The second year of the Rocket Mortgage Classic consisted of a weak field yet contained some exciting play by some up-and-coming players. Below is a commentary on how some key players performed during this week's PGA Tour event. For a more in-depth commentary, go check out my final round coverage and analysis at
Bryson DeChambeau, winner of this tournament: Bryson DeChambeau played much better this week than the last two weeks. In the last 6 starts before his win Bryson DeChambeau made the top ten every time and has played the most consistent after the hiatus. These top ten finishes lead me and other people to believe a win for DeChambeau was just around the corner. Another thing that the top ten finishes showed was that Bryson just needed to work on a few more things to get a win. Bryson's main struggles are wedge play and hitting fairways consistently. This week Bryson's wedge play has been better than we are used to seeing and he has hit around 60% of his fairways. Also tee shots were not just going well for Bryson DeChambeau, he was also getting more up and downs and was in the top 10 in putting for the week. Overall, this week DeChambeau has improved most definitely where he has struggled and, because of the improvements, has gotten the job done and won his first tournament of this PGA Tour season.
Mathew Wolff, 2nd place: Since turning pro Mathew Wolff has been on most golf fans' and writers' radar. People believe that he will be winning tournaments and will become an all-star. After last year's win at the 3M Open over DeChambeau, Wolff has been on an extreme cold streak and has not had a top ten finish since that tournament. Due to the cold streak Mathew Wolff did not have expectations coming into the season and after the PGA Tour hiatus. Wolff was barely hanging onto a top 100 spot in the race to the FedEx Cup. Wolff 's main struggles in his game are putting consistently throughout a week and keeping wedge play under control. In the first round Wolff stayed under the radar with a 69. Coming into the second round, Wolff knew that he had to prove that he was not the worst out of last year's rookie class which included players like Victor Hovland and Collin Morikawa. Wolff shot a 64 in the second and was playing well in his weaker categories. Wolff was stellar making only one bogey that day and having tons of birdies and one eagle to shoot 64. In the third round, Mathew Wolff shot a 64 and had the momentum in his favor leading coming into the final round. Wolff did not meet the final round expectations and only shot a 1 under 71 losing a three-shot lead. The 1 under round was not enough to win over Bryson DeChambeau and take the tournament this week. Overall, Mathew Wolff played better than his pre- tournament expectations, but did not seal the deal and win this tournament with a three-shot lead.
Webb Simpson, tied for 8th: Simpson played great this tournament having missed one whole week on tour. Simpson played like he never missed a week. When you look at his performance you notice the thing that sticks out is that he was inside the top 10 in greens in regulation and fairways in regulation. Him doing well in these categories shows consistency off the tee and with approach shots and proves why he deserved his tie for 8th place. Also, another thing to note is that in the first two rounds Simpson had great performances with the putter. He never had a round with over 30 putts!!! But in the last two rounds this weekend, Simpson started to slip down the leaderboard and was not hitting greens, fairways and putts as well as we saw earlier in the week and in past performances this season. Overall Simpson played worse than my expectations against the weak field he was competing against.
Chris Kirk, tied for 21st: Since Chris Kirk's win on the Korn Ferry Tour a few weeks ago he has found some form of good play that has put him in contention for the first two rounds of this tournament. Kirk found consistency around the greens and on the greens in the first two rounds of this tournament. I noticed this week that Kirk slightly improved his weakest facets of his game which is short game and getting up and downs when off the green. Kirk has been inside the top 20 in strokes gained on the greens and on up and downs which is much better than his middle of the road and lower tier past performances in those categories. Also, Kirk has found a putting stroke that has been working which is more towards the traditional but with the heel of the putter down instead of squared throughout the stroke. This stroke is used to try to hit more towards the center of the putter head and take away putts coming off the toe. On the weekend Kirk fell out of the lead position and started to show weakness in the categories he was doing well in before. Overall, Chris Kirk has surprised me with his performance this week and is on his way to proving he deserves a long-term PGA Tour card.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic was a close and competitive tournament that did not have the star-power of other tournaments this season. If you want to see more articles and video's about golf and other sports go check out my channel on SportsCastr called MitchySports.