The PGA Tour returns to Detroit after a decade away. So who does betting tipster Steve Carroll think will reign supreme in Michigan?
The venue: Detroit Golf Club, Michigan, USA
Date: June 27-30, 2019
Course stats: Par 72, 7,309 yards
Course summary: The North Course, with a hole borrowed from the South, has seen the 4th lengthened by 75 yards to make it a 625-yard par 5, with the 18th weighing in as a tough 460-yard finisher. The stretch between the 14th and 16th (a 543-yard par 5, 160-yard par 3 and 450-yard par 4) is known as Area 313.
Purse: $7.3 million
Thursday: Featured groups – Sky Sports Golf, 1pm and 6pm; Sky Sports Golf, 8pm.
Friday: Featured groups – Sky Sports Golf, 1pm and 6pm; Sky Sports Golf, 8pm.
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf, 6pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 9.30pm.
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf, 6pm; Sky Sports Main Event, 10pm.
Rocket Mortgage Classic betting tips: Steve’s players to follow
Hideki Matsuyama is a short price at 14/1 but justifiably so. Having come through his semi-slump, the former World No. 2 has put together some very decent form in recent months – without getting over the line.
With 11 top 25s and four top 10s in 16 starts, including a podium finish at the Farmers Insurance Open, he looks like he could be in position to win again very soon.
Sixth at Memorial was followed by a solid display at the US Open and, having displayed some impressive tee to green stats this season, you would think this tight, strategic parkland would suit his game.
He could be putting better, for sure, but ranked 4th in strokes gained approaching the green, 17th around the green and 5th tee to green, he’s one hot week with the flatstick away from getting back into the winner’s enclosure.
Yes, DJ, Rickie Fowler and Pebble Beach winner Gary Woodland are attracting plenty of attention at the top of the market, but this wouldn’t be the strongest of fields for a PGA Tour event and Matsuyama could capitalise.
Sungjae Im (45/1) is another player for whom Detroit could prove a good fit. A decent final round at the Travelers vaulted him into a spot just outside the top 20 and that was his 11th top 25 of the campaign.
Six top 10s have shown a player extremely comfortable in his first year on tour and, although he’s hardly lightly raced having competed 27 times this campaign, seventh at the Canadian Open appears to reveal there’s still plenty in the tank.
Very solid on the stats, particularly from tee to green and off the tee, he’s been a pretty decent scrambler too and those skills may well be needed on this tight tree-lined layout.
What gives me particular heart is Im’s resurgence following a spell where he missed four cuts in five events. He has appeared a little streaky – when he’s played well he’s strung results together – and we might be in the middle of another such spell right now.
Zack Sucher is free-wheeling through the rest of the season after his final round heroics at the Travelers. His back nine 30, which would vault him into a tie for second place, has changed his life. Having spent months with no income and using credit cards to live, he won more than $600,000 for his week’s work and gained conditional status for the rest of the season.
Can you imagine the pressure he was under internally in that back 9, knowing every shot was potentially freeing him from financial worry? How do you even swing a club with that on your mind?
So his performance, in my mind, was all the more impressive. This is a small punt, a couple of throwaway pounds, but Sucher has got nothing to lose, all the worries are gone, he has a real chance of securing a PGA Tour card, and 125/1 in those circumstances feels just a little too big.
This guy has got some game. He put together a solid week at the Byron Nelson (T35) and enjoyed two top 5s in his last four performances on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.com).
Rory Sabbatini is enjoying something of an Indian summer and, at 55/1, he’s got a chance of continuing the form that has brought three top 10s in his last six starts.
With 17 cuts made in 20 events, four top 10s overall, and strong stats off the tee and in the fairway, he can feature here as well.
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