Strong Field Shaping Up For Inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic
The inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic is attracting a strong field. Already in the mix are two Major winners in Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.
If Rickie Fowler can hold up his first round lead at the US Open, there could be a third. Fowler is a Rocket Mortgage spokesman and was an early entry into the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Xander Schauffele is tied for first with Rickie at this point and also is on the Rocket Mortgage Classic list.
And of course, Tournament organizers are holding out hope for a Tiger sighting. The Rocket Mortgage Classic fits very nicely as an opportunity for the fifteen time major winner to keep his game sharp between the US Open and the Open Championship.
But whether Tiger shows up or not, the impressive field still includes:
- Dustin Johnson – World No. 2, 2016 U.S. Open champion and 20-time PGA TOUR winner
- Xander Schauffele – World No. 10, 2019 Masters runner-up and 2016-17 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year
- Rickie Fowler – Five-time PGA TOUR winner and World No. 11
- Bubba Watson – The 2012 and 2014 Masters champ and 12-time PGA TOUR winner ranked No. 20 in the world
- Brandt Snedeker, Nine Time PGA TOUR winner. Snedeker’s 59 at the Wyndham last summer is one of only eight ever recorded in a PGA TOUR round
- Top-30 players Gary Woodland, Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matusyama
The Rocket Mortgage Classic is June 25 – 30 at Detroit Golf Club. After playing the Detroit Golf Club during their media day, I am very interested in seeing how the world’s best players make their way around that classic Donald Ross design.
Four interesting sponsor exemptions also are in the mix:
- Viktor Hovland. The 21-year-old Oklahoma State star was the 2018 US Amateur Champion and won the 2019 Ben Hogan Award, recognizing the nation’s best collegiate golfer. A native of Norway, Hovland will turn pro after the US Open. The Rocket Mortgage Classic his second PGA TOUR event as a pro.
- Justin Suh. Hailing from San Jose, California, Suh starred at USC and turned pro on May 30 at the Memorial.
- Matthew Wolff. The Oklahoma State sophomore won the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Individual Golf Championship as well as the Fred Haskins Award and Jack Nicklaus Award. He is relinquishing his No. 2 world amateur golf ranking to turn professional and will make the Rocket Mortgage Classic his second PGA TOUR event as a pro.
- Zach Bauchou. Another player from Oklahoma State, Bauchou made his pro debut at the RBC Canadian Open. Formerly the thirteenth ranked amateur, he won the 2017 and 2018 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, becoming the 13th back-to-back champion in the event’s 114-year history.
As a West Virginia grad — and therefore a Big 12 fan — I’m happy to see such a showing from Oklahoma State. When WVU created a golf program from scratch just four years ago, I started following NCAA golf and have been much impressed with the players in that conference. With such stiff competition, I was very happy this year to see WVU make it to NCAA regionals in Louisville. There, they faced Oklahoma State (among others) and came up just two shots short of advancing.
Maybe next year, a WVU star will get an invite to a PGA TOUR tournament.