Event: Rocket Mortgage Classic
Dates: June 29 – July 2
Coverage: LIVE on SuperSport Golf
Tony Finau let golf fans into his world in the acclaimed Netflix docuseries “Full Swing,” which illuminates his emphasis on being a good husband and father. There were plenty of questions, though, about whether he could properly balance traveling with a young family and elevating his game to become a consistent contender on the PGA TOUR.
He had won the 2021 FedEx St. Jude Championship to break a five-year winless drought, but for a player of his stature and skill set, why wasn’t he winning more often?
That answer came with a pointed reply last summer, as he won in back-to-back weeks at the 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic.
“I won the golf tournament last week … for some reason I left, and after bogeying the 18th hole, I had kind of a sour taste in my mouth and I think it just gave me extra motivation to put myself there again this week,” Finau said last year, “and just prove to myself the kind of champion that I am.”
Finau has two victories already this season – Texas Children’s Houston Open; Mexico Open at Vidanta – and has four TOUR triumphs in just nine months. He’ll head to Detroit looking to successfully defend his title with the event teeing off on 29th June. However, Finau is yet to defend a title in his career.
Finau’s ball-striking continues to be amongst the TOUR’s elite – he sits fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and fifth in Approach the Green – and if the putter gets hot again (he was 15th in Strokes Gained: Putting in his win a year ago), then watch out.
More than all that, however, Finau’s win last summer at Detroit Golf Club proved that he could block out the noise and win big.
“I’m proud of the way that I fought through adversity through my career and now I’m a back-to-back champion. That’s what happens,” Finau said. “They say a winner is just a loser that just kept on trying, and that’s me to a T. How many times do I lose? But one thing I won’t do is give up, and I’m only here a winner because I chose not to give up and just kept going.”
This will be the fifth edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, a tournament which was established in 2019 and replaced the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour schedule. Tony Finau won the previous edition after shooting 262 (-26) to win by five strokes.
Finau will return to Detroit to defend his title against a strong field which also includes five-time PGA Tour winner Rickie Fowler, as well as 2020 PGA Championship winner and 2021 Open Championship winner Collin Morikawa.
“We’re excited to welcome Collin to the Rocket Mortgage Classic for the first time, welcome Tony back to defend his title and have Rickie join us again as he continues his terrific season,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
“This is just the beginning of what we expect to be another strong field. The excitement level is high as we get set to celebrate the fifth anniversary of this amazing event right here in the city of Detroit.”
Other top players to look out for include Max Homa, Luke Donald, Cam Davis, Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas, while the tournament has granted sponsors exemptions to amateur stars Gordon Sargent and Sam Bennett.
Bennett, who turned pro in May following a standout career at Texas A&M, burst onto the scene when he posted one of the best performances by an amateur in Masters history in April, when he finished tied for 16th at Augusta National to complete the best finish by an amateur in nearly 20 years.
He was the first amateur to shoot two rounds in the 60s at the Masters since Charles Coe in 1961 and his 36-hole score of 136 (-8) was the lowest by an amateur since Ken Venturi in 1956. Bennett was the first amateur to be inside the top 10 going into the final round (seventh) since 1964.
“I am thankful to Rocket Mortgage and the tournament team for awarding me a sponsor exemption, and I look forward to building on the momentum that I have established early in my professional career,” Bennett said. “I’m looking forward to a terrific week in Detroit.”
The Detroit Golf Club features a 7370-yard par 72 course and the Rocket Mortgage Classic has a purse of $8.8million.
Meanwhile, SuperSport viewers on DStv can look forward to seeing all the action from the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, live from the Detroit Golf Club in Michigan from Thursday 29 June to Sunday 2 July 2023.
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Rocket Mortgage Classic broadcast details
All times CAT
Thursday 29 June
21:00: Day 1 – LIVE on SuperSport Golf
Friday 30 June
21:00: Day 2 – LIVE on SuperSport Golf
Saturday 1 July
19:00: Day 3 – LIVE on SuperSport Golf
Sunday 2 July
19:00: Day 4 – LIVE on SuperSport Golf