2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Troy Merritt Rocket Mortgage Classic
Troy Merritt plays his shot from the 15th bunker during the second sudden death playoff hole during the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 4, 2021 at the Detroit GC in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Gregory Shamus via Getty Images)

The PGA Tour makes the short trip from Minnesota to Michigan for the fourth edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, headlined by world No. 4 Patrick Cantlay.

Joining Cantlay as headliners this week at Detroit Golf Club will be four more top-20 ranked names in Will Zalatoris (No. 13), Tony Finau (16), Cameron Young (19) and Max Homa (20).

Co-starring in the Motor City event will be Rocket Mortgage spokesman Rickie Fowler, alongside Americans Kevin Kisner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland, Stewart Cink and Harris English, among others.

Other familiar names include international players such as Adam Scott, Jason Day, Si Woo Kim and Sepp Straka.

2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic

The Skinny

Tournament: Rocket Mortgage Classic
Tour Debut: 2019
Dates: July 28-31, 2022
Where: Detroit, Michigan
Course: Detroit Golf Club
Distance: Par 36-36-72, 7340 yards
Architect: Donald Ross
Format: Stroke-play, 72 holes/36-hole cut
Field: 154 players
Purse: $7,500,000
Winning Share: $1,350,000
Win Pts (FEC/OWGR): 500/48
TV Network: GOLF/CBS
Defending Champion: Cameron Davis

How to Follow the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Bryson DeChambeau Wins Rocket Mortgage Classic
Bryson DeChambeau is interviewed after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 5, 2020 at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 3-6 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 1-3 p.m. (GOLF), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)

PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu-Fri: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+); Sat-Sun: 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+)
Subscribe to ESPN+

PGA TOUR RADIO: Thu-Fri: 12-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1-6 p.m.
PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Tournament History

Golf legend Bobby Jones congratulates Horton Smith after Smith won the the inaugural Masters Tournament at Jones’ Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on March 25, 1934. Credit: Getty Images

The Rocket Mortgage Classic might be lacking history, but the host venue, Detroit Golf Club, most definitely does not, which includes acting as the host venue for the 1941 Ryder Cup matches.

The Club itself has roots dating all the way back to 1899 and the North Course, where the event will mostly be contested (see Course section), is an original design of the legendary golf course architect Donald Ross, whose resume includes Pinehurst No. 2, East Lake, Oakland Hills, and Aronimink, among many others.

One of the Detroit Golf Club’s former club pros knows a few things about golf events: Horton Smith held the position from 1946 until 1963; the same Horton Smith who won the first ever Masters Tournament in 1934. Smith’s 32-win PGA Tour career also included a second Masters triumph in 1936.

The tournament also has roots going back to the Motor City Open, a PGA Tour event played at various clubs in and around Detroit for just under two decades.

Cary Middlecoff Golf Masters
Cary Middlecoff won 40 PGA Tour trophies including 3 majors. Credit: AP

The PGA Tour record for the longest sudden-death playoff was established at the 1949 Motor City Open when Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum played 11 holes at Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville, Michigan. The stalemated lasted until darkness, and tournament officials, with their mutual consent, declared them co-winners.

Another oddity: In 1955, the Motor City Open was originally scheduled to be played at Meadowbrook again. This was abandoned, however, when Meadowbrook professional, Chick Harbert, won the PGA Championship in 1954. Meadowbrook petitioned for and won the opportunity to host the 1955 PGA Championship. Due to this development, the Motor City Open was not held in 1955. This is the only time that a defending champion of a major championship has hosted the tournament the following year.

Bryson DeChambeau Wins Rocket Mortgage Classic
Bryson DeChambeau and caddie Tim Tucker celebrate on the 18th green after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 5, 2020 at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In 2019, the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic replaced The National event on the PGA Tour schedule, which was played for 12 years in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, hosted by Tiger Woods.

Bryson DeChambeau, who now plays on the LIV Golf tour, is the tournament’s marquee champion. The big bomber won the 2020 edition, and two months later claimed his maiden major at the U.S. Open. Other winners include Nate Lashley (2019) and Cameron Davis (2021).

The Course: Detroit Golf Club

A general view of the clubhouse entrance at Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan on June 24, 2019, ahead of the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic. Credit: CBS Detroit

Detroit Golf Club is comprised of two historic golf courses – the North and South – both designed by Donald Ross in the early 1900s.

To accommodate a PGA Tour event, however, tournament organizers, and club officials, have blended the championship tracks together in order to create one big PGA Tour venue with extra yardage, new pro-style tee boxes, additional sand hazards, rerouted holes, and ample room for the PGA Tour’s traveling circus (TV towers, stadium seating, galleries, concessions, hospitality tents, equipment/TV trucks, parking, and whatnot).

The newly-reconfigured Detroit Golf Club will play to a par 72 (36-36), while stretching 7,249 yards for the event. It will include the traditional four par-5s, four par-3s, and the 10 par-4s.

Scorecard: Detroit GC
Rocket Mortgage Classic Scorecard
Three of the par 5s (17, 7 and 14) were the three easiest holes in 2021. The par-3 11th holes was the toughest. (Scorecard courtesy of PGA Tour Media)
Fast Facts

Detroit Golf Club
Course: Tournament Configuration
Established: 1899
Architect: Donald Ross
Par: 36-36-72
Yards: 7249
Par 3s: 4 (5, 9, 11, 15)
Par 5s: 4 (4, 7, 14, 17)
2021 Hardest: Par-3 11th (3.183)
2021 Easiest: Par-5 17th (4.589)

Rocket Mortgage Field Overview

Patrick Cantlay: The Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC
Patrick Cantlay walks with his caddie on the 1st hole during the first round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC on Feb 18, 2021 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Photo by Steph Chambers via Getty Images)

Reigning FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay will make his debut in Detroit, and enters in fine form (T8 British Open, T4 Scottish Open).

He will be joined by four others ranked in the top-20 of the Official Golf World Rankings, including Will Zalatoris (13), Tony Finau (16), Cameron Young (19) and Max Homa (20).

In total, nine major champions are set to tee it up this week including Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley and Gary Woodland, among others.

Players in the Official World Golf Rankings’ top 50, not already mentioned, include Kevin Kisner, Harris English, Joohyung Kim and Cameron Tringale.

Other marquee names include Rickie Fowler, Maverick McNealy, Harry Higgs, Charley Hoffman and Garrick Higgo, among others.

Top-5 Betting Favorites

1. Patrick Cantlay (10-1)
2. Tony Finau (14-1)
2. Will Zalatoris (14-1)
4. Cameron Young (16-1)
5. Max Homa (20-1)

Related: 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Power Rankings

Full Field: Odds & World Rank

Rickie Fowler Webb Simpson
Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson wait to hit on the 12th hole during the second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin on November 2, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Carey Hoffman contributed to this preview.
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