PGA Betting Value Advice for the Rocket Mortgage Classic
Donald Ross likely never envisioned golfers bombing it over 300 yards through the air when he designed the Detroit Golf Club in 1899.
The result of modern technology and an emphasis on players gaining distance has culminated in the Rocket Mortgage Classic playing as one of the easier events on the PGA Tour.
Nate Lashley won the event in 2019 at 25-under par before Bryson DeChambeau bombed his way around to winning with a score of -23 in 2020. Last year, Cam Davis finished at -18 before winning a three-man playoff to secure the victory. Given the past scores, it’s likely another birdie fest breaks out this week.
The course measures 7,334 yards and features four reachable par 5s and four par 4s playing under 400 yards, meaning there will be plenty of wedges into the green to set up birdie opportunities.
Last year eight of the 12 leaders in shots gained off the tee finished in the Top 25, highlighting the benefit of driving it well here. The rough isn’t long and the fairways are wide, so for my golf betting, I will be looking to back the bomber narrative once again this week.
Best Bet, Longshot
Cameron Champ +7500 DraftKings
Cameron Champ remains one of the most volatile golfers on the Tour. When he’s on, he's a contender, but then there are tournaments where his game is simply nonexistent. But I think he's worth backing at this number on DraftKings Sportsbook.
This season has summarized his career. He’s missed the cut in 10 of the 17 tournaments he has started but also has sixth, 10th and a 16th-place finish in seven of the events he saw the weekend.
It doesn’t even take waiting for the results to see how volatile Champ is; his range of talent can be seen on a single hole.
He could bomb it down the fairway 350 yards, leaving himself 80 yards or less to the green, mishit hit a wedge and three-putt from 20 feet out for bogey and it wouldn’t even surprise you that much. That’s just the Cameron Champ experience.
However, there are reasons to like Champ this week. He leads the Tour in driving distance (319.7 yards) and is 10th in shots gained off the tee.
In 17 tournaments, he’s gained strokes off the tee in 15 of them. And when he plays well, it typically comes in spurts. Champ finished 10th at the Masters and followed that up with a sixth at the Mexico Open where he was in contention all weekend – even leading during the third round.
This week, he is coming off a 16th-place finish at the 3M Open that was peak Cameron Champ. During the first round, Champ headed to the 18th hole at an abysmal 6-over par.
Somehow, he converted from 56 feet for an eagle to move to +4, still well outside the projected cut line at an easier course.
In the second round, he had a stretch where he made four birdies in five holes before making a 20-foot putt on 18 to make the cut right on the number. He followed that with two 67s on Saturday and Sunday, making six birdies in each round to rally for a 16th-place finish.
Champ’s recent history at this event is also symbolic of his career. He finished 12th in 2020, shooting 14-under par. Then he missed the cut in 2020 at +4.
With Champ, you’re just hoping to catch him on one of his upswings.
Given the course setup and his recent form, there are enough signs pointing to him contending this weekend. But it’s also Cameron Champ, so who knows?
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