To date, the Detroit Lions have won the Super Bowl only in video games. However, as painful as that is to their dedicated fan base, Nate Lashley proved that video game-like performances can come to life in Detroit. What's more, he won the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic as an afterthought prior to the tournament. Lions' fans know all too well about getting overlooked.
If you ever wanted an example of how a life can change on any given Sunday, Lashley is a good one. He was the last man in the field at Detroit Golf Club a year ago, and then went wire-to-wire en route to trouncing the field by six.
For more on how Lashley manufactured his breakthrough victory, the composite host course and other details about the tournament, scroll past the projected contenders.
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Look for a review of defending champion Nate Lashley in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider. Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Scottie Scheffler and other notables will be included.
It was one of the feel-good stories of 2018-19, and unlike the local NFL representative, Lashley left no doubt that there would be a coronation in Motown. The 36-year-old was in just his second season on the PGA TOUR, and he was plowing forward with conditional status secured via a Minor Medical Extension with which he started the campaign. Then, paydirt.
For the week, Lashley ranked fourth in greens in regulation (59 of 72) and third in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. He also took the second-fewest putts with just 106 while finishing third in Strokes Gained: Putting, third in converting GIR into par breakers, and third in scrambling (11 of 13). He won offensively and defensively, and it was special. Cheat-code kind of stuff.
Detroit GC is a Donald Ross design entering its second century. The stock par 72 routed for the tournament surrendered a scoring average of 70.113 in its PGA TOUR debut. With no significant modifications to the course and with similarly benign weather forecast, the field of 156 should plan on flooring when the flag drops. Daytime highs in the 90s are expected throughout with only passing clouds at times. Winds will be light.
The par-4 third hole plays as No. 1 on the South Course for members. All of the other holes are found on the North Course. Collectively, the composite course tips at 7,340 yards. The 635-yard par-5 fourth yielded "only" four eagles last year and ranked as the hardest of the par 5s at 4.743, but as is customary on most TOUR tracks, all of the par 5s were the easiest holes on the set of 18.
As of midday Monday, 69 in this week's field competed in the inaugural edition. Despite four-inch primary rough and bentgrass greens averaging only 5,150 square feet, they know to be on the attack. Last year's field averaged 13.05 greens in regulation per round and knocked in a little over four par breakers on average on those chances alone.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous angles. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Fantasy Insider
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.