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This Aussie is thankful on July 4 for the American crowds, good golf and the anniversary of his only PGA Tour win.

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The parallels between the rise of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and defending champion Cam Davis’ progression as a player are strong.

Despite the newly created LIV Golf blowing away the PGA Tour crowd, the 2022 RMC course might still be Detroit’s best yet. Event officials made a pivotal date change and added multiple new fan services, building on the lessons of the first three years. They also believe that the interest the LIV tour has garnered has helped sell tickets.

Meanwhile, Davis visited the Detroit Golf Club last Monday as reigning RMC champion. The Australian learned a lot as he climbed the rankings during the first three years of the tournament. He missed the cut in the first two years of the RMC, then overcame a five-hole playoff to finally win in Year 3, his first career PGA Tour win.

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“Every year I would try to come back, because I love this golf course, and I would think, ‘Can I do a little better?’ Davis recently told the Free Press. “And obviously, last time I did as well as you. The tournament had grown every time he played here too. I’d say that’s a pretty accurate statement. He is growing as well as I am.”

Davis is a huge fan of golf course architect Donald Ross, which motivates him to return to Detroit every year. The DGC is one of fewer than 20 clubs in North America with two 18-hole Ross courses. Davis really loves the greens, which he described as equally “fantastic” and “difficult.”

“It’s synonymous with a lot of the best golf courses in this country, and I feel like guys jump at the chance to play golf courses like this,” Davis said. “And it’s great to see a lot of big names come out and give it a go, because it’s a good test.”

Davis’ favorite stretch of the RMC course is known as “Area 313” (holes #15-17), the site of his playoff with Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann last year. The way the fans rallied around him was further evidence of the RMC’s growing legitimacy.

“In my experience here, they were very respectful but really enjoyed the sport in general,” Davis said. “It was the 4th of July, obviously it’s the American holiday, but me fighting an American (Merritt) coming down the stretch, it wasn’t like I felt like everyone was criticizing where I came from or rooting for one more person. the other. They were here enjoying some good golf, and we both played very well and were treated equally.

“And I feel like that’s a really cool environment to be in, because I could have very easily felt like the underdog. And I think the fans here made me feel like I’m a competitor like him, and I think that’s a really unique trait for a crowd to be able to do that. It was a very fun and enjoyable afternoon.”

Cam Davis tees off on the 16th hole during the third hole of a sudden death playoff at the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Sunday, July 4, 2021.

Davis isn’t the only RMC veteran in love with the tournament. Rocket Mortgage ambassador Rickie Fowler returns for Year 4, as does Will Zalatoris, a rising star and runner-up at the US Open and PGA Championship earlier this year.

Kevin Kisner is probably one of the most committed golfers on the course. The defending champion of the Wyndham Championship, which takes place August 3-7, a weekend after the new RMC date of July 28-31, was expected to skip Detroit to defend his title in Greensboro. , North Carolina.

Instead, Kisner will play back-to-back weekends at the RMC and Wyndham. That decision, and the recent commitments of 2021 FedEx Cup winner Patrick Cantlay and former World No. 1 Adam Scott, show the growing appeal of the RMC, Davis said.

CHANGES AT DETROIT GOLF CLUB: 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Introduces New Viewing Areas, Youth Golf Zone

“I think people are realizing that it’s a great event,” he said. “I mean, you’re not going to have players like that if they don’t feel like it’s going to be a really good opportunity to prove themselves against other good players and play really good golf courses in tournament conditions in front of great fans. and those things

“I think Detroit is becoming known for being a good sports city with great fans and all that, and I feel like that will continue to raise the bar for this event.”

Raising the bar at the RMC is more crucial than ever amid the rise of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed are former Rocket Mortgage Classic notables sidetracked by the tour offering extravagant bags. So is Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 RMC Champion and former Rocket Mortgage Ambassador. They are just three of the 48 golfers who left the PGA Tour for LIV. (Former MSU star and 2021 American amateur champion James Piot is another.)

“Obviously the competition right now is coming from LIV, and I think a lot of the guys on the PGA Tour agree that these tournaments are worth playing, and that’s why they stay,” Davis said while discussing continued improvement. of RMC. “I think continuing to build and improve is just going to bring more and more big-name players and opportunities to do more and more for the community and all of that, so I think it’s just going to go forward and up from here.”

Davis’ competition for a repeat will continue to be stiff. World No. 16 Tony Finau and former World No. 1s Jason Day and Justin Rose will make their RMC debuts this year, lured by the date change.

However, Davis came to Detroit every time the RMC was scheduled. The date change was as much an afterthought for him as it was a possible post-victory celebration: Last year, he only had time for a burger and fries at a fast food restaurant.

Davis’s real prize is the opportunity to continue to grow his game while watching the RMC sprout around him like a green Donald Ross.

Contact Mason Young: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @Mason_Young_0

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