Rocket Mortgage Classic - Winner

Probably the most dramatic season in golf begins winding down this week with the final full-field event ahead of the Playoffs and Fedex finale over the next month. Detroit is the destination this week for the 4th year on the spin for the Rocket Mortgage as we head to the Donald Ross-designed golf club in Michigan. This is a relatively short par 72 where birdies and plenty of them are needed to contend over the weekend. Two of the last three cut lines here have come at five under par so that is a sign of just what is needed to make the weekend never mind anyone with loftier ambitions.

The course is usually receptive and represents the easiest task of the four events yet to take place. The greens here represent the only minor challenge and finding the right parts of them with your approach play provide better opportunities. That being said, not one department stands out here looking back over the last three years and any single outstanding performance in either putting or approach play could hold the key.

Cameron Young at 20/1 (Eight Places)

Cameron Young produced the performance of his life last time out at the Open and must consider himself slightly unlucky to be undone by the heroics of Cameron Smith down the back nine at St Andrews. The runner-up finish there adds to his 3rd place finish in the PGA earlier in the year to make it two major top three finishes in six efforts. It also means he has been runner-up four times this season and if Scottie Scheffler hadn't have stole all the plaudits earlier in the year we may be talking about Cameron Young's maiden season on tour a lot more.

At 25 years of age, Young could be anything and I'd suggest he may just be the most talented golfer we've seen since Morikawa came on the scene. Granted, Zalatoris has done more talking the majors than this guy and is a shade more consistent in those, but Young certainly has stamped his authority with all those runner-up spots. What I like about Young is that his putter can get hot on any given week and is prone to spikes in that department. His long game can rival many of the world's best and I'm excited about his future. A birdie fest such as this where you can jab away at your opponents down the stretch may just be the opportunity he needs to get over the line and I'm confident he'll like this course at first look. 

2pts each-way C.Young  20/1 (1/5 8)

Cameron Young - 2pts e/w @ 20/1

Cameron Champ at 66/1 (Eight Places)

Last year I backed Cameron Champ here at triple figures where he missed the cut, but two weeks later went on to win at similar odds. After last week's effort, I'm more than happy to have another bash at him here at 66/1. As we know, Champ's ceiling is pretty big and that's why backing him at fancy prices is somewhat exciting given what he can produce on any given week. Last week wasn't one of his trademark efforts from tee to green, but he did putt it very well (18th in the field) to finish in a tie for 16th.

Had he brought his 'A' game off the tee and on approach we would have seen a totally different outcome. His three wins on tour have come in July, September and October. He clearly gets going later on in the year and this looks the correct time to stay on the right side of him. He finished 12th here back in 2020 and given the task is pretty simple around the greens (his biggest weakness) this course sets up perfectly for him.

1pt each-way C.Champ 66/1 (1/5 8)

Cameron Champ - 1pt e/w @ 66/1

Taylor Pendrith at 80/1 (Eight Places)

A few weeks back at the John Deere I was happy to go with Taylor Pendrith after an injury lay off only for him to be pull out before the off. He subsequently went off to play the Barbasol and the Barracuda where finished 13th and 11th respectively. His effort previous to that was back in March, a tie for 13th at Sawgrass. The Canadian is clearly capable and has been unfortunate to miss a fair part of the season. Nevertheless he has come back impressively and can continue that momentum here in Detroit. He is another with huge potential and prices of 80/1 could be a distant memory soon if he manages a few big efforts in the coming weeks.

1pt each-way T.Pendrith 80/1 (1/5 8)

Taylor Pendrith - 1pt e/w @ 80/1

Alex Smalley at 80/1 (Eight Places)

Alex Smalley is another around the 80/1 mark worthy of consideration following some recent eye-catching efforts. His 10th place effort at the Scottish was a valiant effort to attempt to qualify for the main event the following week but a final round of 71 wasn't quite enough. Nevertheless, it showed this rookie's versatility and the upside to his performances around these prices may just be worth following. Previous to his trip to Scotland he was 16th at the John Deere and 21st at the Canadian Open.

6th in Mexico and 2nd in Punta Cana are further highlights of his first season on tour. His tee-to-green game has been in solid nick all season but continues to be let down by the putter. The figures have been heading in the right direction of late with the flat stick and if he can one good week with it we may be on to a winner.

1pt each-way A.Smalley 80/1 (1/5 8)

Alex Smalley - 1pt e/w @ 80/1

Adam Schenk at 140/1 (Eight Places)

Along similar lines to Champ, Adam Schenk is worthy of a few quid at triple figures this week. He too suffers badly with a poor game around the greens that halts his progress. His game off the tee and on approach is solid enough to perform well here though and with little or no test around the greens he could flourish here. He ranked 5th in approach play last week at the 3M Open and five starts ago achieved the same feat ranking 5th again in the same department in a much stronger field at the Memorial. He has made three cuts from three here and if ever there was a venue where he may break his PGA tour duck then it is here in Detroit. 

0.75pt each-way A.Schenk 140/1 (1/5 8)

Adam Schenk - 0.75pts e/w @ 140/1

Jonathan Bryd at 300/1 (Eight Places)

Finally, I'll take a flyer on Jonathan Byrd. Byrd has made three of his last four cuts at Sedgefield, the Ross design that holds the Wyndham. He finished 12th back here in 2020 and arrives here off the back of some half-decent form. He has made three of his last four cuts which includes a 41st placed effort at the Barbasol where he ranked 2nd on approach for the week. 15th in Mexico and 9th at Pebble shows there have been glimpses of form for the five-time PGA tour champion. He has risen almost 500 spots in the world rankings in the past 12 months and isn't without hope arriving at a course he has played well on before.

0.5pt each-way J.Byrd 300/1 (1/5 8)

Jonathan Bryd - 0.5pts e/w @ 300/1