Golf betting tips: Rocket Mortgage Classic
1.5pts e.w. Kevin Kisner in Rocket Mortgage Classic at 35/1 (Sky Bet, William Hill 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)
1.5pts e.w. Adam Scott in Rocket Mortgage Classic at 33/1 (Paddy Power, Betfair, Coral, Betfred 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)
1pt e.w. Chesson Hadley in Rocket Mortgage Classic at 125/1 (Sky Bet, William Hill, Betfred 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)
1pt e.w. Cameron Champ in Rocket Mortgage Classic at 66/1 (Sky Bet 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)
1pt e.w. Harry Higgs in Rocket Mortgage Classic at 250/1 (Sky Bet, William Hill 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)
Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook
1 Cam Davis (-18)*
T2 Troy Merritt, Joaquin Niemann (-18)
T4 Hank Lebioda, Alex Noren (-17)
T6 Brandon Hagy, Bubba Watson (-16)
1 Bryson DeChambeau (-23)
2 Matthew Wolff (-20)
3 Kevin Kisner (-18)
T4 Ryan Armour, Adam Hadwin, Tyrrell Hatton, Danny Willett (-16)
1 Nate Lashley (-25)
2 Doc Redman (-19)
T3 Wes Roach, Rory Sabbatini (-18)
T5 Joaquin Niemann, Ted Potter, Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker, Brian Stuard, Cameron Tringale (-17)
Looking at these leaderboards, we have had a combination of big hitters like Bryson Dechambeau, Matthew Wolff, Bubba Watson, Brandon Hagy or last year’s champion Cameron Davis achieve success here, or shorter hitters like the inaugural winner Nate Lashley, Doc Redman, Ted Potter, Ryan Armour or Kevin Kisner who plot their way around.
Basically, there are two ways to get it done here, short and straight with a hot putter or bomb your way to success.
As mentioned earlier it may also pay this week to look at form on other Donald Ross courses and one thing that strikes me on that basis is that two players who tied for fifth place in 2019 Reed and Snedeker are former Wyndham Championship winners.
Furthermore, Ryan Armour who was fourth here in 2020 has two top ten’s over recent years at the Wyndham, Kevin Kisner who was third here that same year took the title at Sedgefield last fall and Doc Redman has also figured prominently in both events.
Finally on this front last year’s champion Davis has posted a 15th and 22nd in two appearances at the Wyndham.
Best bets for the Rocket Mortgage Classic
I’ve gone with five players this week as follows. If you would like to hear me discuss my thoughts on this week’s picks further alongside renowned golf pundit Dave Tindall, all set to the backdrop of a great alternative music playlist, please tune into this week’s Golf Alternative Podcast.
The pod can be found on Apple, Podbean or via the @TheGolfAlterPod Twitter feed.
First up this week is a pretty straightforward pick in the shape of KEVIN KISNER.
A glance at the leaderboards of the first three editions of this event tells us that one of two types of player seems to perform well here, the shorter hitter who plots their way around, like Ted Potter, Doc Redman, Ryan Armour and Kisner himself who have all performed well here, or the out and out bombers like Bryson Dechambeau and Matthew Wolff.
Focusing on Kisner and he has long become known as a player to support in certain events and to avoid at all costs in those where his lack of length disadvantages him, and he has admitted himself he only shows up ‘because the cheque is great for finishing 25th ‘.
With that point of view in mind and one look at Kisner’s 21/22 season will tell you all you need to know to confirm this as in amongst the poorer results we have seen a third place at the Sony Open, a fourth place at the Players and more recently a return to form at the Travelers where he was sixth. That effort was then followed up by a great week at the Open where after just making the cut he propelled himself up the field on Saturday with a 65 before ultimately finishing 21st.
Moving onto this week then and Kisner returns to a track which sits within his wheelhouse as one where shorter hitters can compete, something that he showed when finishing third here in 2020, a result which came on the back of a 29th finish and two missed cuts after the tour had resumed following the Covid hiatus.
He was then at it again here last year when, similarly to this year, after returning to form at the Travelers to finish fifth, he went on to finish eighth here.
Shortly after that performance last year the Georgia Bulldog rubber stamped his pedigree as a master of this type of track as he went on to land his fourth PGA Tour title at the Donald Ross designed Sedgefield CC, and I expect him to make a big push for title number five as he returns to another Ross layout he clearly loves.
Next up for me is ADAM SCOTT. Scott tends to fly under the radar somewhat these days, perhaps due to the more limited schedule he plays, with this week representing only the third time we have seen him in a regular tour event since The Players in March.
On his last two starts, however, in the US Open and Open Championship, the Aussie has produced some really solid stuff to finish 15th and 14th respectively and he now looks to have set himself up nicely for a season ending push up the Fedex Cup standings.
Looking at Scott’s stats of late and it has been a case of him not being able to put all components together in one week, this is reflected by the fact that at the Memorial and then at the US Open his approach work was strong but he was lacklustre on the greens, while at St Andrews he was strong with the flat stick only for his irons to let him down slightly. Ultimately, though, a look at his season-long numbers shows us that he is performing strongly on both of these fronts as he ranks 31st in approach play and 39th in putting.
While at 42 Adam is no spring chicken anymore, he is still one of the longest off the tee at 16th in driving distance which should serve him in good stead.
