Power Rankings: 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic
Golf Channel’s free-to-play game is back for another year, and the 2020 season has officially resumed.
Located in the NBC Sports Predictor app, Golf Pick ‘Em gives fans a chance to win cash and prizes by predicting how some of the top PGA Tour stars will fare against each other on a weekly basis. The focus will be on choosing between a series of seven head-to-head matchups as well as selecting an overall tournament champion and winning score.
Players can compete for weekly cash prizes, with a $50,000 jackpot available each week for any players who earn a perfect score. But there will also be at least $1,000 awarded each week in cash and prizes, even if there is no player with a perfect score. So be sure to download the NBC Sports Predictor app and make your free selections each week!
The contest continues this week with the Rocket Mortgage Classic and will run through the rescheduled Masters in November. Here’s a look at some of the players to keep an eye on when making your Pick ‘Em selections as the Tour heads back to Detroit Golf Club for the second time:
1. Bryson DeChambeau: DeChambeau has played well and contended on courses that didn’t seem to suit his style of play. Now he heads to a relatively open track where he can likely unleash the Kraken. It’s now six straight top-10 finishes for DeChambeau, three on either side of the Tour’s hiatus, and he has clearly found a way to turn extra pounds and added yards into well-rounded play. Expect that to continue this week.
2. Webb Simpson: Simpson sat out last week because of COVID-19 concerns, and he’ll now make his first start since a record-breaking victory at the RBC Heritage. That was his second win of the year, and at No. 6 he heads to Detroit as the highest-ranked player in the field. Simpson’s ball-striking stats are other-worldly this year, and if the putter is even close to the heat-check levels he showed at Harbour Town, he’ll be tough to catch.
3. Tyrrell Hatton: Hatton backed up his Bay Hill breakthrough with another strong performance at Harbour Town, where he finished T-3 two weeks ago. Dating back to September, the Englishman has now cracked the top 20 in eight of nine worldwide starts and is quietly up to 15th in the world rankings. Hatton leads the Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green and sits second in strokes gained: putting, a formidable combination.
4. Patrick Reed: Reed’s T-5 finish here a year ago proved to be a turning point, sparking a late-season run of consistent results that spilled over into the spring, where he won in Mexico. The former Masters champ has top-25 finishes in two of his three starts since the Tour’s return, including a T-7 finish at Colonial, and he’s been outside the top 25 just four times in 10 starts this year.
5. Viktor Hovland: The Norwegian has officially cracked the top 50 in the world rankings, and against a relatively weak field he can absolutely be considered one of the pre-tournament favorites. A winner earlier this year in Puerto Rico, Hovland has racked up three straight top-25s since the Tour’s return and now heads to a course where he finished T-13 last year as a nascent pro.
6. Tony Finau: Finau should be able to lean on the driver this week at Detroit Golf Club, where birdie chances will be abundant for the second straight year. While he missed the cut last week at Travelers, he did so with rounds of 68-69 and just three weeks ago finished inside the top 25 at Colonial. It won’t be long before Finau is contending for another Tour title, as he was in Phoenix when he lost in a playoff.
7. Sungjae Im: Im broke through with a victory at the Honda Classic just before the Tour shut down, and his iron game remains the envy of many. The reigning Rookie of the Year finished T-10 at Colonial, and while he’s slowed down over the last two weeks he’s expected to bounce back on a course where he finished T-21 during last year’s marathon summer.
8. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama also played well here last year, tying for 13th, and he returns ranked third on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green for the season. Matsuyama missed the cut at Harbour Town in his only start since the Tour’s return, but he should create plenty of birdie chances this week as he looks to contend for what would be his first win in nearly three years.
9. Doc Redman: This was the site of a career-altering result last year for Redman, who Monday qualified into the field and then finished second to help lock up full PGA Tour status for this year. He’s put that status to good use, including top-25 finishes each of the last two weeks. Redman is among the top 25 on Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee and approach, and he knows exactly what it takes to contend on this week’s venue.
10. Brendon Todd: It’s hard to believe that last year Todd missed out on the Rocket Mortgage Monday qualifier, and now he returns after nearly capturing his third PGA Tour title of the season. Todd was red-hot in the fall and showed last week once again that he didn’t lose a step during quarantine. While the final round went awry, DGC should be another place where his tee-to-green game can thrive.