Detroit News predictions: The next Rocket Mortgage Classic champ will be ...

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Who'll win the fourth Rocket Mortgage Classic?

Your guess is almost certainly as good — or better — than ours, but, hey, we're paid to write about sports, even if that workload includes the occasional, embarrassingly bad prediction.

Speaking of which, here you go!

Troy Merritt chips to the 13th green during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on Saturday, July 3, 2021.

Tony Paul

Nobody could've predicted Nate Lashley winning in 2019 or Cam Davis winning last year, though Bryson DeChambeau was a popular pick in 2020. That's golf, for ya. With such large fields, and any one of the 156 players able to have the week of his life, you could throw a dart at the tee sheet and pick the winner almost as much as if you studied all the metrics. I'll go against the grain a bit and take Kevin Kisner, who's having a very good season on Tour, even though he hasn't won this season. He's done really well in Detroit, playing every Rocket Mortgage Classic, with a third-place finish in 2020 and a tie for eighth last year.

Matt Charboneau

The Rocket Mortgage Classic has produced first-time winners twice in its first three years, a run that has a good shot of continuing this year with Will Zalatoris, the No. 13-ranked player in the world. If there’s a player more primed to break through, it’s hard to figure out who that is considering last season’s rookie of the year has nine top-10 finishes this season, including runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship to go along with a sixth at The Masters. He didn’t fare well in Detroit last year, but that changes this week.

John Niyo

Patrick Cantlay has been off since a top-10 finish at The Open Championship. But in a tournament where the winners will have to go low, I’ll go with the best player in the field and one who ranks among the PGA Tour leaders in birdie average.

Craig Yuhas

It seems impossible that Will Zalatoris hasn’t won a PGA Tour event yet with three runner-up finishes in major championships the last two years. He gets his first win at Detroit Golf Club.

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