The Area 313 Celebrity Challenge kicks off events at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Tuesday. The Detroit News
Matt Charboneau, John Niyo, Tony Paul and Craig Yuhas of The Detroit News make their picks for this week’s inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Dustin Johnson: He has just one win this year, but seven top-10s, including runner-up at The Masters and the PGA Championship, proof that the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world will likely be a factor every time he tees it up.
Gary Woodland: How can you not pick the reigning U.S. Open champion? Of course, there were seven top-10s before that, including a tie for eighth at the PGA Championship. The only question is how he handles playing now as a major champion.
Chez Reavie: Might as well go with the hot hand, right? His four-shot win last week at the Travelers Championship came after a tie for third at the U.S. Open. It seems likely he won’t go 11 years in between Tour wins this time.
Kevin Kisner: The winner of the WGC-Match Play at the end of March has three top-10 finishes this year. After a missed cut at the PGA Championship, he’s starting to round into form with a tie for 15th last week at the Travelers Championship.
Rickie Fowler: He had five top-10 finishes through the Masters, including at win at the Phoenix Open. He’s leveled off a bit but the first-round 66 at the U.S. Open could be repeated more than once this week.
Gary Woodland: With top-10 finishes in eight of his 18 starts, it’d be a surprise if the U.S. Open champ isn’t in the mix.
Brandt Snedeker: If it’s a putting contest on these Donald Ross greens, it’s hard not to like Snedeker’s chances.
Chez Reavie: Last week’s winner is on a roll since March, and a back-nine 28 at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut shows how low he can go.
Joaquin Niemann: The Chilean phenom and former world amateur No. 1 is finding the form he flashed last year as a Tour rookie.
Dustin Johnson: This is the second new course in three outings for Johnson, but the world No. 2 is probably due for another win. He has a handful of top-five finishes already this year and the length to turn DGC into a pitch-and-putt course.
Dustin Johnson: I mean, he hits it a country mile and surprisingly accurately, and his short game is underrated. And only Brooks Koepka is ranked higher in the world. That’s something.
Bubba Watson: The big lefty is closing in on Hall-of-Fame numbers, with 12 wins and two majors. This year hasn’t been his best, but a Donald Ross design could cure that.
Gary Woodland: Yeah it’s pretty hard to go against the U.S. Open champion, even though back-to-back wins is a tall order — especially since he could be wiped after his Victory Lap
Viktor Hovland: The newly minted pro is going to win soon, so why not this week?
Dustin Johnson: Only one of the PGA Tour’s 12 best scorers from this season are playing in Detroit, and, yep, that’s D.J. (69.2). He’ll win a shootout with Hideki Matsyuama (69.8).
Dustin Johnson: With a week off after a disappointing U.S. Open finish, he should be fresh and ready to go low.
Chez Reavie: Reavie is the hottest guy on Tour right now, with a third at the U.S. Open and winning at the Travelers this past weekend.
Gary Woodland: Only Reavie’s confidence is higher right now and with a week off after his U.S. Open win, should be ready to start firing again.
Rickie Fowler: Seems like an odd spot for Fowler, but he’ll be pulled all over the place this week as a spokesman for Rocket Mortgage. He will make the cut and play well, but winning this event might be too much to ask.
Hideki Matsuyama: The scores this week will be low and not many players have the juice to get to 20 to 24 under par. Matsuyama does. He hasn’t missed a cut in the last 16 tournaments he’s played in and has finished in the top 25 in 11 of them. He gets his first victory of 2019 this weekend.