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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Rocket Mortgage Classic

Twofer Tuesday leaves the playoff atmosphere of the Travelers for the 72-and-done atmosphere of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau

Although it's only been played twice, the Rocket Mortgage at the Detroit Golf Club has been characterized by blowout wins -- a 6-shot win by 2019 champ Nate Lashley and last year's 3-shot win by newly-supersized Bryson DeChambeau.

One thing that excites me is that the inaugural John Shippen National Invitational event was won by Tim O'Neal, getting him a spot in the tournament. I've been a fan of Tim's ever since he barely missed a chance at a PGA Tour card way back in 2001, and I keep pulling for him to get that spot on Tour. He's 48 now so perhaps my hopes are more for a Champions Tour career, but he does have three PGA Tour Latinoamérica wins so I'm hoping he'll add the Rocket to that total.

He'll join 13 of the Top50 players in the OWGR. I know that doesn't sound like a particularly strong field, but you'd consider a lot of the players teeing it up in Detroit this week 'strong players'. (Like Phil Mickelson, for instance.) And it gives me a pretty good group to make my picks from.

  • I like Webb Simpson this week. While Detroit Golf Club is a longish course at 7370 yards it's also a par-72 course, which means Webb will have four par-5s to exploit each day. It's a Donald Ross design and Webb likes classic courses. And the greens are kinda small, which should play into his putting and short game strengths.
  • And my other pick is Matt Wolff. I know he hasn't played particularly well lately, but I think it's just a matter of time before he gets it back together -- and I expect that to be sooner rather than later. He finished 2nd here last year, so the good feelings may be just what he needs to make that move.

GC's live coverage starts Thursday at 3pm ET. I wonder if we'll see another blowout winner this week?

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