Detroit — Five top-50 golfers, including US Open and PGA Championship runner-up Will Zalatoris, are among the first wave of commitments for next month’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Zalatoris (number 12 in the world), Tony Finau (17), Kevin Kisner (31), Cameron Young (32) and Justin Rose (47) were announced Wednesday morning as committed to the only stop of the PGA Tour of Detroit, scheduled for July 28. 31 at the Detroit Golf Club.
Rocket Mortgage paid ambassador Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and defending champion Cam Davis also announced their commitments Wednesday.
This is a later-than-normal first wave of commitments for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, a delay attributed to two key factors: The rise of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV golf tour, which drew eight of the world’s top 50 outside of the PGA. Tour, including former Rocket Mortgage spokesman Bryson DeChambeau and Rocket Mortgage Classic regular Patrick Reed; as well as the tournament’s new spot on the schedule, immediately prior to the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The controversial LIV tour is playing a tournament against the Rocket, in New Jersey.
“We are excited to announce that such a successful group of players will be joining us in Detroit this summer, and this is just the beginning of our player commitments,” said Jason Langwell, CEO of RMC, in a statement Wednesday. “Having golfers of this caliber committed to playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic speaks to the momentum we are building and the desire of top players to be a part of our event.”
Zalatoris, 25, is the headliner for the first few engagements, given his performance at major championships since arriving on the PGA Tour last year. He has yet to break out with a win, but he has six top-10 finishes in his eight major championship appearances. On Sunday, he lost by a shot to US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. He has eight top-10 finishes in 18 PGA Tour events this season.
Finau, 32, is a two-time PGA Tour champion and has five top-eight finishes in majors in the past three years. This will be his second appearance at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, finishing tied for 53rd in 2020.
Kisner, 38, has won four times on the PGA Tour, most recently at the 2021 Wyndham Championship. He has played the Rocket Mortgage Classic every year, finishing third in 2020 and tied for eighth in 2021.
Young, 25, a teammate of Zalatoris at Wake Forest, appears to be one of the most promising players in the game, with five top-three finishes this season, including a tie for third in the PGA Championship.
Rose, 41, is the biggest name announced Wednesday, as the 2013 US Open champion and a former world No. 1 player. A five-time Ryder Cup participant, this will be her first appearance at the Rocket.
Day, 34, like Rose, is a former world No. 1 ranked player and former Grand Slam champion (2015 PGA Championship). This will be her third consecutive appearance in Detroit, she finished tied for 14th in 2021.
Kuchar, 44, a five-time Ryder Cup and five-time Presidents Cup player with nine PGA Tour wins, will make his Rocket Mortgage Classic debut.
Davis, 27, broke through in a big way in Detroit last year, earning his first PGA Tour win in a five-hole playoff. He has three top 10 finishes this season.
Fowler, 33, has served as the tournament’s unofficial host since the inaugural event in 2019. The five-time PGA Tour winner’s best finish here was tied for 12th in 2020.
Rocket Mortgage Classic officials have been patiently waiting for commitments amid golf’s changing landscape, with several big names (DeChambeau, Reed, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Abraham Ancer and, most recently, Brooks Koepka) taking big money to play. . the LIV Tour, a decision that has earned them expulsion from the PGA Tour and has cost them sponsorships. Rocket Mortgage fired DeChambeau after his departure. Mickelson, whose dispute with the media brought national attention to the RMC last year, reportedly received $200 million from LIV/
Fowler has expressed some interest in the LIV Tour, although he has said he remains committed to the PGA Tour for now. Bubba Watson also disputed early reports that he would be joining the Saudi-funded tour and said he plans to play again in Detroit, where he has raised a lot of money for the tournament’s major charities. But Watson suffered a torn meniscus in late May; he was expected to return in early July, but that is yet to be determined.
Being the week before the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs has also led to complications. Many players are waiting to set their schedule until they have a clear picture of where they stand in the season-long points race, which awards $75 million in bonus cash, $18 million to the winner.
Michigan’s two PGA Tour cardholders, Brian Stuard (Jackson/Oakland) and Ryan Brehm (Traverse City/Michigan State), will also play in Detroit.
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