The Rocket Mortgage Classic was a new addition to the PGA Tour in 2019. Although it replaced the Quicken Loans National on the schedule, this is a brand new tournament in its own right with its own set of records starting with Nate Lashley’s win in 2019.
Quicken Loans, the parent company of Rocket Mortgage, is a proudly Detroit-based company and they have made sure that this tournament is a celebration of Motor City. Detroit Golf Club was the first host venue for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, becoming the first venue inside the Detroit city limits to host a PGA Tour event.
|2020||Detroit Golf Club||Bryson DeChambeau|
|2019||Detroit Golf Club||Nate Lashley|
2020: Bryson DeChambeau
A look at the shots gained statistics for the Rocket Mortgage Classic show that driving accuracy is much more important at Detroit Golf Club than most golf courses used on the PGA Tour. However, it was the biggest hitter on the PGA Tour, Bryson DeChambeau, who ended up winning the second edition of the tournament by three shots.
As with any PGA Tour winner, there was more than one impressive aspect of DeChambeau’s game. Indeed, he gained more strokes on the field with his putter than with his driver but there is no doubting that his play off the tee set the tone for an aggressive style of golf. Even with only two events to go on, it is clear that aggression is key at Detroit Golf Club as DeChambeau’s winning score of -23 was two shots lower than Nate Lashley the previous year.
For DeChambeau, this was the start of the validation of the process he undertook to transform his body and his golf game. His reading of the stats is that the further he can hit it, the more wins he will rack up over the course of his career and after a win as stunning as this, who could argue with him?
2019: Nate Lashley
Nate Lashley got an idea that scoring was going to be very low at the inaugural edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic when his opening round of 63 was good enough for just a one-shot lead by the end of Thursday’s play. The two players who were just one shot away, Ryan Armour and Nick Watney, failed to hack the pace and both ended up in a tie for 46th place whereas Lashley kept his foot to the gas, firing in a 67 on Friday, another 63 on Friday and then holding on in more difficult conditions on Sunday with a round of 70. Combined, that made a remarkable score of 25 under par which was enough for a six-shot victory over Doc Redman.
Lashley’s incredible scoring across the four days is only a part of the tale of his first PGA Tour win. His week began in disappointment when he failed to play his way into the tournament via Monday qualifying (where he was edged out by Redman) but started looking up on Wednesday as the late withdrawal of David Berganio Jr gave him a fortuitous route into the event as the third and final alternate.
Understandably, Lashley was a real underdog and attracted very little support in the betting at a general price of 250/1. He was soon making a mockery of those odds and ensuring job security on the PGA Tour for the next two years with his stunning wire to wire win.