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Rocket Mortgage Classic 2024: Course Preview & Rithmm Best Bets

June 26, 2024

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It's officially the summer season on the PGA Tour, which means for the next couple weeks, the best players in the world tend to take off to prepare for the final major of the season as well as the FedExCup Playoffs. That's alright though, because we still have some very solid golf set for the next few weeks. Up first: the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic, held at Detroit Golf Club.

A relatively new event, the RMC was introduced in 2019 as the first PGA Tour event that has used Detroit Golf Club as a tournament course. With a diverse mix of players having had success here, the Rocket Mortgage Classic is an event where course fit tends to be tossed aside and more emphasis is placed on recent form.

Let's dive into my 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic course preview and of course, the best bets according to my Rithmm model that we'll be following this week.

2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic Course Preview

Looking for a course that will knock the socks off of this field like the ones we have gotten across the past few weeks? You might be a bit disappointed with the ol' reliable, Detroit Golf Club.

Assembled in 1899, DGC has been around for a minute but plays as ne of the least penal and easiest courses on the Tour schedule. We're accustomed to seeing low scores here, with only one of the five Rocket Mortgage Classics finishing at a score under -23.

The main characteristics of Detroit Golf Club are a tree-lined, relatively flat area that uses the standard Donald Ross greens as its main defense. This means those greens will be undulating and difficult, sitting on the fast side and running at a 12-13 on the Stimpmeter.

Players looking for succes at this golf course can use the patented "bomb and gouge" method, which boils down to hitting the ball as hard as possible and gouging it out of the rough if need be. Speaking of the rough, it is 4" Bluegrass, but does not play very penal and players have been easily been able to get out of it with zero issues in the past.

With only two water holes on the course, this end sup functioning as more or less, a birdie-making contest. Players will need to focus on their wedge shots inside of 125 yards, as nearly 30% of the approaches last year came from that range.

Our favorite metrics for Course Success this week will be: Birdies or Better %, Strokes Gained: Approach, and SG: Putting (Bent/Poa).

Rithmm Models used for 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic Course Preview

In every Course Preview, we’ll be diving into Rithmm’s proprietary model to help you build the best betting model for that week’s course! Rithmm has its own AI model that it generates based on thousands of sims, but you also might want to build your own model, so that’s what this section is for.

When we get into Rithmm’s modeling aspect, it has five customizable sliders that you can mess around with: Recent Performance, Par 5 Performance, Par 4 Performance, Par 3 Performance, and Course Fit. You can adjust these to your heart’s content, and make it reflect the way you see the important stats.

My model for the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic is below:

Our model this week looks a bit different than normal, so let's start wit the reason why: Course Fit is not as big a factor as it usually is! This is due to one main factor: in the five years of hosting the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Detroit Golf Club has yielded low scores to long, inaccurate hitters as well as short, accurate hitters, really making this a course that anyone can succeed on as long as they putt well.

Along with Course Fit, Par 3s are not that important this week at all. They combine to form the eighth-shortest group of Par 3s on the Tour, and with little to no elevation change throughout the property, there is not a ton of danger surrounding these holes. Most players will not chase birdies on these holes and will be content with pars.

On an intensely scorable course like this, the Par 5s will typically serve as the skeleton key to being in contention on Sunday. You need to get birdies and eagles on these holes as much as possible, and since they are among the easiest on Tour with a 43.4% Birdie or Better rate, players will get plenty done here.

Par 4 scoring will always be important on a course like this. With them being as scoreable as they are and 40% of approaches being inside 150 yards, guys will need to depend on their wedge play this week on these holes to get low scores.

Above all, recent form is clutch for an event like this. You're not fighting the course as much as you are fighting the ability to post the lowest score possible. The players that have been playing the best golf are going to be the ones that are able to take advantage the best on a layout like this, so play the golfers who are in good form coming in.

Best Betting Picks for Rocket Mortgage Classic 2024

It’s time to build our Rithmm betting card for this week. We’re going to go into each of Rithmm’s favorite picks for Top 20/10/5 based on my model, and whether I agree or disagree with it.

Top 20: Stephan Jaeger +140 (63% Rithmm Win Probability)

My model absolute LOVES Jaeger this week, and it makes sense, given that he's recorded past finishes at this event of ninth and fifth, which puts him right on track here. Getting him at plus-money for a Top 20 is icing on the cake.

Jaeger triumphed over Scottie Scheffler earlier this season at Memorial Park, and while the Houston course isn't exactly a perfect comparison, the two do have some similarities. Both courses lack water holes, are medium-length tree-lined tracks, and feature Poa.

I think Jaeger could be a slam-dunk pick for this event, I'm locking this play in.

Top 10: Ben Griffin +550 (30%)

We unfortunately did not go 2/2 in getting Conners into the top ten last week, but it's a new week here!

A new face graces this article, as Ben Griffin makes his debut. Having a solid season this year with his best finish coming as the runner-up to Robert MacIntyre a few weeks ag at the RBC Canadian Open, Griffin has plenty of fanfare this week in a less-than-loaded field.

Griffin finished T33 here in 2023 in his only appearance at this event, but does have the chops needed to succeed.

However, I'm a bit worried about taking him to finish inside of the top ten at a putting contest. While Griffin is a solid putter, he has had a very up and down putting season this year, losing strokes in his last six rounds on the greens after a run of 12 straight rounds gaining.

Is the recent form a mirage, or something to be concerned about? For me, it's enough to steer clear.

Top 5: Chandler Phillips +2000 (7.2%)

I decided to choose a bit of a longshot play to talk about here. I have heard Phillips' name talked about quite a bit so far this week and think he is a terrific case study for a tournament like this with a supremely weak field.

Phillips hasn't made a ton of noise since his surprise T3 finish at the Valspar Championship earlier in the season, but has had some decent form lately wit a T10 and T12 at the RBC Canadian Open and the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The rookie is of course not playing a ton of events this year as he works to gain access to some of the more exclusive PGA Tour events, but his showings this year have been impressive.

All in all, I'm willing to roll the dice on this place. Rithmm rates this play as a 7.2% chance to happen versus the 4.7% implied chance that 20/1 is, so sign me up!

Outright Winner Pick for Rocket Mortgage Classic: Akshay Bhatia +2200 (4.9%)

Can Akshay get it done here after falling short last week at the Travelers Championship?

On paper, Bhatia isn't the greatest fit for this course. He's more accurate with the driver than he is long, which won't really help this week, and he does sometimes struggle with staying out of trouble. Even on an easy course like Detroit Golf Club, going astray could set you up in an unenviable position.

Bhatia has put it all together, winning at the Valero earlier this season for his second PGA Tour victory, so he is definitely in play here. I just think that there may be better options in that price range at the top of the board this week.

AI Caddie Picks for Round 1

The AI Caddie is an awesome Rithmm tool that allows you to go hole by hole with any player you choose and it will show you a chart of how likely that player is versus the field to get any score on a hole.

Closing Remarks on 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic Course Preview

Following the last signature event of the year, Detroit Golf Club is a perfect venue to truly dive into the summer season of the PGA Tour. I hope that my best bets & course preview gives you all the insights and predictions needed to make informed wagers.

Ready to elevate your golf betting experience? Create a Rithmm account today and explore our AI-driven models for precise picks. Choose between our core or premium subscription to unlock advanced tools and strategies designed to enhance your betting success. Don't miss out—sign up now and take your game to the next level!

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