Away from Scott’s recent form and although this is his debut here a glance at his form on Donald Ross tracks offers more than enough encouragement, firstly through his runner-up finish at the Wyndham last year, while he was also ninth at the Ross designed Pinehurst in the 2014 US Open. In addition, he has shown himself to be more than comfortable at East Lake on his regular trips there for the Tour Championship over the years.
As a former winner at Colonial we also have a nice line of form to here via Kisner, who has also triumphed there, and who we have already noted is a great fit to this track.
Finally, having seen Adam congratulating his fellow Aussie Cam Smith at St Andrews I can’t help but think he might take some inspiration to push on and post a 15th PGA Tour title, particularly as it is now over two years since he last graced the winner’s enclosure.
Next up, in an event which has certainly rewarded the bigger hitters over its first three editions, a name that is leaping off the page at me this week is CAMERON CHAMP.
Champ is undoubtedly something of an enigma, but on his day he has the talent to compete with the best out there, something which he has shown by posting three PGA Tour wins in his first three full seasons on Tour.
Prone to long runs of poor form, Champ has once again been having a pretty rough season, something that is reflected in his current ranking of 149th in the Fedex Cup standings, meaning that while his card is safe due to his win last year, he will be missing out on the Play Off’s unless he produces a big performance this week or next.
What we have seen from the 27-year-old since he has been on tour, though, which very much makes him a punters friend, is that he has telegraphed each of his wins with a sudden upturn in form on his previous start.
We saw this clearly last year when after a barren run of form he popped up with an 11th place at the John Deere before posting a win at the 3M next time out, while both of his fall series wins came on the back of two eye catching showings in his prior starts. Meanwhile, earlier this year he followed his first top ten of the season at Augusta with a sixth place finish in Mexico. Clearly then the motto is ‘latch on to Cam when he finds his form’.
All of which leads us on to his performance last week at the 3M where after being all at sea early on Thursday at +6 through his first seven holes, he battled back superbly to make the cut on the number before then moving through the field over the weekend with two 67s to ultimately finish 16th.
Furthermore, a delve in to Champ’s stats for the event shows us that over the weekend he gained over three shots both from tee to green and with the putter.
Finally, the icing on the cake is that a look at the Californian’s course form highlights from three visits here he has posted a 12th place finish in 2020, while in 2019 he shot 66 and 65 over the first two days with the latter round including a blistering 28 on his front nine.
Cameron appears to have found a spark last week and on a track we know he can handle that makes him a must for me this time out.
Next cab off the rank is a player who seems to be making a bit of a habit of producing a Houdini act at this time of year to keep his card, CHESSON HADLEY.
Hadley, as regular golf watchers may well remember, produced a magnificent final round of 62 at the Wyndham last year to finish 15th and in doing so pinch the coveted 125 spot to hang on to his full playing rights.
Roll the clock forward 12 months and Chesson unfortunately has mostly been unable to build on that momentum with a season that until recently saw him deliver nothing better than a 27th at the Shriners before Christmas.
At the Travelers a few weeks back, though, that all changed as Hadley found a fifth place out of nowhere and since then he has gone on to make his next four cuts and post two further tens, at the John Deere and last week at the 3M Open.
Onto this week then and the 35-year-old has worked his way up to 130th in the Fedex standings knowing that one more big week will take care of business.
At his best Hadley is known as one of the strongest putters on tour and he has kept that reputation up with a ranking of 21st with the flatstick this season. Of late however what his really caught the eye is that his normally poor approach play has improved dramatically and he has gained shots in this department in five of his last six starts.
Riding some seriously strong momentum into this week I am happy to overlook his lack of any strong history here and trust that a return to a Donald Ross layout after his Sedgefield heroics last year can see Chesson produce another big performance this week.
Finally, at big odds I am going to give another chance to a player I personally backed last week – HARRY HIGGS.
Higgs, as I noted last week has, perhaps been distracted by the glare of Netflix cameras and headline grabbing shirt removing incidents at Phoenix etc, lost his way with the basics this season of delivering on the golf course.
As such, while there have been the highs of a 14th on debut at Augusta and a ninth in the CJ Cup it has mostly been a case of poor performances and missed cuts, which all leave him outside the top 125 and on the verge of losing his card.
Watching his good friend Joel Dahmen deliver at the US Open though has, as Higgs has stated himself, motivated him to knuckle down on the range and a glimmer of light with a second round 64 at the Travelers was followed by a strong showing at the Barracuda.
Last week at the 3M and for 17 holes on Thursday in by far the worst of the draw weather wise Harry played really well to battle his way to 3-under. Sadly, though, as we have seen many times over the years when a player is struggling at this game it has a way of kicking them when they are down and 20 minutes later the affable 30-year-old, courtesy of three balls in the water had posted a 10 on the treacherous 18th and a round of 73.
A huge kick in the teeth then for Harry no doubt and despite playing solidly on Friday to post on route to a level par 71 he missed the cut on the number.
Onto this week and at 147th in the Fedex standings it is all but last chance saloon for Harry, however from my point of view having seen that he really did play nicely bar one hole last week I’m going to take the positives from that performance into this week as I’m hoping he can, particularly as his 15th place at the Wyndham last season gives us the Sedgefield link, which sits so well here.
Since being on tour Higgs has shown the bigger the event or occasion the more he can step up, as when 11th and 16th in the first play off events in 2020 and 2021 to push himself in to the top 70, or when fourth at the PGA or 14th at Augusta, and I’ll wrap up this week by risking him to step up when it really matters here.
Posted at 1912 BST on 25/07/22