2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview
2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

Dates: June 24-30, 2019
Where: Detroit, Michigan
Course: Detroit Golf Club (36-36—72/7,340 yards)
Field size: 156
Purse: $7,300,000 ($1,314,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play

Things to know about the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic

  1. The 313: The Rocket Mortgage Classic will make history in 2019 as the first PGA TOUR event to be held within the city limits of Detroit, and the first TOUR event in Michigan since the 2009 Buick Open in Grand Blanc.
  2. Donald Ross: Detroit Golf Club, founded in 1899, with two current Donald Ross designed courses opening in 1916. The tournament will be held on the tree-lined fairways of the North Course, with one hole utilized from the South Course. The course was renovated with several new tees that lengthened the layout to 7,309 yards.
  3. Detroit, meet Gary: Gary Woodland will make his first start since winning his first major championship at the U.S. Open. With the victory, Woodland moved to No. 5 in the FedExCup as he eyes his seventh trip to the TOUR Championship in the last nine years. Additional stars in the field include Rocket Mortgage ambassador Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.
  4. Motor City showing support: The entire city of Detroit has rallied around the Rocket Mortgage Classic, with a significant number of local celebrities showing support including Mike Tirico, Kid Rock, Draymond Green, Justin Abdelkader, Jerome Bettis, John Beilein and Tom Izzo.
  5. New Schedule: The Rocket Mortgage Classic is the first of two new PGA TOUR events on the 2018-19 schedule, being played in consecutive weeks (followed by 3M Open). The two events are part of the re-configured 2018-19 schedule that included the move of THE PLAYERS to March, the Championship to May, the RBC Canadian Open to June and the three FedExCup Playoffs events contested during the month of August.

Newest PGA TOUR events

The following events currently on the 2018-19 PGA TOUR schedule made their debut since 2000:

Tournament First season First winner
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship 2017-18 Brice Garnett
THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES 2017-18 Justin Thomas
Barbasol Championship 2014-15 Scott Piercy
CIMB Classic* 2010 Ben Crane
The RSM Classic 2010 Heath Slocum
World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions* 2009 Phil Mickelson
Puerto Rico Open 2008 Greg Kraft
Safeway Open 2007 Mike Weir
Mayakoba Golf Classic 2007 Fred Funk
Wells Fargo Championship 2003 David Toms
Valspar Championship 2000 John Huston

*became official in 2013-14

The Rocket Mortgage Classic and the FedExCup

  • Only six weeks (eight events) remain in the PGA TOUR Regular Season.
  • Three of the top 10 in the FedExCup standings are scheduled to compete at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, led by No. 5 Gary Woodland.
  • TOUR Championship regulars outside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings looking to improve their standing this week include Bubba Watson (No. 71), Patrick Reed (No. 73), Hideki Matsuyama (No. 34), Brandt Snedeker (No. 36) and Billy Horschel (No. 54).

Current FedExCup standings

The top 10 in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Regular Season will share a $10 million bonus pool through the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 program. Updated standings are below:

Position Player Points Wins Top-10s Points Behind Starts Projected Bonus
1 Matt Kuchar 2,287 2 8   17 $2 million
2 Brooks Koepka 2,198 2 6 89 15 $1.5 million
3 Rory McIlroy 2,195 2 11 92 14 $1.2 million
4 Xander Schauffele 1,817 2 5 470 16 $1.1 million
5 Gary Woodland 1,789 1 8 498 18 $1.0 million
6 Patrick Cantlay 1,658 1 8 629 16 $850,000
7 Dustin Johnson 1,631 1 7 656 13 $700,000
8 Paul Casey 1,541 1 6 746 17 $600,000
9 Justin Rose 1,308 1 6 979 12 $550,000
10 Rickie Fowler 1,285 1 5 1,002 15 $500,000

