Following Harris English’s win at the Travelers Championship, the PGA season continues this week with the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. This tournament joined the PGA schedule three years ago, replacing the Quicken Loans National. Detroit Golf Club (par 72, 7,370 yards) has been the only home of this event, and this Donald Ross design is one of the easiest tracks at the PGA level. Bryson DeChambeau and Nate Lashley, the first two winners of this tournament, finished -23 and -25 for their victories in Detroit, respectively. If you haven’t already, this week is a perfect time to check out Monkey Knife Fight — a new style of PGA fantasy with a twist on the usual DFS golf this week — with the fantasy site offering some great contests for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Below I will break down some of the best PGA Monkey Knife Fight picks for the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
MKF Fantasy Golf Picks | Rocket Mortgage Classic
For this contest, users pick three golfers from this field, and if those three players produce over 3.5 eagles combined, the payout is triple the buy-in.
This is one of the better weeks of the season to attack this contest. The four par 5’s at Detroit Golf Club are all reachable in two for most of the field, and four of the 10 par 4’s are under 400 yards. Last season this event produced 43 eagles. In fact, four players walked away with multiple eagles, and 10 of the top 14 finishers all recorded an eagle.
The first pick for this contest is the defending champ, Bryson DeChambeau. He put on a driving clinic at this venue last season, leading the field in strokes gained off the tee and driving distance while also ranking first in strokes gained on par 4’s and second in strokes gained on the par 5’s. He finished with just one eagle, but there is a strong chance that DeChambeau will generate multiple in his title defense. This season he ranks first in strokes gained off the tee, first in driving distance and is tied for first in total eagles converted. DeChambeau’s elite length is just too much for this extremely scoreable par 72, and he is a must-play for this format.
The next pick is Hideki Matsuyama. He finished 13th and 21st at the first two Rocket Mortgage Classics, and he returns to Detroit in outstanding form. Over his past 24 rounds, Matsuyama ranks second in strokes gained on approach, third in strokes gained tee to green and fifth in total eagles. He is one of the best par-5 players on the planet, and it would be shocking if Matsuyama didn’t tally at least one eagle this week.
Lastly, Will Zalatoris looks great for this week’s Eagle Eye. He is tied with DeChambeau for the most eagles on the PGA Tour this season and should flourish at this birdie fest. He has been one of the best iron players in golf this year, ranking third in strokes gained on approach, and Zalatoris ranks seventh in total strokes gained on par 72s in his last 50 rounds. After struggling at the U.S. Open two weeks ago, Zalatoris should contend in his Rocket Mortgage Classic debut and possibly rack up multiple eagles in the process.
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More or Less
Patrick Reed: More than 19.5 birdies or better
Webb Simpson: More than 19.5 birdies or better
It is hard to stress how easy of a test Detroit Golf Club is for these professionals, and 19.5 birdies is far too low of a number for both of these world-class players. Reed is playing excellent golf right now, with seven top-25s across his last 10 starts. Nobody in this week’s field has gained more strokes tee to green than Reed when comparing all of these golfers’ last 12 rounds, and he amassed 23 birdies at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic, resulting in a fourth-place finish.
Simpson enters this week with a missed cut in his last start, but this came at the South Course of Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open. For his career, Simpson has only made one cut in three visits to the South Course. Clearly Simpson is not fond of that venue, and he should get back on track at Detroit Golf Club, which was created by the great Donald Ross. A year ago Simpson collected 21 birdies at this par 72, lifting him to an eighth-place finish, and no player has gained more strokes during their career on Ross designs than Simpson.
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