Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

  • July 1-4, 2021
  • 40th of 50 FedExCup events
  • Detroit Golf Club
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Par 72 • 7,370 yards
  • Purse $7,500,000
  • Winner $1,350,000 + 500 FedExCup pts.
  • 156 players
  • 72-hole stroke-play
  • Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau
  • TV:
    • Thursday GC
    • Friday GC
    • Saturday GC, CBS
    • Sunday GC, CBS

Tournament Storylines

DeChambeau to defend: Bryson DeChambeau looks to defend a title for the first time after earning his sixth career PGA TOUR win at Detroit Golf Club in 2020, defeating Matthew Wolff by three strokes. DeChambeau became the first PGA TOUR winner to lead the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Strokes Gained: Putting, and his last three drives in 2020 totaled 1,055 yards in distance. DeChambeau enters the week No. 4 in the FedExCup and No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Mito makes first start as a member: Mito Pereira will make his first start as an official PGA TOUR member at the Rocket Mortgage Classic after earning the three-victory promotion via the Korn Ferry Tour. Pereira is one of two current PGA TOUR members from Chile (Joaquin Niemann), and will represent Chile at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next month. Pereira has three PGA TOUR starts (Previous starts : 2021 Puerto Rico Open/MC, 2019 U.S. Open/MC, 2018 Wells Fargo Championship/MC). The last player to win in his first start as an official PGA TOUR member: Emiliano Grillo/2015 Fortinet Championship.

Mickelson in Michigan: 45-time PGA TOUR winner Phil Mickelson will make his tournament debut in the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Since winning the PGA Championship in May, Mickelson has just five rounds under-par in 10 tournament rounds.

AREA 313 Challenge: The AREA 313 Challenge is an in-competition charitable activation where players try to make an eagle, ace, birdie (3-1-3) on Nos. 14, 15, 16. Rocket Mortgage will donate $313,000 towards Changing the Course on behalf of the player who first achieves this feat, while each score of 3-1-3 will garner donations. In 2020, a total of $385,000 was donated thanks to 15 eagles (No. 14) and 63 birdies (No. 16).

FedEx Cup and Season Storylines

Last week on TOUR: Harris English defeated Kramer Hickok in an eight-hole playoff to win his fourth PGA TOUR win and second of the season after sinking a 27’8” birdie putt on the 72nd hole to take the clubhouse lead at 13-under 267. Harris earned his fourth PGA TOUR title in his 264th start at the age of 31 years, 11 months, 4 days. His second playoff win of the season marked the tied for second-longest playoff in TOUR history (11 holes, 1949 Motor City Open).

FedExCup race heating up: With only eight events remaining until the start of the FedExCup Playoffs, Harris English moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings and within 125 points of leader Patrick Cantlay.

Multiple Winners: With his win at the Travelers Championship, Harris English became the fifth multiple winner of the season (Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Jason Kokrak and Stewart Cink) and the only player with multiple wins in the calendar year (2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions).

Few first-time winners: There have been just six first-time PGA TOUR winners this season: Jason Kokrak, THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK; Carlos Ortiz, Vivint Houston Open; Joel Dahmen, Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship; Sam Burns, Valspar Championship; K.H. Lee, AT&T Byron Nelson; Garrick Higgo, Palmetto Championship at Congaree. The last time there were fewer than 10 in a season: 2012 (9). Fewest: 4 (1992).

New members: Two players became eligible for PGA TOUR membership on June 13: Garrick Higgo and Mito Pereira. Higgo won the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in his second career start, while Pereira earned a Three-Victory Promotion from the Korn Ferry Tour (first since Wesley Bryan in 2016).

Youth in the FedExCup standings: Eight of the top 10 players in the FedExCup standings are in their 20s, led by No. 1 Patrick Cantlay.

Top Players In The Field

Bryson DeChambeau • 27 • SMU • USA Eight PGA TOUR wins, including 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic • One of five players multiple wins this season • Leads the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Driving DistanceWon……..2020 U.S. Open Won… Arnold Palmer Invitational
T3…… THE PLAYERS Championship
T7….. Sentry Tournament of Champions
Patrick Reed • 30 • Augusta • USA • Third start at the Rocket Mortgage Classic (T5/2019, MC/2020) • Earned ninth PGA TOUR victory earlier this season at the Farmers Insurance Open • Leads the PGA TOUR in Putts Per Round (27.80)Won…..Farmers Insurance Open
5th…..the Memorial Tournament
T6…. Wells Fargo Championship
T8….. (2021) Masters Tournament
Webb Simpson • 35 • Wake Forest • USA •Finished T8 at the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic • Has nine top-25s this season, including five top-10s • Only two missed cuts in 15 starts this seasonT4…….. Sony Open in Hawaii
T6…….WGC-Workday Championship
T8……(2020) U.S. Open T9…….. RBC Heritage
Hideki Matsuyama • 29 • Japan • Top-25 at the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic , finished T21 • 2021 Masters Tournament champion • Ranked No. 18 in FedExCup standings and Official World Golf RankingWon……. (2021) Masters Tournament
2nd…….. Vivint Houston Open T13…….. (2020) Masters Tournament T15…. WGC-Workday Championship
Jason Kokrak • 36 • Xavier • USA • Finished T29 in only Rocket Mortgage Classic start (2019) • One of four players with multiple wins this season • No. 10 in the FedExCup standings and No. 24 in Official World Golf RankingWon…..THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK
Won… Charles Schwab Challenge
T8…. Arnold Palmer Invitational
T9….. WGC-Workday Championship

The John Shippen

Inaugural JOHN SHIPPEN: Timothy O’Neal fired a final-round 68 at Detroit Golf Club to win by two in the Inaugural JOHN SHIPPEN featuring the best Black golfers in America. The 48-year-old will make his eighth career TOUR start and first since 2019 (The Genesis Invitational/MC).

Willie Mack III, a native of Flint, Michigan, and Davis Thompson, a former top amateur golfer in the world, accepted sponsor exemptions to compete in the third Rocket Mortgage Classic.

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