Weekly PGA Preview: Rocket Mortgage Classic

Weekly PGA Preview: Rocket Mortgage Classic

This article is part of our Weekly PGA Preview series.

Rocket Mortgage Classic

Detroit Golf Club
Detroit, MI

The PGA Tour heads to Detroit, MI for another edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Before we get to that, let's talk about, hmm, I don't know, Scottie Scheffler? I've already gone down the road of stating that there's just not much left to say about Scheffler and that's true because what can you say about a guy who just wins almost every time he tees it up? It's too early for the Tiger comparisons because Woods dominated the game for well over a decade, but outside of Woods, in the past 20 years, he has no peer. There, that's about all I can say regarding his status in the game of golf. 

Now, a possibly more interesting question, especially for those that play fantasy golf -- how do you handle Scheffler next year? An auction kind of levels the field in that he'll likely go for the max, leaving that team with no one else of status, but then again, Scheffler alone is probably better than any team, even one of stars. So if there's hard to find balance in an auction league, do other formats make sense? As far as drafts, forget about it. The first pick in a snake draft would have too much of an advantage, game over. If you're running a traditional draft, you have to make some kind of adjustment for Scheffler. As for salary cap leagues, that's a problem as well. How high do you set the cap? Do you set it at Scheffler's earnings number for this year? I've run a salary cap league for over 20 years and each year we bump the cap a little, but next year, the cap is going to be below Scheffler's earnings. In my league, that means he's a free agent, which everyone can pick up after one month, but the problem there is that everyone will pick him up, leaving him irrelevant, so I think the solution is, and this is for all leagues, just leave him out. I know it's not fun, but let's talk to 95% of the teams in drafts and salary cap leagues that don't have Scheffler right now and ask them if fantasy golf is fun this year.                                            

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 1:30 PM ET Tuesday.                   


Rickie Fowler shot a final round 68 on his way to a playoff victory over Collin Morikawa and Adam Hadwin.


Tom Kim (12-1) 

Finally, some real golf odds for the favorite this week. Scheffler has ruined the idea of value betting on winners in golf, but as long as he's not in the field, we can have some fun again. Kim has been on a roll lately, and he's always had a strong following, so it makes sense that he's among the favorites this week. Kim missed the cut this past year at this event, but he finished solo-7th the year prior. He's got what it takes to win this week, but how will he fare as the favorite. I'd pass on him at this number, but if it goes higher, I'd take another look.                                                               

Cameron Young (14-1)

Young and Kim are somewhat birds of a feather this week as they both broke out of slumps recently and now the odds makers and the betting public are back on their side. Young looked lost as recently as this past Friday, but a 59 on Saturday changed everything. At least, I think it did. Young has always had loads of talent and although he's come close several times, he's still yet to break through on the PGA Tour. If he's truly found his form, there could be some value here at this number.                         

Min Woo Lee (18-1)

It's interesting that Lee starts the week as the third favorite as there are a few options down the line that look like better candidates to win this week, but Lee is very popular and this field looks vulnerable, so I'm sure he's going to get plenty of action. The problem for Lee this week is that most of the favorites have experience on this course and Lee does not. I don't think being a first-timer means he plays poorly, but I doubt he wins.           


Akshay Bhatia (20-1)

Bhatia is the guy I would have placed as the third-favorite this week, heck I might have put him in front of Young as well, after all, Bhatia has won this season already and Young has not. Bhatia enters in good form as well, having posted a top-10 at the Travelers Championship this past week and remember, that was against a strong field. Bhatia has only played this event once, and it didn't end well, but he's a much different golfer now than he was even 12 months ago.

Taylor Pendrith (25-1)

Pendrith had his breakthrough win at the Byron Nelson a couple months ago and although he picked up his first win that week, he hasn't slowed down that much since. It's easy for guys to coast a bit after getting that first win as it means that they're exempt for two years and nothing they do the rest of the season is going to change that, but Pendrith has not rested on his big win. He's post top-25s in three of his past four starts, against strong fields. This is a field Pendrith could get on top of if everything goes right.

Will Zalatoris (35-1)       

If everyone is at their best, Zalatoris might be the best player in this field. Now, that's not how sports work, you can't always be at your best, which has definitely been the case for Zalatoris this season, but we saw this past week that Zalatoris might not be as far off as we thought. Zalatoris doesn't have a great track record here, but he has to see this as an opportunity to get a strong result against a field that isn't all that top-heavy.  


Rickie Fowler (50-1)       

At this time this past year, we were all rejoicing at the comeback of Fowler, but Fowler hasn't carried the momentum of this past season through to this year. With that said, he's still got the talent, he just hasn't found a way to stay consistent. That however doesn't matter when you're looking at just one week. Just like he did 12 months ago, Fowler could easily put everything together for one week and make his sponsors very happy again.  

