The PGA TOUR heads to Michigan this week as the Detroit Golf Club hosts the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The course is a very accessible par-72 measuring 7300 meters with bentrgass / poa greens. It will be one of the biggest birdie-fest of the season, as in the tournament’s two-year history, the winning scores were 23 and 25 below par, respectively.
I’ll be highlighting the best cash games / single entry games on the main DraftKings slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.
My analysis will frequently refer Wins won, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate the average number of strokes it takes for a player to put the ball in the hole, regardless of distance and situation. Strokes Gained is now available in PGA FantasyLabs models.
There are a variety of metrics related to won stroke, but the top six categories you should be aware of include:
- Shots won: off the tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
- Strokes won: approach (SG: Approach)
- Strokes won: Around the green (SG: Around the green)
- Strokes won: putting (SG: put)
- Strokes Won: Ball Strike (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
- Strokes won: from tee to green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green
For more information on Strokes Gained data and how to use it, see this article by Bryan Mears on The Action Network, which details each of the above metrics. I also recommend Chris Murphy’s Strokes Gained column after each round of this week’s PGA TOUR event, which highlights golfers to buy and go, as well as Matthew Vincenzi’s weekly “Stats That Matter” column, which highlights the Strokes Gained sub-metrics that matter most to a given course. The following players listed are based on DraftKings rating and pricing.
Joaquin Niemann ($ 9,800 DraftKings)
Niemann has been perhaps the most consistent golfer on the PGA TOUR this season in terms of cups. He hit his toe at the Memorial a few weeks ago, which was his only flaw of the 2021 season. Overall he’s done the weekend 19 out of 20 times, he’s done it this year.
His long-term rolling numbers are as strong as anyone in this field, as the Chilean ranks sixth in SG: Ball-Striking and fourth in total strokes gained in his last 48 rounds. He didn’t play this event last year, but in 2019 he finished T-5 on his Detroit Golf Club debut. Niemann also ranks third in this area for average strokes gained per lap on this course, behind Nate Lashley and Bryson DeChambeau, the last two winners of this event. We should be looking to target Niemann on tracks with wide fairways where the scores are abundant, and that is what we have this week. Lock and load.
Jason Kokrak ($ 9,500 DraftKings)
Kokrak had played one of the best golf courses of his career before the US Open, so I think we can give him a pass for missing a cup. The big guy did it here once in 2019 and finished T-29, so he has some familiarity with the course. Much like Niemann, his long-term rolling numbers also look good, as Kokrak ranks sixth in this area for the total number of strokes gained in his last 48 laps. He’s also ranked # 1 in SG: within the same time frame, so he’s done it in every facet of the game lately.
We’re getting a nice discount on one of the hottest players on TOUR who has some course history, and he makes too much sense in gambling, especially when you pair him up with Niemann.
Cameron Tringale ($ 8,100 DraftKings)
Tringale has had its ups and downs lately, missing three of its last five cups dating back to Wells Fargo. However, he seemed to find his game in the Travelers’ second round last week, gaining over 2.2 strokes on the approach. It was his short game that let him down, which is normally a force, so this seems like a good place to get straight back on the train.
Tringale has played this event both times and has become T-5 and T-30, so there is clearly something that catches his eye. His price of $ 8,100 in this area does not reflect his level of talent and that is something we can take advantage of. He’s unlikely to miss the cut for the fourth time in six weeks on an easy track in bad terrain, so let’s take the discount and move on here.
Doc Redman ($ 7,900 DraftKings)
The Doctor has finally found his game after a brutal start to the season. He’s now made six of his last seven cups while posting two top 10s in his last four events. His bugaboo lately has been his game off the tee, which should be toned down this week with the wide fairways at Detroit Golf Club.
His approach play has been stellar, as he ranks sixth in this area in this department in his last 12 laps in this area. Redman also ranks ninth for the total number of strokes won during that span. It looks like everything is clicking for him right now, and he looks like a pretty safe option this week at just $ 7,900 on DraftKings. It also helps that he has seen the course before, finishing T-21 last year at this event.
Sepp Straka ($ 7,700 DraftKings)
Straka is not your prototype gambling game, as it can be quite hit and miss at times. However, it seems to show up on easier courses in AC type events or when we have weaker fields like this. It has the best course history in the field, posting a T-11 and a T-8 in the two years it has been held.
It’s also great that he’s coming in hot, finishing tied for 10th last week at the Travelers, while winning some shots in all four rounds. A lot of people who don’t follow the PGA TOUR closely probably won’t be a part of Straka this week, so let’s get them paid and take their money.
Charles Howell III ($ 7,100 DraftKings)
I love targeting Chuckie Three Sticks at alternate-type events like this because at this point in his career he’s almost a quadruple A player, which means he’s not good enough to be anymore. hang on to the best in the world, but is also much more consistent than many others. paltry options down this week.
He’s criminally underrated for his skill level, because $ 7,100 in a field like this is silly. He should easily give us a cut made this week while having a significant edge beyond that, which for this price is all we’re looking for. He also finished T-35 here in 2019.
Brian Stuard ($ 7,000 DraftKings)
This will likely be the first and last time Stuard will be featured in this article. He is, however, from the Detroit area and will likely have family and friends this week. I know it’s mostly story-driven, but it seemed to work as long as he finished T-5 and T-30 in his two starts here. He also finished T-30 at Travelers last week, so it’s good to see him come in in some form. You can certainly do worse by completing your cash game queues and Stuard actually has some perks.