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Sky rockets in flight! ๐Ÿš€

Published 12 months agoย โ€ขย 8 min read

Keeping score

Winning is very important to all of us at Read The Line. Those of you who read the member newsletter know how hot ๐Ÿ”ฅ we have been. In the last three weeks, our outright predictions have one win, five top 5s, and 10 top 10s.

RTL has posted 89 bets in the last three weeks for our members bringing a 13.4% net return. For those who might think we are emphasizing a small window of success, since the start of 2023, RTL has posted 605 bets. We have a 15.6% net return on the year along with seven outright wins.

On-site and in-play coverage from a PGA expert matters when it comes to winning. Half the year is over, and it has been a great success. Let's double down on the second half and see if we can double our membership and get to 14 wins!

Ross revisited

There will always be a soft spot in my professional heart for Donald Ross golf courses. Nearly half of my club professional years were spent working at iconic Ross courses. I think what makes Ross unique are the green complexes. False fronts, some slope front to back, bunker placement and THE undulations all characterize his incredible imagination. To put it in perspective, Ross and his peers were designing courses when there were very few examples. Much like designing the iPhone before there were smartphones there's some serious genius in his architecture.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic is about to kick off its fifth edition. All hosted by Detroit Golf Club, the 36-hole Donald Ross designed golf facility is one of the premiere golf venues in Michigan. Following a west coast major championship and an east coast designated event they don't have the best spot on the PGA TOUR schedule. With seven of the top 25 in the OWGR (37 of the top 100) we do have some rock stars in Detroit. The entire field of 156 players are competing for $8.8 million dollars. The top 65 and ties play the weekend and try to earn $1.584 million for first place.

Dangerous weather rocked DGC and the surrounding areas on Sunday night. Fallen trees and damage can be seen across the course. Teams are working overtime to prepare for the TOUR. Don't let that storm fool you. The .92" they received on Sunday-Monday is about half of the rain received in the area for June. The course may have a touch of softness near the surface, but overall, the accomplished agronomy team will have the place prepared.

The 36-hole facility uses 17 holes from the North Course and one hole from the South. Here's a quick breakdown of the Detroit Golf Club Championship Course details.

  • The scorecard is a par 72 measuring 7,370 yards.
  • There are 10 par 4s, four par 3s, and four par 5s.
  • Water comes into play on the par 5 fourteenth hole, and the championship course has 87 bunkers.
  • The greens average 5,150 sq/ft in size and are covered in a bent/pos blend of grass.
  • Here is the correct hole routing for the Championship Course.
    • Front nine: North 8, 9, South 1, North 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    • Back nine: North 10-18 (in order)

Tournament history tells us DGC is a bomber's paradise. Past champions include Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau. Sometimes it can be that simple. Bombs away and birdies makes sense as we research the outright blueprint. For the second week in a row, you will need to make 30 birdies to win. Keegan Bradley collected 27 birdies in Connecticut in route to winning the Travelers. We'll get into more of the skill set in the next section, but after The Memorial, PGA Championship, US Open, and Charles Schwab it is nice to see these guys let loose for a couple weeks in a row.

There's a unique trend in the pre-tournament odds of the past four winners.

  • 2022: +1200
  • 2021: +15000
  • 2020: +700
  • 2019: +25000

If history repeats itself, we should see a long shot rocket to the top of this leaderboard. With an average cutline of three under par and average winning score of 23 under par, the winner will surely be hot in Detroit (no matter what the starting odds are). In back-to-back weeks, the course might seem outmatched by these guys. The beauty of golf is the variety. Look inside how the player wins, and not just at the score. Imagine how boring the game would be if it was always played on a 100-yard grid or with a 10' high rim. Dine in the delight of Donald's design and enjoy the fireworks. After all, it is a good weekend for rockets! ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Rocket Mortgage on TV:

  • Thursday - Friday 7:00am - 6:00pm (ESPN+), 3:00 - 6:00pm (Golf Channel)
  • Saturday 7:30am - 6:00pm (ESPN+), 1:00 - 3:00pm (Golf Channel), 3:00 - 6:00pm (CBS)
  • Sunday 7:30am - 6:00pm (ESPN+), 1:00 - 3:00pm (Golf Channel), 3:00 - 6:00pm (CBS)
  • Complete details on โ€‹PGATOUR.comโ€‹โ€‹
  • All times EDT.