Chris Kirk (60-1)

Kirk has been consistently good here, but not great. He's played this event four times and finished inside the top-25 in all four starts, yet he's never cracked the top-10. He'll obviously need to improve his play here if he's to win, but you can't win unless you're in the mix on the weekend, and that's one thing that Kirk has been almost every time that he's played here.                            


Highly-Chosen Pick: Tom Kim - Kim got off to a slow start this season, so he's likely available on most OAD teams and this looks like a good spot. There are two reasons to pass on Kim this week, if you think he's got more value and want to use him somewhere down the line or if you think he'll be too popular, but if neither of those apply to you, then Kim looks like a good play.       

Moderately-Chosen Pick: Akshay Bhatia - I thought about putting Young here, but I think he'll be pretty popular this week, so I went with Bhatia, who should be somewhat under the radar still. Bhatia isn't quite at the level where you'd save him for a signature event, so this looks like a good spot.                         

Lightly-Chosen Pick: Taylor Pendrith - In addition to everything I mentioned about Pendrith prior, he also has a nice track record here. Pendrith has played here twice, one finishing T14 and the other time a runner-up, in 2022. This is a track he knows well, and he's got more confidence than ever.                                          

Buyer Beware: Min Woo Lee - I guess I hinted at this already, but I'm not sure Lee should be seeing this much love from the odds makers. Don't get me wrong, he's got a ton of talent, but so do the other favorites and while this field isn't as strong as this past week, there are some solid players, so whoever wins will have earned it.                     

This Week: Taylor Pendrith - I used Tom Kim in Hawaii and while I like Cameron Young this week, I think he'll be a bit too popular for my current position, so I'm going with Pendrith, who should be a little under the radar heading into this week.                                                                 

Previous Results

TournamentGolferResultEarningsRunning Total
Travelers ChampionshipKeegan BradleyT39$85,000$11,437,575
U.S. OpenXander SchauffeleT7$639,288$11,342,575
the Memorial Tournament presented by WorkdayPatrick CantlayMC$0$10,703,287
RBC Canadian OpenAdam HadwinMC$0$10,703,287
Charles Schwab ChallengeJustin RoseT32$51,961$10,703,287
PGA ChampionshipCameron SmithT63$25,202$10,651,326
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRory McIlroy1$3,600,000$10,626,124
THE CJ Cup Byron NelsonStephan JaegerT20$112,100$7,026,124
Zurich Classic of New OrleansNick Taylor10$122,375$6,914,024
RBC HeritageLudvig AbergT10$521,000$6,791,649
The MastersBrooks KoepkaT45$57,200$6,270,649
Valero Texas OpenCorey ConnersT25$67,735$6,213,449
Texas Children's Houston OpenJason DayMC$0$6,145,714
Valspar ChampionshipSam BurnsMC$0$6,145,714
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipScottie Scheffler1$4,500,000$6,145,714
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MastercardWill ZalatorisT4$920,000$1,645,714
Cognizant Classic in The Palm BeachesEric ColeMC$0$725,714
Mexico Open at VidantaBrandon WuT13$145,125$725,714
The Genesis InvitationalMax HomaT16$329,000$580,589
WM Phoenix OpenWyndham ClarkT41$30,404$251,589
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmJordan SpiethT39$70,125$221,185
Farmers Insurance OpenHarris EnglishT64$19,080$151,060
The American ExpressSungjae ImT25$63,980$131,980
Sony Open in HawaiiSahith TheegalaMC$0$68,000
The SentryTom KimT45$68,000$68,000


Upper Range:  Akshay Bhatia ($11,400) 
Middle Range: Rickie Fowler ($10,200) 
Lower Range:  Justin Lower ($8,600)


This Week: Rickie Fowler - My first choice this week was Chris Kirk, but I used him Hawaii already, so my second choice is Fowler, who isn't exactly the most reliable guy out there, here, as the defending champ, I think he'll definitely make the weekend and most likely be in the mix come Sunday.

Previous Results      

U.S. OpenScottie Scheffler1
the Memorial Tournament presented by WorkdayPatrick Cantlay0
RBC Canadian OpenAdam Hadwin0
Charles Schwab ChallengeBrian Harman7
PGA ChampionshipRory McIlroy6
THE CJ Cup Byron NelsonAlex Noren5
Zurich Classic of New OrleansNick Taylor4
The MastersJon Rahm3
Valero Texas OpenCorey Conners2
Texas Children's Houston OpenMackenzie Hughes1
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns0
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas0
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MastercardCameron Young9
Cognizant Classic in The Palm BeachesShane Lowry8
Mexico Open at VidantaPatrick Rodgers7
The Genesis InvitationalSahith Theegala6
WM Phoenix OpenHideki Matsuyama5
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmJordan Spieth4
Farmers Insurance OpenTony Finau3
The American ExpressSungjae Im2
Sony Open in HawaiiChris Kirk1

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Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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