Spotlight on Michigan native Joey Garber

Joey Garber, Michigan native playing in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic
Joey Garber, Michigan native playing in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic
  • Hometown: Petoskey, Michigan
  • Age: 27
  • Current residence: St. Simons Island, Georgia
  • Of note: Michigan native throwing out the first pitch at the Detroit Tigers baseball game on Wednesday, June 26.
  • High School: Made the cut at the 2007 Michigan Open as a 15-year-old, the youngest player in history to do so in the state’s most prestigious golf tournament
  • In 2010, won both the Michigan Amateur and the Michigan Junior Amateur titles, the first player ever to win both state amateur titles in the same year
  • Named Mr. Golf twice in the state of Michigan during high school at Petoskey High School
  • College: University of Georgia (2014)
  • Spent freshman year playing for University of Michigan
  • Transferred to Georgia for sophomore year and was named a captain as a senior and was nominated for the Ben Hogan Award, spent time as No. 1 collegiate (Golfstat and Golfweek) and earned All-SEC and All-America honors.
  • Professional Career
    • Played 2018 on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.com Tour) and won the Rex Hospital Open to earn maiden PGA TOUR card
    • Played 2018 on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly Web.com Tour) and won the Rex Hospital Open to earn maiden PGA TOUR card

Gary Woodland

  • Making first start since earning first major championship title at the U.S. Open
  • Has a career-high eight top-10s during the 2018-19 season (top finishes: Win/U.S. Open, 2nd/THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, 2nd/Sentry Tournament of Champions)
  • Has advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship in five of the last six seasons and enters the week No. 5 in the FedExCup standings
  • Holds wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career (2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, 2019 U.S. Open)

Dustin Johnson

  • With next win, will tie Davis Love III, Willie Macfarlane, Lanny Wadkins and Craig Wood for 30th all-time on the PGA TOUR wins list (21)
  • Won at least three titles in each season from 2015-16 to 2017-18 and has one in 2018-19 (World Golf Championships- Mexico Championship)
  • Has seven top-10s on the season including the win in Mexico and finished runner-up at each of the first two major championships (T2/Masters Tournament, 2nd/PGA Championship)
  • Ranks third in Scoring Average (69.205); has led the TOUR in that category in two of the last three seasons (2015-16, 2017- 18)

Rickie Fowler

  • Has four top-fives in 15 starts during the 2018-19 season, including his fifth career PGA TOUR win (Waste Management Phoenix Open)
  • No. 10 in the FedExCup; has advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship in four of the last five seasons
  • Rocket Mortgage ambassador

Bubba Watson

  • 12-time winner on the PGA TOUR, most recently winning three times during the 2018-19 season (Genesis Open, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, Travelers Championship)
  • In search of third top-10 and first since the Valspar Championship (T4); has not had fewer than three in a season since 2009
  • Finished T54 in his title defense at last week’s Travelers Championship

Notable exemptions

  • After making their professional debuts at the Travelers Championship, former top amateurs Viktor Hovland (T54) and Matthew Wolff (T80) will play on sponsor exemptions; Hovland was the low amateur at the Masters and the U.S. Open while Wolff won the individual title at the 2019 NCAA Championships.
  • Non-member Chip McDaniel aka “Mr. Monday” was awarded a sponsor exemption for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. McDaniel has successfully Monday qualified three times this season, the latest came last week at the Travelers Championship after catching a red-eye after the final round of the U.S. Open. Of note – McDaniel’s real name is Tyler but has always been known as Chip as his mother’s favorite baseball player was former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones.

The Open Qualifying Series

  • Rocket Mortgage Classic is part of The Open Qualifying Series (TOQS)
  • The top two players not otherwise exempt who finish inside the top eight and ties will receive invitations to the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush
  • John Deere Classic (July 11-14) is the only other remaining PGA TOUR event that is part of TOQS
  • The following players have received exemptions through TOQS during the 2018-19 season:
Tournament Player Finish
Arnold Palmer Invitational/Mastercard Sungjae Im T3
Sung Kang T6
Keith Mitchell T6
RBC Canadian Open Adam Hadwin 6
  Graeme McDowell T8

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