Rocket Mortgage starts in...

Count down to 2023-06-29T10:30:00.000Zโ€‹


Boss of the moss?

Sometimes it is a putting contest. Keegan Bradley led the Travelers field in strokes gained putting and he won. Looking back at the last four (and only) winners at Detroit Golf Club, the most dominant trend is with the flatstick. Funny thing is each winner didn't show a consistent trend with their putting leading up to the win. Bryson gained in five straight events while Nate Lashley only gained in one event in his four starts prior to capturing the Rocket Mortgage.

Putting can be a fickle thing. Tony Finau won the week prior in 2022 and he only gained in two of his four previous starts. My point is, predicting putting can be a very difficult task. Much of the rhetoric will be surrounding the greens in betting media for the RMC. Our outrights will reflect the ability to pop with the putter, but also in the following areas.

  • The average driving distance at this event is 13 yards over the TOUR average. Bryson, Cam Davis, Finau, and even Nate Lashley sends it 300 yards plus. Can Brian Harman win this week? He can, but it will take his very best to compete with guys who hit the ball 30+ yards past him. We're going to lean on the driver at DGC and follow the strong signs that length leads to winning.
  • The approach play skill set is very similar to last week at the Travelers. Sixty-three percent of iron shots attacking these hole locations will come from 100-175 yards. The best with a wedge and their scoring irons will lead the proximity statistics and give themselves the 36+ birdie chances needed to win.
  • The Travelers is an excellent preview for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Securing as many GIRs as possible leads us on the path to victory. The greens at DGC are small enough that if you can get on in regulation you will have a reasonable birdie chance 75% of the time. Accumulating as many GIRs takes a combination of skills. Strokes gained approach was the second largest average gain by the four winners. Watch those who had a hot iron game last week!
  • We have four par 5s this week. Sixteen chances at an easier scoring hole gives par 5 leading scorers a significant advantage. Even with an average length of 580 yards, many of the longer hitters will attack with an iron in hand. Create birdie or better on a dozen of these holes and you are well on your way to 30 sub-par scores.

Past the putting and the driver, par 4 scoring, T2G play, and short game are an added focus. Great around the green players not only save par, but they score in short yardage situations. Your wedges will need to be very versatile to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Bradley's masterpiece in Connecticut might have caused some to miss a couple of other great finishers in the field. I watched a lot of golf (and golfers) over the past two weeks on the road. I have seen many of these players working hard toward a win. Those on-site observations give me a great idea of who will earn it.

Outright winners - Rocket Mortgage Classic

Rickie Fowler has finished top 15 or better in eight of his last nine starts. The previously slumping star has looked solid from T2G all season and is going to win this week. Over his last 10 starts, Fowler has gained an average of seven strokes against the field. Rickieโ€™s flatstick is back and the approach game is just as great. The popular pro is ranked first in par 5 scoring and second in BoB% for the field in Detroit. Third ranked in T2G, he is also top 10 in GIRs gained and par 4 scoring. Rickie has every reason to continue the hot play from LA and finally complete this comeback.

In his last five starts, Alex Smalley has gained over two strokes per start off the tee and on approach. That level of balance is what earned the Duke standout seven top 15 finishes last season. When the putter warms up, he scores, and we saw it last week when he finished ninth at the Travelers. He has the game to create 35 birdie opportunities because he is ranked fourth in the field for GIRs gained. Alex in this field is also top 10 in proximity to the hole and par 4 scoring. Sitting in the middle of the betting board, he possesses the skills needed and perfectly positioned for a nice size win.


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