It’s the end of another crazy week once again. I’m writing this article in Mexico and I have Bryson DeChambeau, who I vowed several months ago never to bet again sub-20/1, on my card at +750.
With all the down time so far on vacation, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on the year it’s been in 2021. Tomorrow will mark the 6 month anniversary of thepgatout.com, which I launched at the start of the new year ahead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. In between these two Harris English victories, I’ve been blown away by all the support I’ve gotten as I’ve tried to stand up a website and become a content creator for the first time ever. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I can honestly say the outpouring amount of support I’ve gotten from the golf community this year is what pushes me week to week to put out the very best content I can. I can’t say it enough, but thank you for the support. My goal when I created the site was to generate enough ad revenue to cover my Fantasy National yearly dues and I’m on pace to hit that by the end of next month, with over 30,000 Monthly Page Views as of today. Absolutely crazy stuff beyond my wildest dreams 6 months ago. Again, thank you to everyone who’s read along, followed, listened, shared, liked, engaged, DM’d, told a friend, tailed a Munoz FRL bet, etc. I appreciate it!
Alright, sappy gratitude aside, here’s a look back at my card and closing thoughts for the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic!
- Bryson DeChambeau +750
- Troy Merritt +10000
- Patton Kizzire +12500
- Cameron Davis +16000
I have gone all in on Bryson DeChambeau at single digit odds before at the 2020 Masters, and it didn’t end pretty. The main difference here at the Rocket Mortgage Classic is that we have a safety net, knowing he’s already won on this track a year ago, and in convincing fashion. He’s also a head and shoulder talent above 99% of this field, I believe he’s motivated to defend his title and add to his 2021 win total, and he’s #1 in my model thanks to his ranks inside the Top 10 in Opportunities Gained, BoB Gained, SG: TOT – Easy Courses, and Poa + Total Putting. I have a lot of confidence in Bryson, but with him being one of the most volatile players on Tour, I couldn’t leave the card with him as a single bullet. So if Bryson’s not going to win, I’m looking for longshots who can heat up with the putter and excel in Easy Scoring conditions. Looking at the 100/1+ odds range, Troy Merritt (#1) and Patton Kizzire (#7) are two of the hottest putters on Tour over the last 24 rounds, and always tend to play their best in Birdie Fests, so I’m happy to roll the dice on these odds. Cam Davis is a value flier not really backed by any data, but I do think it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Davis in a pure birdie fest, and his best results have come when a slew of birdies are out there. You can read back for more great stats on these longshot plays in Bombs & Values.
First Round Leader
- Sebastian Munoz +9000
- Patton Kizzire +9000
- Cameron Davis +10000
- Richy Werenski +10000
- Patrick Rodgers +10000
I absolutely love betting FRLs in birdie fests because they’re the tournaments that are most likely to breed longshot leaders in the 100/1+ range through R1 (hello, Wes Roach!). They’re also the most favorable spot for our boy Sebastian Munoz to go low, and knowing there’s not a ton of trouble out there to negate his birdies with bogeys at Detroit Golf Club, I wholly expect another FRL sweat from the GOAT this week as well. Kizzire, Davis, and Rodgers are all regulars on the FRL card as well, who all have the ability to go low on an easy course, and Werenski is another flier I really like who went low at the TPC Twin Cities comp course and always seems to pop up with a random super low round out of the blue.
One and Done
- Jason Kokrak
Unfortunately, I do not have Bryson DeChambeau at my disposal in OAD this week. If I did, I would play him in this spot without a doubt. So instead, I’m pivoting to the highest player still available to me in my model this week, Jason Kokrak.
Kokrak happens to be a bomber, but I think the narrative that you need to over-power this course by bomb & gouging it is a bit overblown. I like Jason Kokrak this week because he’s a great putter and elite at giving himself birdie opportunities. Over the last 24 rounds, Kokrak ranks #1 in BoB Gained, #3 Opportunities Gained, and #4 SG: P. Looking down the tail end of the stats I fed into my model, he’s also #8 SG: APP and #1 in Par 5 Scoring. I didn’t love Kokrak’s outright odds this week, so in a perfect world, Bryson wins, and Kokrak finishes runner up.
- Bryson DeChambeau ($11,400)
- Jason Kokrak ($9,500)
- Troy Merritt ($7,100)
I had to roll out the big boys in my core this week. Again, little bit of a coincidence that Bryson and Kokrak are two of the longest hitters on Tour, but this all comes down to propensity to get a high volume of birdie looks and the ability to hole those putts with a hot putter when they get them. I also absolutely love the Stars & Scrubs build for this week, with so many low-$7K players viable to go low this week, given the volatility that comes with a putting contest. Troy Merritt has everything I’m looking for in a value play this week. He’s finished T10 at the Rocket Mortgage before, he’s finished T10 at the top comp course, TPC Twin Cities, and he’s finished T10 three times over his last seven starts. At $7,100, anything inside T30 is just fine to pay off his value, and there are plenty of ways to mix and match lineups from here where you don’t need to dip any lower than Merritt salary-wise.