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Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS picks 2024: Why Tom Kim’s hot streak will continue

June 25, 2024
CROMWELL, CONNECTICUT - JUNE 23: Tom Kim of South Korea reacts to his putt on the 18th green to force a playoff during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 23, 2024 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

After a thrilling three-week stretch where the U.S. Open was sandwiched between two signature events, the PGA Tour heads to Detroit for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. This event replaced the Quicken Loans National on the schedule in 2019 and has produced a wide variety of winners in its short history, including everyone from Monday qualifier Nate Lashley to reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau. Yet these results can not be considered all that surprising, as Detroit Golf Club caters to all styles of play. The Donald Ross design is similar to many tree-lined parkland golf courses we have grown accustomed to on the PGA Tour, and similar to last week, we can expect incredibly low scoring.

Detroit Golf Club: North
Leon Halip
Private
Detroit Golf Club: North
Detroit, MI, United States
4.2
34 Panelists
Donald Ross designed two 18-hole courses at Detroit Golf Club on a tight plot of land in the middle of the city. An extensive renovation project was completed by Bruce Hepner in 2015 to restore the greens and bunkers. Most holes are framed by trees and are mostly up and back on flat land, though subtle rumbles in the land provide enough movement to offer strategic value and demanding shotmaking into these Ross greens, which average 5,150 square feet.
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While many of the PGA Tour’s best view this is as a natural off week coming off such a busy stretch of the schedule, Rickie Fowler will return to defend his 2023 title. Coming off a playoff loss at the Travelers Championship, Tom Kim will be back in action as well, while Cameron Young will look to build upon his stunning 59 last week at TPC River Highlands. The field might be lacking in star-power, but weeks like these still provide an ample edge for those who are willing to do the legwork. Let’s dive into the slate.

$10,000 range

Play: Tom Kim, $11,000:

I’m not expecting much of a letdown from Tom Kim following a playoff loss at the Travelers. Kim gained over 3.5 strokes in both ball-striking categories, and he is now returning to a course where he has finished seventh in the past. In such a weak field with very shaky options up top, as well as a loaded $5,000 range, I feel comfortable spending up for the best player.

Fade: Alex Noren, $10,200:

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Patrick Smith

While this has been a banner year for Alex Noren, I worry he might be on the wrong side of a great run. Noren is coming off a missed cut at the U.S. Open where he lost strokes ball-striking, and while I will not hold a shaky performance at Pinehurst too strongly against him, the Swede has now lost strokes ball-striking in three straight starts.

Watch the below video for our favorite bets and players we're fading for the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic:

$9,000 range

Play: Taylor Pendrith, $9,600:

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Andrew Redington

Taylor Pendrith has a knack for bentgrass birdie-fests, and outside of his win earlier this season at TPC Craig Ranch, he has also recorded a runner-up and a 14th-place finish at Detroit Golf Club. This should not come as a surprise as Pendrith packs a mighty punch off the tee, and he has quietly developed into one of the best putters on tour. Power off the tee and an elite putter is the perfect formula this week, and I expect Pendrith to continue his success at Detroit Golf Club.

Fade: Will Zalatoris, $9,200:

I was hopeful that Will Zalatoris’ Thursday 64 at the Travelers would be a turning point for his season, but he faded to another ho-hum 42nd-place finish. On the week, Zalatoris lost 1.9 strokes on approach and 3.2 strokes putting. Detroit Golf Club is already a questionable fit for Zalatoris given the importance of putting, but the fact his iron play has been inconsistent makes him an easy fade.

$8,000 range

Play: Maverick McNealy, $8,900:

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Raj Mehta

I was surprised at this price point, and I would have been happy to play Maverick McNealy even in the $9,000 range this week. McNealy might be the best overall putter in this entire field, and he is coming off a strong ball-striking performance at the Canadian Open, where he gained 2.5 strokes on approach. The breakthrough is coming soon, and Detroit Golf Club is the perfect fit for his skill-set.

Fade: Michael Thorbjornsen, $8,000:

While Michael Thorbjornsen certainly possesses a ton of talent, I cannot justify this price point when they’re just as many talented young players in the $5,000 and $6,000 range. The former Stanford standout looked fairly shaky last week at the Travelers Championship, losing over four strokes off the tee and over a stroke on approach. He is certainly a player to monitor, but I need to see a little more.

$7,000 range

Play: Matt Wallace, $7,400:

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David Cannon

Matt Wallace is far too cheap this week for the upside that he provides. Coming off a 15th-place finish at the KLM Open, Wallace has already recorded two top-12 finishes in three appearances at Detroit Golf Club. The Englishman already recorded a top-five finish this year at TPC Craig Ranch, and I fully trust his abilities to keep up in a low-scoring affair.

Fade: Nick Dunlap, $7,400:

Nick Dunlap showed his upside earlier this season with a win at the American Express, but since January, he has failed to record a top-10 on the PGA Tour. The former University of Alabama standout is coming off a 66th-place finish at the Travelers Championship, where he ranked dead last in the field in putting, which leaves me very concerned about his chances in Detroit.

$6,000 range

Play: Thorbjorn Olesen, $6,900:

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NurPhoto

Already a winner this year on the DP World Tour, Thorbjorn Olesen has quietly put together a strong season. Coming off a 27th at the Canadian Open where he gained over 3.5 strokes on approach and putting, Olesen possesses the ideal skill-set I am looking for this week. The Dane can spike both on approach and with the flat-stick, two necessary requirements for success at Detroit Golf Club.

$5,000 range

Play: Sam Ryder, $5,800:

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Sam Hodde

In the $5,000 range this week, I’m essentially looking for players who I know possess extreme upside on approach and with the flat-stick. Sam Ryder checks both of those boxes, which always makes him deadly in a birdie-fest. Ryder has recorded top-40 finishes in his previous two appearances at Detroit Golf Club, and he consistently raises his baseline in easier scoring conditions.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also a data analyst and writer for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for RickRunGood.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports