Mack III, Thompson Receive Sponsor’s Exemptions To Rocket Mortgage Classic
Willie Mack III, the Flint native who won the 2011 Michigan Amateur is one of two to be given a sponsor’s exemption to the Rocket Morgage Classic, which will be played Thursday July 1 to Sunday July 4 at Detroit Golf Club.
This will be Mack’s third PGA TOUR event. Earlier this year, Mack was awarded exemptions to play in the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational. At the Genesis Invitational, he was awarded the Genesis Invitational’s Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption, which represents advancement of diversity in the game of golf.
Davis Thompson is the fourth ranked amateur in the world. Like Mack, Thompson has made three previous PGA TOUR starts, and also qualified to play in the 2020 U.S. Open via his amateur ranking. The Saint Simons Island, Georgia native posted a 2-1-1 record in 2020 while competing for the United States in the Palmer Cup and was named a first-team All-American by PING and the Golf Coaches Association of America. He is a University of Georgia Senior.
“The Rocket Mortgage Classic has always strived to support golf’s great young talent, and we are pleased to award these opportunities to Willie and Davis,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Willie has a successful track record on the mini-tour circuit and considers Detroit Golf Club a home course, so will certainly have plenty of local support. Davis has represented the United States at golf’s highest amateur levels and surely will have a bright future in professional golf.”
The 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic field includes reigning Rocket Mortgage Classic champion and 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, along with fellow major championship winners Jason Day and Bubba Watson. Fan favorites Rickie Fowler and Harold Varner III also are in the mix.
In addition to Mack III and Thompson, one additional sponsor exemption for the Rocket Mortgage Classic will be announced prior to the tournament. A fourth will be granted to the men’s winner of THE JOHN SHIPPEN, a 36-hole stroke-play invitational for Black golfers June 27-28 at Detroit Golf Club.
In 2011, Mack III earned his greatest golfing achievement, becoming the first African-American player to win the Michigan Amateur Championship. He enjoyed other amateur victories at the Flint City Amateur and the Genesee All-Star Golf Classic. Mack III began his high school career at Flint Central before transferring to Grand Blanc, where he was an All-State player who helped the Bobcats win 2004 Division I state championship.
“As a young man who grew up nearby in Flint, my father and I attended the Buick Open at Warwick Hills to watch Tiger Woods and other players compete at the highest level for many years,” said Mack III, an honorary member of Detroit Golf Club. “Playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic will be extremely meaningful to me because my father still lives in Michigan and will be able to watch me play on the PGA TOUR now. I am well aware of everything the Rocket Mortgage Classic is doing as part of the event’s Changing the Course initiative. The more I pursue my dream of reaching the PGA TOUR, the more I learn and want to push toward another dream of helping create more equality and diversity in the game I love.”
Thompson has previously ranked as the world’s top amateur golfer and recently placed third individually at the 2021 SEC Championship representing the University of Georgia as its captain. Over the past two years, he has racked up five amateur wins and 18 top-10 finishes.
General admission tickets to the Rocket Mortgage Classic go on sale May 27 at RocketMortgageClassic.com, with a maximum of four tickets per day, Wednesday through Sunday. Ticket sales are launching in compliance with the most recent order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and in cooperation with government and health officials from the City of Detroit and State of Michigan.