Sleeper Picks: Rocket Mortgage Classic
3 Min Read
Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf
Peter Malnati (+500 for a Top 20) … Although he’s cashed just once in all three previous tries at Detroit GC, the right buttons are depressed at the moment. When he finished T29 in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2019, he sat T5 entering the finale, so there was an instant affinity for the test. He also had been playing well upon arrival. The same can be said currently. Since the Travelers Championship, he’s 3-for-3 with a T11 last week at the 3M Open. Forever tagged with the label of a terrific putter, his momentum is supported by improved ball-striking that the flat stick pays off. Lean into it.
Russell Knox(+450 for a Top 20) and (+350 for a Top Brit and Irish) … Given his extremes, he presents as unlikely not to finish as either the best or the worst of his nationality. The Scot slots third on the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation but he’s 200th in converting those chances into par breakers. So, the simple is that he needs to light fire with the putter. He’s done it throughout his career. The aggregate metrics are not pretty but the elegance to the reach is that he needs to find form with just one club. That’s what makes him and others like him dangerous; they can come out of nowhere. It’s why these odds are so attractive. He’s 1-for-2 at Detroit Golf Club with a T41 last year.
Michael Thorbjornsen … Grouped with Jim Knous for the first two rounds, the amateur and current Stanford Cardinal made his splash at the Travelers Championship with a solo fourth, proving that Joohyung Kim, who also is in this week’s field, isn’t the only 20-year-old making noise on big stages these days. Thorbjornsen led the field at TPC River Highlands in Strokes Gained: Putting, putts per GIR and total distance of putts converted. The grass at Detroit GC is the same mix of Poa and bent. The world’s fifth-ranked amateur is rested since participating in the Palmer Cup in Switzerland four weeks ago.
Brandon Matthews … Although he finished 60th in his PGA TOUR debut at the U.S. Open in June, and then missed the cut at last week’s 3M Open, the stars are best aligned for him to show us what he can do in the Motor City. The U.S. Open is a major and the days immediately in advance of his appearance at TPC Twin Cities were, say, unfamiliar. On the Saturday before, he was 10-under through three rounds of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS but 11 shots back of the lead and sitting T44, so he opted to withdraw to travel, settle and fulfill his commitments as a sponsor exemption in Minnesota without applying undue stress on the experience. Now, has the luxury of additional rest and the reset to plan his attack on Detroit GC. The tall talent is among the longest off the tee, and he’s T2 in par-5 scoring on the KFT, but he’s also seventh in paying off greens hit with par breakers. At sixth in KFT points, this is another sneak peek at the 2022-23 PGA TOUR rookie.
Odds were sourced on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. For live odds, visit BetMGM.