The Rocket Mortgage Classic put a smile on the face of Detroit last year when Nate Lashley landed his maiden PGA Tour title and the defending champion would be a popular winner if he could repeat the trick this week.
Lashley suffered badly when a college player – his parents and girlfriend died in a plane crash on their way home from watching him compete – but he recovered from that ordeal to become a PGA Tour champion at the age of 36. The Nebraska man won by six shots, firing a 63 in both round one and round three at Detroit Golf Club.
The PGA Tour could use another feel-good story, given so many players are going down with Covid-19. Chad Campbell has become the latest to test positive, following Nick Watney, Cameron Champ, Denny McCarthy, Dylan Frittelli and Harris English.
125/1 to retain his Rocket Mortgage title. He has not made a cut since finishing third in the Phoenix Open in the first week of February.
Bryson DeChambeau is the pre-tournament favourite at
6/1, with Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson among the other fancied golfers before the competition tees off.
Burgeoning Bryson Could be Ready to Butcher Weak Field
Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and last week’s Travelers Championship winner Dustin Johnson have all opted to skip the Rocket Mortgage Classic, potentially leaving the way clear for Bryson DeChambeau to dominate.
DeChambeau has been the talk of the PGA Tour, having spent the last few months bulking up to such a degree that he looks like a different person. The cocky Californian has put muscles on his muscles, teeing off resembling the Incredible Hulk, and his swing-speed figures are leaving jaws dropping on the driving range.
DeChambeau is establishing himself as the longest driver on the circuit and with four par-fives to attack in Detroit, he can be expected to contend. His form figures from his last six events are 5-2-4-3-8-6 – his long-game has been in mint condition – but the chipping and putting has left a lot to be desired. And the
6/1 favourite is making his Detroit Golf Club debut.
Time to Make an Appointment with the Doc
Doc Redman has been so impressive over his last seven PGA Tour rounds – his ball-striking has been nothing short of awesome – that any warming of his cold putter should mean the
40/1 chance contends for a breakthrough victory on Sunday.
Lashley got off the mark in this event last year and it could be Redman who follows the example. His progressive post-lockdown form figures are 58-21-11 and he signed off from the Travelers Championship on Sunday with a bogey-free 63.
The 22-year-old was US Amateur champion in 2017 and has always been full of potential. And DGC is where he has shone brightest as a professional. In the inaugural RMC last season, Redman finished runner-up to Lashley, banking a cheque juicy enough for him to earn a PGA Tour card.
Expect more Redman fireworks at his happiest hunting ground this week.