The PGA Tour returns to Detroit Golf Club this week for the second instalment of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Can one of the seven Aussies in the field stand up to the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed?
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Nate Lashley defeated his American compatriot Doc Redman by six shots here last year, reaching 25-under-par, 263.
COURSE: Detroit Golf Club was established in 1899 and, in 1906, world-renowned course architect Donald Ross was appointed to design 36 holes. The Rocket Mortgage Classic is played across a composite of the North and South courses.
Bryson DeChambeau made headlines this week, stating: “I haven't played both sides yet, so seems like it's fairly tight, a lot of rough. I think there's a lot of bunkers that are around like 290 (yards), so hopefully I'll be able to clear those and take those out of play. So, sorry, Mr. Ross, but, you know, it is what it is.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Patrick Reed sits equal-third in the betting and for good reason. The Masters champion of 2018 shared fifth place here last year and looks in good nick as he searches for another victory to add to his already impressive resume.
Reed won the WGC-Mexico Championship back in February and has finished inside the top-25 on eight occasions from 11 starts this season. The World No.7, who owns eight career titles on the PGA Tour, is currently ranked fourth for Strokes Gained: Putting and 32nd for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, suggesting his game is firing on all fronts.
RIGHT: Nate Lashley claimed his maiden PGA Tour title at Detroit Golf Club last year. PHOTO: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.
Tour sophomore Viktor Hovland continues to impress and has posted three straight top-25s – including his share of 11th at TPC River Highlands – to resume his season. The 22-year-old Norwegian also led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green in Connecticut last week, which would bode well for the relatively tight layout at Detroit Golf Club.
Hovland, currently 53rd in the Official World Golf Ranking, has made nine of 12 cuts this season and banked two top-10 finishes, including his maiden Tour victory at the Puerto Rico Open in February. Look for another positive showing this week.
72-HOLE RECORD: Nate Lashley shot 25-under-par 263 in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic last year.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No previous Australian winners.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Cameron Davis, Jason Day, Matt Jones, Cameron Percy and John Senden.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 8am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 8am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3am – 8am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 3am – 8am)
*AEST, check local guides