Rocket Mortgage Classic: Put trust in Taylor

American Vaughn Taylor
American Vaughn Taylor looks each-way value

Dave Tindall has three each-way picks for this week's new event - the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club...

"The American, a former Ryder Cup player, was tied ninth at Riviera and fourth at last week's Travelers Championship. Also tied seventh in the Desert Classic, Taylor has racked up three top 20s in his last five starts and gained 7.399 strokes tee-to-green last week."

Main Bet: Vaughn Taylor each-way @ 80/1

I delayed writing this preview until Wednesday morning to try and glean some extra information about Detroit Golf Club, a venue being used for the first time on the PGA Tour.

Would there be a late nugget? Well, there may just be one and it's provided by Bubba Watson.

True, basing anything on the random musings of Bubba's brain could be a genuine act of stupidity but bear with me.

Like everyone, Bubba is seeing the 7,340-yard par 72 for the first time and he had this to say when asked if Detroit GC reminded him of anywhere: "Yeah, it's pretty wild. I would say it's a combination of a few of them.

"We were talking about Canada, we were talking about Riviera, and Travelers last week. It's tree-lined, but it's the kind of grass, the way the shots you're hitting into the greens with the slopes and the undulations.

"From tee to green, it's not too bad. It's kind of fair, kind of open. I shouldn't say that until after I tee off, but it's kind of open.

"But then the tournament starts, it's the second shot or third shot, trying to get the ball in the right position. So there's a couple courses we play throughout the year with this kind of grass."

It's a bit rambly but this is Bubba. Anywhere the upshot is that it may be a decent idea to have a look at the leaderboards of those three tournaments he mentions - the Canadian Open, the Genesis Open and the Travelers Championships.

Bubba has won three times at both Riviera and TPC River Highlands so already there's a logical correlation.

Rory McIlroy (not playing this week) won Canada by and was fourth at Riviera but one man whose name pops up twice is Vaughn Taylor.

The American, a former Ryder Cup player, was tied ninth at Riviera earlier this season and fourth at last week's Travelers Championship.

Also tied seventh in the Desert Classic, Taylor has racked up three top 20s in his last five starts and gained 7.399 strokes tee-to-green last week.

He came home in 29 in round four of the Travelers last week while at Memorial, Taylor said this: "I've been playing well this year, playing consistent. Hadn't been in contention too much, but I've been right there. Just needed a little improving here and there. But putting great, so putting is a big part of it."

In a tricky week, I think he represents some each-way value at 80/1.

Next Best: Back Sungjae Im each-way @ 40/1

With scoring set to be low this week, there's certainly no harm in having a punt on a man who has made more birdies than anyone else on the PGA Tour this year.

Sungjae Im has plundered 362 red numbers while he also sits seventh for eagles, a tally he boosted by making four of them in the recent Canadian Open.

His stats are solid all over and it's not too often you find someone not in the upper echelons who ranks in the top 60 for both SG: Putting and SG: Tee-To-Green.

Those impressive numbers have translated into six top 10s and 11 finishes in the top 25.

Looking at those recent events Bubba mentioned, Im was tied seventh in Canada after shooting bookend 64s while he closed with a 66 for tied 21st in last week's Travelers Championship.

He doesn't take much time off but it's worth noting that his last five top 10s have all come after he'd played the week before so he's at his best when the engine has been running for a while.

Im hadn't played the week before the Travelers so that tied 21st now looks slightly better and a marker for something big here.

The fact that we're on Poa annua greens again also has to bode well given that those were the surfaces in Canada and the Travelers.

Im gained a combined 11.460 strokes on the greens across those eight rounds and a hot putter could take him far in what could be a real birdie-fest.

Final Bet: Back Stephan Jaeger each-way @ 150/1

I looked at Ryan Moore (good on Donald Ross tracks, T15 at the Travelers) and birdie-machine Aaron Wise for a third pick but they look short enough now at 28s and 33s respectively.

At the top end of the market, Dustin Johnson doesn't seem to be putting well enough, Rickie Fowler may use this as a stepping stone for Royal Portrush while it's pure guesswork to know how Gary Woodland will perform after all the hoopla following his US Open win.

Hideki Matsuyama is a legitimate pick but 11/1 is very pinched.

Instead, I'll jump way down the betting to 150/1 Stephan Jaeger.

Jaeger's name comes up in the brain when thinking low scoring due to his remarkable performance in the 2016 Ellie Mae Classic.

The German opened with a ludicrous 58 and eventually won with 30-under.

He's since added three more Web.com victories so knows how to get it done when in contention.

This is his rookie season on the PGA Tour but he's really starting to find his feet as shown by five top 30s in his last seven starts.

Very latest form shows T30 at the Travelers, T14 in Canada and T17 at the Byron Nelson.

Sixth in SG: Around-The-Green this season, the man from Munich doesn't look far away from a big week.

Dave's 2018/19 PGA Tour P/L (based on £5 ew per selection outrights, £10 win top 5s/10s)

Staked: £930
Returned: £539
P/L: -£391

2017/2018:
P/L: +£362.84

2016/2017:
P/L: +£1179.89

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