This week marks the fourth time that Detroit Golf Club has hosted the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Scoring on this par-72 layout has typically been super low, and I don’t expect that to change this week even with forecasted high winds for the early rounds.
Detroit Golf Club allows players to bomb it off the tee, but contenders separate themselves with wedges and putting. The field will see an abundance of shots inside 125 yards (32% compared to 22% on a normal week) and thus a lot of makeable birdie putts. Putting accounts for 44% of strokes gained historically among top finishers, which is the highest number in that category of any course on tour. So what does that mean? A lot of unfamiliar names on the leaderboard. It will be a putting contest, and putting is the least predictable statistic.
Here are a few players who can stick some approaches, make some putts, and add something to your fantasy lineups:
Max Homa $9,900
Homa is one of only three players who ranks top 15 in putting and top 20 in approach inside 125 yards. He ranks ninth and fourth in those categories, respectively. You may think $9,900 is a high price for him, but that actually makes him a great play for large-field tournaments because most people will play other high-priced players like Tony Finau, Will Zalatoris, and Cameron Davis. The only cut Homa has missed in his past 13 events was at St. Andrews. He has provided consistent solid results all year, and in this weak field I expect him to have a shot at his third win of the season.
Scott Stallings $7,700
Stallings is one of the other two players who is top 15 in putting and top 20 in approach inside 125 yards. He ranks 14th in both metrics. So it should come as no surprise that he has had great success lately, finishing eighth or better in three of his past five starts. All three of those events were birdie-fests, and the two others were the Memorial and the U.S. Open. Stallings has made the cut in all three of his appearances at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Last year, he finished 25th in spite of somehow losing four strokes chipping, which is hard to do when you’re not missing many greens. Look for Stallings to make noise this weekend with birdies in bunches.
Chesson Hadley $6,900
If you were trying to guess the third player to fit the criterion I mentioned twice above, I doubt you would have chosen Hadley. But he ranks fifth in putting and 18th in approach inside 125 yards. His game is in an upward trend, as he has made his past six cuts highlighted and placed in the top 10 three times, including last week at the 3M Open.