OK, it’s officially time for a whole bunch of PGA Tour pros to hit the panic button.
Let’s recap: Two weeks of FedEx Cup events remaining (including this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic) and 125 spots up for grabs when the playoffs open.
What that means is a lot of players will be going for broke this week. There’s no sense holding back to play well in the playoffs if you’re not in the playoffs.
But before we reach Defcon 1 (or is ‘5’ the one where all hell breaks loose?) we’ve got to try to make sense about this week’s stop, the Rocket Mortgage Classic being held in Detroit.
The tournament is attracting more stars than usual for the simple fact players want to be in top form when the playoffs open.
But what happens if you’re not in the playoffs and need a great outing (or two counting next week’s tournament, the Wyndham Championship) to get into the playoffs.
Well, if you’re outside that magical top 125, the answer is simple: Win and you’re in.
Or, at least have the best finish you’ve had this year and hope that’s good enough to get in the conversation.
Whichever scenario you find yourself in, be assured of one thing: You’re not alone so the energy this week will be outstanding.
Odds To Win The Rocket Mortgage Classic (DraftKings)
|Se Woo Kim||+5000|
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Fourth Year of the Event
This is the PGA Tour’s fourth year stopping in Motor City to play a little golf.
In two of the past three years the Tour had a first-time winner. In 2019 it was Nate Lashley. He opened with a 63 and went on to win and…surprise…made his way into the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The second year it was Bryson DeChambeau who took home the top prize and, of course, was already in the playoffs. Last year it was Cam Davis’ turn to get into the winner’s circle as he won a playoff against Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann.
That win, also his first, punched his ticket into the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Do you see a pattern here? Well, we see a couple of them.
One will be a first-time winner and the second will be a player who has won and is fine-tuning his game for the playoffs…and just happened to win.
Rocket Mortgage Expert Pick: Gotterup to Win
We’re going way out on a limb for this pick. We’re looking at PGA Tour rookie Chris Gotterup at +10000.
We know…Who? Well, give us one minute to convince you this isn’t too wild of a pick. OK, maybe it is but we still like it.
Gotterup has played in just seven PGA Tour events with five made cuts and two top-10s. He was T-7 in his first outing, the Puerto Rico Open and was T-4 in the John Deere Classic.
He’s coming off a T-31 at last week’s 3M Open so he’s starting to get his footing. And that’s after an opening-round 75 where he could have just packed it in and closed up shop for the week.
But he hung in and is showing he belongs.
Now is he in good enough form to win his first title? Maybe not. But we’re guessing Lashley and Davis weren’t anywhere near the top of the odds board when they won their first event right here.
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Check Out Names Around the 125 Bubble
There are some names hanging around the No. 125 spot who shouldn’t be there. Names like Rickie Fowler (down to No. 156) and Jason Day (down to No. 150) need an outstanding showing to move on.
But so does Cameron Champ at No. 149 in the FedEx Cup standings. At +7500 this week he’s got solid value.
Champ, who we also picked last week, had a horrible first round but rallied over the final three rounds for a T-16 finish after worrying about missing the cut.
He moved up one spot in the rankings but knows he’s going to need a solid finish in the next two weeks to get safely inside that top 125 and get into the playoffs.
And, in the best-case scenario, a win this week would put all those worries to bed.
Around the Prop Scene
We’re going out on another limb for our first prop bet. (OK, so our trees have a lot of limbs we climb out on.)
We like James Hahn to finish top 10 at +900. Why? Well, he’s coming off a surprising T-4 finish at the 3M Open where a final-round 65 helped him move up 36 spots in the FedEx Cup race to No. 225.
He’s still 100 points out of the playoffs so he needs two more solid weeks if he wants to keep playing in this wraparound season.
He did miss the cut here last year but coming off last week’s stellar performance we like his chances to keep climbing that playoff ladder.
The second prop takes us back to Jason Day. We like him to finish in the top 20 at +350.
Remember, he’s still 25 spots out of the playoffs and needs a strong finish. He was only T-64 last week at the 3M and didn’t get nearly the points he probably thought he needed to move up.
Day is coming into this event after finishing T-14 here last year, so he’s more than capable of putting together an effort that moves him into that playoff scenario.
Granted, a finish in the top 20 isn’t what is on his agenda, but that’s all we need him to accomplish to cash this ticket.
And remember, as we have said over and over: Time is running out and quickly.