Four sponsor exemptions announced for inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic

Photo Source: MGN online
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These four tournament exemptions will be among the 156-player field teeing it up at the Rocket Mortgage Classic:

• Viktor Hovland. The 21-year-old Norwegian won the 2019 Ben Hogan Award, recognizing the nation’s best collegiate golfer, upon completing his junior year at Oklahoma State in May. Currently the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Hovland is turning professional later this month and will make the Rocket Mortgage Classic his second PGA TOUR event as a pro. The 2018 U.S. Amateur champion captured the Silver Cup as the low amateur at the 2019 Masters Tournament after a T32 finish (3-under-par 285).

• Justin Suh. The San Jose, Calif. native who turns 22 on June 12 wrapped up his collegiate career at USC with a T4 finish at May’s 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships. He made his professional debut May 30 at the Memorial Tournament, leaving behind his then-current No. 2 amateur world ranking. He made his first PGA TOUR amateur start in the 2016 U.S. Open, after his freshman year at USC.

• Matthew Wolff. The 20-year-old Agoura Hills, Calif. native completed his sophomore year at Oklahoma State in May by winning the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships and winning 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. The 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up made the decisive putt to clinch the Cowboys’ 2018 NCAA Division I team championship in what capped off a Phil Mickelson Award-winning season as the NCAA’s best freshman golfer. Wolff’s lone PGA TOUR start as an amateur came at February’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

• Zach Bauchou. The 23-year-old Forest, Va. native was ranked as the world’s No. 13 amateur before making his pro debut Thursday at the RBC Canadian Open. He completed his college career at Oklahoma State with a T8 finish at May’s 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships. 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. Both his PGA TOUR starts as an amateur occurred last year, at the RBC Canadian Open and Mayakoba Golf Classic.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic’s final two sponsor exemptions will be confirmed closer to the tournament. A limited quantity of tickets for the Rocket Mortgage Classic remains available at www.RocketMortgageClassic.com.

“Our tournament committee approached our player exemption selection process with the notion that we want golf’s future stars to start here at the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Our event aims to be Detroit’s grandest summer sporting spectacle, and now our field has a strong combination of the best players from the recently-completed collegiate season with several of the top 30-ranked golfers in the world.”

Among those who have previously committed to play the $7.3 million Rocket Mortgage Classic are World No. 2, 2016 U.S. Open champion and 20-time PGA TOUR winner Dustin Johnson; World No. 10, 2019 Masters runner-up and 2016-17 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele; five-time PGA TOUR winner and World No. 11 Rickie Fowler; Bubba Watson, the 2012 and 2014 Masters champ and 12-time PGA TOUR winner ranked No. 19 in the world; Former World No. 1 Luke Donald; and top-30 players Gary Woodland, Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matusyama.

The historic Detroit Golf Club (est. 1899) and its Donald Ross-designed course that has been a fixture in the city will be open for fans with tickets beginning with player practice rounds on Tuesday, June 25, and the Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Wednesday, June 26. The 72-hole tournament starts on Thursday, June 27, and concludes on Sunday, June 30.