR this year. Excluding the Zurich Classic team event, McNealy has successfully made it through the cut in each of his last 12 starts. He’s posted four top-15 finishes over that span and carries a streak of three consecutive top-25s into this week.

McNealy has sticky course history as these types of Driver-Wedge putting contests. He has finishes of T8-T21-MC over his first three appearances at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and of his 12 career top-10 finishes, four have come on comp courses where he can separate with his driving distance and putting (Fortinet Championship, John Deere Classic, RBC Canadian Open).

Ranking top-10 in Driving Distance, Recent Form, Comp Course History, Birdies or Better Gained, and Total Weighted Putting, McNealy ranks No. 4 in my model this week and is a picture-perfect fit for Detroit Golf Club.

2024 ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC ODDS: DFS PLAYER POOL

With all the course-fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early toward the below player pool. Naturally, I’m looking their way in the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic odds as well. I’ve broken the list down by projected pricing/odds tier for DraftKings.  

UNDERDOG GOLF DRAFT RANKINGS TIERS

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Tier 1

Cameron Young
Will Zalatoris
Tom Kim

Tier 2

Taylor Pendrith
Keith Mitchell
Alex Noren
Maverick McNealy

Tier 3

Ben Griffin
Aaron Rai
Mark Hubbard
Matt Wallace
Ryan Fox

Tier 4

Thorbjorn Olesen
Greyson Sigg
SH Kim
Daniel Berger

Tier 5

Jacob Bridgeman
Chandler Phillips
Ben Kohles

ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC Odds: MODEL RESULTS & BREAKDOWN

2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic Model Breakdown

In my model, I’m emphasizing SG: APP, SG: OTT, Comp Course History, SG: TOT (Easy Scoring Conditions), Prox: 75-150, and SG: P (TOT + Bent-Poa), followed by a more balanced mix of Par-5 Scoring, Birdies or Better Gained, Good Drives Gained, P4: 350-400 and P4: 450-500. 

Model Favorites

In a week that lacks the star power of any OWGR top-20 contenders, it’s no surprise to see a new face atop the model: Ben Griffin. Griffin has had a very consistent 2024 season, trending closer each week to his first career PGA TOUR win. He won’t be the betting favorite this week, but with four top-15 finishes over his last eight starts – including a runner-up at the RBC Canadian Open – he’s a sensible fit to contend once again in Detroit.

After Griffin, the rest of my model’s top 10 is rounded out by: Keith Mitchell, Aaron Rai, Maverick McNealy, Tom Kim, Matt Wallace, Alex Noren, Ryo Hisatsune, Doug Ghim, and Jacob Bridgeman.

When the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic odds release, I’ll look to target Maverick McNealy, Keith Mitchell, Ryan Fox, and Matt Wallace as my first looks, depending on where the odds ultimately fall. Brace yourselves for a very ugly, value-deprived betting board without any proven favorites to drive up the rest of the field’s odds.

Check back in later this week for more updates, and best of luck navigating the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic odds!

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