New tournament, who dis?
Not only is 2019 the year of the new schedule on the PGA Tour, it’s also the year of new events. One of those events takes place this week as the Tour heads back to Michigan for the first time in over a decade. The Rocket Mortgage Classic is being held at Donald Ross designed Detroit Golf Club.
Here’s a look at how we’re doing overall this season:
|(2019 – 20 Events)||Correct||Incorrect|
|Two Inches Short||*3||15|
We clearly aren’t experts.
* Two Inches Short won our bracket challenge even though he didn’t pick the WGC-Match Play winner.
Now, on to this week’s picks…
Dan Hauser (@DanHauserGolf)
By now we all know about Viktor Hovland’s impressive amateur career. In addition to his stellar college career, Hovland won the 2018 U.S. Amateur and was the low am at both this year’s Masters and U.S. Open. For Hovland, it’s a when not if he wins a PGA Tour event and I don’t see him waiting too long to get that first win under his belt.
In his pro debut last week, Hovland finished T54 at the Travelers. That’s fresh off a rather impressive T12 finish at the U.S. Open at Pebble.
The kid can mash, plain and simple. Last week his average drive was 288 with a long drive of 332. At Pebble, he averaged 296 off the tee, with a long drive of 333. With numbers like that, Hovland should have no problem with winning on Tour and winning a lot. I think he gets his first win this week.
Michael Shamburger (@mshamburger1)
After taking a week off from making picks, it’s hard to come back and imagine I’ll be successful, but I’ll give it a go.
I was leaning towards taking Matthew Wolff this week, however, even though I’m intrigued by his swing and the possibilities surrounding his game, I’m going to make a more realistic pick.
I’ll go with Hideki this week.
He’s got four straight top-25 finishes including a 6th at the Memorial. He’s 4th in approach to the green, 17th in strokes gained around-the-green – which could come in handy this week in Detroit, fifth in strokes gained tee-to-green, and 6th in strokes gained total. Hideki’s putter has been his problem all season, but he still ranks 14th in birdie average.
Honestly, none of us have any idea what is going to happen this week and that’s ok. We’re just going with the flow.
Two Inches Short (@TwoInchesShort)
We’re taking Dustin Johnson to win this week’s inaugural Rocket Mortgage classic. Why? Because statistically, he’s the best player in the field. It’s not exactly – wait for it – rocket (!!!) science.
While you can argue DJ’s form has been meh recently with a T20 in Canada and a T35 in the US Open, let us remind you his average finish this season is 15th, including a win at the WGC in Mexico and runner-ups in both the Masters and PGA.
Plus, he’s straight killing it in the strokes-gained game on tour: THIRD off-the-tee, SECOND tee-to-green and SECOND overall.
Let’s be honest … there are not many courses that don’t suit DJ’s game. If he’s able to find his form and gets it rolling this week, good luck to the rest of the field.
Dan is the co-founder of The Stiff Shaft and the website’s Senior Writer. A South Florida native, Dan has been covering golf since 2013 and playing it his entire life. He is still waiting for his first hole-in-one.