For the second-to-last tournament before the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the PGA Tour makes its way to Detroit Golf Club (par 72, 7,370 yards, bentgrass/poa greens) for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Ever since this event originated in 2019, Detroit Golf Club — designed by Donald Ross — has been only course to host a Rocket Mortgage Classic. Below are some of the top PGA DFS optimizer picks using Stokastic’s Top Golfers Tool.
PGA DFS Optimal Picks for the Rocket Mortgage Classic
With an average winning score of -22, Detroit Golf Club is one of the least challenging tracks used at the PGA level. Like most courses that yield low numbers, irons and putter are the most important at this scoreable venue. Two of the three golfers to take home the big check at Detroit Golf Club have finished the event inside the top 10 in strokes gained on approach, and all three winners here ranked inside the top 25 in strokes gained putting during their victories. On top of the usual heavy weight on par-4 efficiency, it is also important to find players who thrive on par 5’s. The four par 5’s at the Detroit Golf Club rank as the four easiest holes on the scorecard — two of which yielded a birdie percentage over 40% — and all three winners finished inside the top five in strokes gained on the par 5’s. Finally, with the FedEx Cup Playoffs only two weeks away, perusing players who are floating the top 125 line in the FedEx Cup point standings is a sharp move, as only the top 125 in points will advance to the postseason.
***Leverage scores are a product of comparing a player’s ownership versus their salary-weighted odds to finish in the top six of the tournament.***
Stokastic PGA Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 3rd, FanDuel: 3rd
Coming off back-to-back missed cuts, Bradley is projected for single-digit ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel in Stokastic’s Top Golfers Tool, making him one of the best high-end pivots. Missing the weekend is never encouraging, but in Bradley’s defense, these two duds came at the Scottish Open and British Open, both of which came on links courses. Bradley has struggled mightily as a links player recently, with this last missed cut at the British Open being his third straight at that major. Plus, before this small rough patch, Bradley was thriving back in the states, advancing to the weekend at six consecutive PGA Tour events and recording four top-20 finishes. As always, his ball striking has been stellar this season, ranking 14th and 18th in strokes gained tee to green and on approach, respectively. Furthermore, Bradley’s putting has jumped from 186th in strokes gained last season to 78th this year. Bradley finished 14th at last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic and he has a 13.2% chance of finishing inside the top six this weekend, according to Stokastic’s Top Golfers Tool. That ranks sixth among this week’s field.
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Stokastic PGA Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 24th, FanDuel: 36th
Like Bradley, Hughes comes into this week after missing his last two cuts, which came at the Scottish Open and British Open. However, given his lack of experience on links courses, these poor results shouldn’t come as a surprise. Now, returning to Detroit Golf Club this week is exactly what the doctor ordered to get Hughes back on track. Since joining the PGA Tour, Hughes has flourished on Ross creations, never missing a cut in six attempts and finishing top 25 four times. Plus, two of those came at Detroit Golf Club. Hughes has racked up 10 top-30 finishes this season, and with most DFS players fading him due to recency bias, this an elite time to buy low.
Stokastic PGA Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 15th, FanDuel: 46th
There is so much to love about Lebioda this week. First off, he is fresh off arguably his best showing of the season, gaining strokes in every major category during his 16th-place finish at the 3M Open, most notably with a season-best 7.4 strokes from tee to green. Lebioda has now advanced to the weekend in seven of his last nine starts and brings this promising form to Detroit Golf Club, where he finished fourth last season. On top of his obvious upside at this venue, Lebioda should be extremely motivated to contend in Detroit again this week since he is on the outside looking in for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, ranking 150th. Lastly, Stokastic’s Top Golfers Tool projects Lebioda for essentially no ownership on either DraftKings or FanDuel, solidifying him as one of the best sleeper picks of the week.
Stokastic PGA Optimizer Leverage Scores Ranks: DraftKings: 38th, FanDuel: 38th
Thanks to his win at the Barbasol Championship, Mullinax earned himself a spot at the British Open the following week. Despite having little time to prepare for his debut at the major, Mullinax impressed with a 21st-place finish and a weekend score of -9. Not only was this one shot better than eventual champion Cameron Smith, but Mullinax’s weekend score tied for the third best among all the players who made the cut. Behind these last two starts, he has moved himself up a whopping 202 spots in the world golf rankings, and Mullinax will now look to continue this impressive run at Detroit Golf Club.
Due to its wide fairways, bombers have exceled at Detroit; the last two Rocket Mortgage champions finished inside the top eight in distance during their wins. This season, Mullinax ranks ninth on the PGA Tour in driving distance. He did miss the weekend in his only start at Detroit Golf Club back in 2019, but this was during a very tough time for Mullinax. Three weeks prior to his debut in Detroit, he was struck in the head with a golf ball at the Charles Schwab Challenge, which led to a severe concussion and caused him to miss his next six cuts on the PGA Tour. Two years removed from that injury and playing the best golf of his career, Mullinax should produce a quality finish in Detroit this week and is a tremendous, inexpensive target for GPPs. For both DraftKings and FanDuel, he is projected for sub-5% ownership in Stokastic’s Top Golfers Tool.
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