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2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic odds, preview, and course notes

Profile Picture: Ashley Anderson

June 30th, 2021

Most of the top golfers have shifted their focus to next month’s Open Championship at Royal St George's, but Bryson DeChambeau couldn’t pass up the chance to defend his title at this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The +750 favorite to win the third annual event at Detroit Golf Club will headline a field of 156 players, which features just two of the top 10 in the World Golf Ranking.

In addition to DeChambeau, the No. 6 player in the world, ninth-ranked Patrick Reed (+1100) will compete in the tournament, along with this year’s Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama (+1800), Joaquin Niemann (+2000), Jason Day (+2200), and Will Zalatoris (+2500).

Rocket Mortgage Classic 2021

Sun, July 4 2021, 8:00 PM

DeChambeau, Bryson

+750

Reed, Patrick

+1100

Matsuyama, Hideki

+1800

Simpson, Webb

+1800

Niemann, Joaquin

+2000

Day, Jason

+2200

Zalatoris, Will

+2500

Kokrak, Jason

+2800

Wolff, Matthew

+2800

Im, Sungjae

+3300

In 2019, the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic saw Nate Lashley (+15000) finish 25-under par to defeat runner-up Doc Redman (+5000) by six strokes. The following year, DeChambeau powered his way to a score of 23-under, which beat second-place finisher Matthew Wolff (+2800) by three strokes.

We can expect plenty of low scores once again at this fairly easy Donald Ross design that has surrendered the second most birdies on the PGA Tour the past two seasons.

Rocket Mortgage Classic course layout and relevant statistics

The Par-72, 7,370-yard Detroit Golf Club is the flattest course on the PGA Tour and features wide fairways, which benefit bombers like DeChambeau, and a mix of bentgrass and Poa annua greens that average 5,100 square feet.

Thursday and Friday's forecast calls for rain and double-digit wind speeds, but Saturday and Sunday should bring more favorable weather.

The greatest threat to golfers is a water hazard that comes into play on just one hole, plus 87 bunkers dispersed throughout the course.

The four par 5s, which range from 552 yards to 635, offer the best scoring opportunities. Players also need to find birdies on the 10 par 4s (between 372 and 489 yards), as the winner of the past two tournaments ranked first in par 4 scoring for the week. 

DeChambeau and Lashley also shared a few more similarities the week of their wins in Detroit. Both ranked in the top two in strokes gained putting, and were top four in strokes gained tee to green, top five in par-5 scoring, and top 13 in greens in regulation.

Best bets at the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic

One area where DeChambeau and Lashley differed was driving statistics. Lashley only ranked 53rd in driving distance during his 2019 victory, but DeChambeau topped the field in that category, with 38 drives of 330 yards or more.

With his current form, the 27-year-old U.S. Open champion should find similar success this weekend.

Niemann (+2000) is another power hitter to look out for at the event. The 22-year-old Chilean ranks ninth in driving distance, 12th in strokes gained off the tee, 17th in birdie or better percentage, and 18th in par 5 scoring. 

He most recently placed 36th at the Travelers and 31st at the U.S. Open, but against lighter competition this weekend, the up-and-comer should shine. 

This season, Niemann has posted a pair of runner-up finishes, in addition to two more top 10s and three top 20s. He came in fifth in the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic but skipped last year's rendition during the pandemic.

For a longshot play, Sepp Straka (+7500) is intriguing. The 28-year-old Austrian bounced back from a string of three missed cuts to place 10th at the Travelers last weekend, where he ranked in the top 30 in strokes gained putting on comparable Poa putting surfaces.

He also ranks in the top 50 in driving distance and par 5 scoring, and ranks 53rd on tour in birdie or better percentage.

In two appearances at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Straka has finished no worse than 11th.

How to watch the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic

The winner of the Rocket Mortgage Classic will receive $1.35 million of the $7.5 million purse, plus 500 FedEx Cup points.

You can catch the action Thursday and Friday, from 3-6 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m. ET, on the Golf Channel. CBS will provide live coverage from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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