The Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit kicked off with some impressive performances, defying initial predictions of lower scores. While Tony Finau anticipated a winning score of 30 under, the competition remains wide open after the first day.
Monday qualifier Peter Kuest made a notable charge, joining Taylor Moore at the top of the leaderboard. Another standout moment came from Dylan Wu, who scored an albatross on the par-5 14th hole with a remarkable approach shot.
Despite these early highlights, the updated betting odds favor two-time major champion Collin Morikawa, who sits two shots off the lead after a bogey-free 66. Notable players like Finau, Tom Kim, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Thomas had a challenging start, while Morikawa emerged as the betting favorite for the tournament.
Looking ahead, there are a couple of contenders worth keeping an eye on. One such contender is Ludvig Aberg, who demonstrated exceptional skills on the course. Aberg, a recent Texas Tech graduate, showcased his accuracy by hitting every fairway and nearly every green in regulation. With an eagle on the 7th hole, Aberg finished the day at 9 under, making him a strong candidate for the tournament. His in-play price has increased due to late bogeys, but his value is evident to bettors.
Another contender to watch is Adam Schenk, who has been on the verge of securing a victory this season. Despite missing the cut in his last two tournaments, Schenk's game appears well-suited to this week's event. His driving, a weak point this season, has improved, allowing him to avoid poor positions on the course. Schenk's ability to hit greens in regulation and his strong iron play make him a compelling choice for success at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
However, while Collin Morikawa remains a formidable player, there are concerns about his putting performance. Although he had a good day on the greens during the opening round, Morikawa's season-long putting statistics indicate room for improvement. If he can maintain his putting consistency throughout the week, he has the potential to dominate the tournament. Nevertheless, given the competition's strong field and the need for consistently excellent putting, it is prudent to exercise caution when investing in Morikawa as the favorite.
As the Rocket Mortgage Classic continues, it promises to be an exciting event with plenty of room for surprises. The competition remains open, and the players mentioned above, along with others, will be closely watched as they strive for victory.