Slate Breakdown | The Rocket Mortgage Classic
Get ready for the Rocket Mortgage Classic! The PGA TOUR is returning to Detroit for the fifth consecutive year. This tournament is aptly named - the Detroit Golf Club features one of the longest driving distances on any tour. Historically, the course has favored golfers with exceptional driving distance. In fact, three of the last four winners ranked within the top 15 in driving distance during their victorious years. This article will provide further insights into the golf course and competitors participating this week. Let's delve deeper.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic notably served as the debut platform for a transformed Bryson DeChambeau five years ago. He overpowered both the competition and the course. Adopting a strategy of maximizing driving distance, or "launching rockets," as he called it, this tournament has continued to thrive even during challenging slots in the PGA Tour schedule. Rocket Mortgage has committed to sponsoring the event for at least the next few years, ensuring its place on the PGA TOUR calendar.
We are currently 19 tournaments into the inaugural Reignmakers PGA TOUR season. Despite the moderate success, over 4 million dollars in prizes are still up for grabs! This week's tournament is a "Premium" event, with a total prize pool of $275,000. The first-place prizes for each category, ranging from CORE to REIGNMAKER, are set at $1,000, $2,000, $10,000, $5,000, and $10,000 respectively.
Now that we've given an overview of the tournament, let's delve into the specifics of this week's host venue, the Detroit Golf Club.
This tournament showcases a course designed by Donald Ross! As a Northeasterner raised primarily on Ross courses, I'm thrilled to see a departure from the more familiar Pete Dye designs. Ross's unique style, compared to legendary architects like Dye, is straightforward—no gimmicks or hidden surprises. What you see on his course is precisely what you get. The green complexes are also straightforward, but golfers will aim to avoid being above the hole on these greens, which slope from back to front. Interestingly, players hit these greens on average 72% of the time, a notably high figure considering fairways are hit off the tee only around 62% of the time.
Unlike last week's Travelers tournament, where just about any type of golfer could find success, the Rocket Mortgage Classic demands a different skill set. Over the four years of this tournament, three have been won by golfers who typically rely on driving distance for a competitive edge. However, of the high-profile players expected to compete this week, only defending champion Tony Finau ranks among the top 20 in driving distance this year. Other stars such as Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, and Tom Kim will need to leverage other aspects of their game to perform well and potentially break the established trend.
Several other notable golfers, including Sungjae Im, Keegan Bradley, Hideki Matsuyama, Tom Hoge, and Sepp Straka, are also slated to participate this week.
You can explore these golfers' profiles and more on the newly introduced Player Profile page.
Three-Ball: 3 DraftKings Reignmakers PGA TOUR Targets
Find below a trio of options for this week's tournament:
After a quiet period over the last month, the gifted Australian golfer seems ready to make his mark once again. About a month and a half ago, he achieved his best career finish at a major championship at the PGA Championship. Subsequent to that, he experienced three straight missed cuts before rebounding last week at the Travelers, where he scored an impressive seven-under 63 in the final round. This performance allowed him to move from the bottom of the board into a respectable tie for 33rd place. Now, he's heading to a course where he's already been victorious, carrying momentum from his recent Sunday round. Expect to see him consistently in top Reignmaker lineups this week.
The "Belgian Bomber" has had a roller-coaster of a first season on the PGA TOUR. He's made many cuts but only secured one top 10 position since March, at least on the PGA TOUR. The weakest aspect of his game is undoubtedly his approach/iron play. However, given his strong driving off the tee, he should be able to fully deploy this skill this week, which might mitigate his weaker iron play. As a result, this could be his best chance for a top-10 finish since his home event in the Dominican Republic.
As we navigate the inaugural season of the Reignmakers PGA TOUR game, some patterns have emerged. Those who consistently make it onto the first two pages of the leaderboard are the ones to watch. Wu is not known for his consistency, having missed over a third of his cuts this season. However, when he does make the weekend—which has been six times over the last four months, dating back to the Honda Classic—he's only failed to make the top 25 once. This makes him a "boom or bust" candidate. Anticipating when he will or won't make the cut can be a bit tricky, so the best approach might be to brace for the ride and keep him as a steady supplement in your portfolio.