Fowler to get back on track

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The Rocket Mortgage Classic kicks off tomorrow morning in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit Golf Club is a relatively new location to host the PGA Tour this week. Donald Ross’s designs are known to reward different types of golfers, but bombers tend to carry a slight edge on this 7,400 yard course.

Studying the history of courses over the past two years, players such as Bryson DeShambeau as well as Matthew Wolff immediately comes to mind. They fought to the end in last year’s tournament and DeShambo eventually defeated the young shooter. However, such high-precision players as Adam Hadwin, Ryan Armor, as well as Kevin Kisnerproving that this course isn’t just for big hitters.

Clearly there are several ways to get this job done, but one thing is certain. You will need to make birds, and you will have to make a lot of them. With previous winning scores of 25 and 23 less, players who don’t take advantage of par-4 and achievable par-5 risk missing out on the weekend.

Since both versions of this classic Motor City have a four-cut cut, no one can afford the luxury of tripping over the gate. Your path to participation in this tournament is not easy. It’s pedal to metal from start to finish, and hoping to just hold out for the rest of your life.

Birds are a necessity, which means that scarecrows are not allowed. It’s a simple concept, but everything that was said above, combined with the current kit and clear numbers between the players and the Greens, is what we will be aiming for in our personal matches.

Betting on Bookmaker PointsBet have released many full face-to-face tournaments ahead of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Although there are several Charlie Hoffman listed in them, avoid them as he has withdrawn from the tournament and the bet will be void as soon as the tournament starts.

Heads-up matches (odds via PointsBet):

Brandon Todd (+106) more Si Woo Kim

In our Round 1 Leaderboard article, I discussed how much I liked Todd this week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. I suppose if I like him on Thursday who will say I don’t like him for the rest of the week. Based on the way he hit the ball last week in Cromwell, Connecticut, Todd could be in conflict by the end of the week.

It’s not often that Todd loses punches on the grass, but that’s exactly what he has done in his last two outs. At the US Open, he was only slightly negative in Hits Received: Putting, but in The Travelers, he showed -1.8 in that category. The last time he had the same performance, he bounced back, hitting more than four hits on the grass in his next start. I expected something like this to happen this week too, and if the hitting comes from TPC River Highlands, Todd should have a say in this tournament.

Kim, on the other hand, missed out on the Travelers Championship, but played pretty well until Connecticut. Good results at the Memorial and the US Open last week were abruptly cut short. Kim fought not only with his weapon, as usual, but also with the iron. While he has had success in the past with Sedgefield CC, another design by Donald Ross, I would have preferred Todd, who showed us a little more last week and has a lot of bucks.

Ricky Fowler (+110) more Keegan Bradley

This week my gaze just shifts to Fowler. While there were no startling numbers last week, I tend to believe they are misleading. Statistics will never tell the whole story without proper context, and that is what Fowler fell victim to in Voyagers. With a couple of target shots and a couple of wayward punches to the iron, the rest of Fowler’s week was completely missed.

With Detroit GC there are not too many problems, and this should only play into the hands of Fowler. While he’s a little unbalanced at times, this could be a place where he could get away with it. If this succeeds, I expect Fowler’s results to be the same as at the Memorial and the PGA Championship.

Bradley never impressed me as a player to hit in a shootout. If you look at his success this season, he has all come from more challenging locations such as Bay Hill, Innisbrook, Quale Hollow and Kiawa Island. In such an unreliable short game, if his ball shots are not one-touch, I don’t see him as a factor, and thus leaves the door open for Fowler.

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Max Homa (+135) more Kevin Kisner

I’m not sure if Kisner should be such a big favorite over anyone based on how he played this season. This is an overreaction of his top 5 last week at the Travelers Championship. In Connecticut, he had a mixed picture, but by the end of the week, Kisner had seven hits on the grass. While he could easily post a similar figure in Detroit, GC, I just don’t believe in his three-on-green game.

Before the Voyagers, Kisner has lost target shots in nine of his last 10 starts. The exception here is not that he hits badly, but that he hits well. There is always the possibility that he turned the corner, but I will need to see more in him before supporting him as such a strong favorite.

Homa gradually became one of the most volatile players on the PGA tour. He will either miss or argue seriously. Given his kicks on the ball, I think this will be one of those weeks in which he will fight. He just needs to clean up his short game and has to go back to the player he was at the Memorial and the Valspar Championship.

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