The 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic? Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th of June 2019

Where is the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic? Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan, USA

What is the total prize fund of the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic? $7,300,000

What television channel can I watch the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic on in the UK? Sky Sports Golf

Where can I stream the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic in the UK? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the tournament online via Sky Go

Where can I get tickets for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic? https://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rocket-mortgage-classic/tickets.html

What is the course yardage at the Detroit Golf Club (North)? 7.334 yards

What is the par at Detroit Golf Club (North)? 72

What is the course information for Detroit Golf Club (North)? The Donald Ross design recently underwent an upgrade to increase the course yardage to stand up against the world’s best players. The North course is mainly treelined making for accurate driving with one hole being utilised from the neighbouring South course to provide the best test and structure possible for the tour's first visit there.

What is the predicted weather for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic? Partly cloudy for the opening days play with temperatures expected around 25c. However, scattered thunderstorms are predicted through the remaining three rounds which will likely cause changes to tee times, competitors not finishing rounds and possibly even take play into Monday.

THE HISTORY

Formerly known as the Quicken Loans National between 2013 and 2018, the tournament was held across four different golf clubs throughout the 12 editions before moving to Detroit for this year’s edition with Rocket Mortgage taking over the sponsorship title. The tournament has experienced some big-name winners over the years with Tiger Woods and Justin Rose both winning twice while Francesco Molinari claimed last year's title, helping him kick-start his form before winning the Open Championship just a few weeks later. Additionally, this is the highest purse available on the PGA Tour outside of the remaining major and WGC’s until the Northern Trust on the 8th of August, which brings a stronger field than perhaps would traditionally have been the case.

With this being the first main professional tournament held at Detroit Golf Club, there are no pre-tournament favourites based on past course form or results. Therefore, key performance statistics were identified from the field of entered players with a key focus on par five scoring due to the four longest holes being an important facet to scoring this week as well as the overall par of 72.

THE FAVOURITES

Gary Woodland

The new U.S. Open champion makes his return to competition this week hoping to continue his fine form and climb into the world’s top ten for the first time in his career. Having finished inside the top ten during two of his last three starts – which were both major championships – his all-round game is at a level where he can contend more regularly, where he ranks 15th in SG: total. Surprisingly, the U.S. Open was just Woodland’s fourth PGA Tour victory to date, something he will know he can build on moving forward and this course should provide just that as he ranks T3 in par five scoring average, and with two additional runner-up finishes already this season, expect his confidence to be at an all-time high to match his all-round game.

Rickie Fowler

Fowler must be starting to feel that every promising American player around him seems to be winning major championships except him. He has been in contention on numerous occasions without crossing the line and perhaps might be feeling the pressure already. Either way, this week poses a great chance of adding to his five tour victories and prepping himself to be ready for next month's Open Championship, the one major that is his ideal chance to join many of his close peers. With two poor showings in the last two majors sandwiched between his first missed cut of the season, current form isn’t great, but ranked 13th in scoring average and 18th in SG: total suggests he will soon turn that around and look to make a mark on the remainder of the season.

Hideki Matsuyama

The former world number two – seemingly not all that long ago – has now dropped to 28 and is searching for his first victory since his three wins in 2017 and last at the WGC HSBC Champions. The young Japanese star heads to Detroit in solid form having recorded four top-25 finishes in his last four starts but with four top-tens all season, he isn’t quite getting in contention. Ranked sixth in SG: total shows how he nearly became the world’s highest ranked player in recent years and being ranked 15th in scoring average this season suggests he is very close to contention again. However, ranked 123rd in SG: putting shows exactly why he is not getting the results the rest of his game deserves, meaning if he putts even just average this week, his long game could see a comprehensive victory around this new layout.

THE OUTSIDERS

Sungjae Im

The young Korean has already played 27 events this season and will be at risk of burning out, but as he ranks 26th in the current FedEx Cup standings, he’ll be looking to climb as high as possible while his form stays strong. With six top-ten finishes already this season and ranked 28th in scoring average, Im has all the game required to keep pushing forward. Ranked 28th in SG: total shows his solid all-round game – something that allows him to compete around most golf courses – and with two victories last season on the Korn Ferry Tour during his debut season, this player knows how to win and could become the rookie of the season.

Charles Howell III

The veteran American claimed his third PGA title earlier this season and first in 12 years and has since gone on to have one of the strongest years in his career, currently ranked 15th in the FedEx Cup. Nine top-25 finishes from 15 made cuts suggests that, when he is playing well, he typically finishes well. However, he heads to Detroit in his worst form of the year with an average finishing result of 63rd from his past five starts. Nevertheless, a week off after the U.S. Open may have given him the chance to re-energise and prep for a potentially important tournament, something that could see him go far in the FedEx playoffs with a strong finish this week. Ranked 30th in SG: total shows his game is in solid shape, but he will need to improve on his approach the green play - where he is currently ranked 118th - if he is to add a fifth top-ten of the season.