The PGA Tour heads to Detroit, Michigan for the Rocket Mortgage Classic this week with just two weeks remaining before the start of the FedEx Cup playoff. Meanwhile, LIV Golf will hold its third event this weekend.
Several new players will play their first events as members of the LIV Golf series this week. The Rocket Mortgage Classic will feature multiple players preparing for the FedEx Cup playoffs over the next few weeks.
LIV Golf Holds Third Event
The third ever LIV Golf Invitational event will be held this weekend at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. Henrik Stenson, Jason Kokrak, and Charles Howell III will all play in a LIV Golf event for the first time this weekend.
One of the main storylines surrounding LIV Golf this week has related to the Ryder Cup. Stenson, who was scheduled to be Team Europe’s captain at the tournament in 2023, stepped down after announcing he would play in LIV events earlier this month.
Sergio Garcia, another frequent member of Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, has stated that he will attempt to keep his DP World Tour card in order to potentially play with Team Europe next year. Ryder Cup eligibility and qualification have been one of the main focuses since the LIV Golf series began earlier this summer.
Dustin Johnson, who has joined LIV Golf, played for the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2021, 2018, 2016, 2012, and 2010. Brooks Koepka, who has also joined LIV Golf, was his teammate in 2021, 2018, and 2016. They are not the only players who will likely not be eligible in this year’s Presidents Cup or next year’s Ryder Cup, and certain players’ lack of eligibility could have a huge effect on both competitions.
Beyond the new players joining the tour, LIV Golf has announced plans to expand the series next year. The new LIV Golf League will hold 14 events in 2023 with 48 players. LIV Golf is also partnering with the Asian Tour, and will officially participate in 25 tournaments next season.
As LIV Golf continues to expand, it is likely that more players will depart the PGA Tour to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series this year or the LIV Golf League next year. After the PGA Tour announced changes to its formatting and scheduling after LIV Golf began holding events this year, it is likely that the PGA Tour will make further changes over the next few months.
Rocket Mortgage Classic Begins Thursday
While LIV Golf begins its third event on Friday, the Rocket Mortgage Classic will begin on Thursday. The event will be an opportunity for players to ensure they qualify for the FedExCup playoffs, which begin on August 11, with the Top 125 players on the FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility Points List qualifying for the first event.
Tony Finau will play in this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic after winning the 3M Open last week. Finau was five strokes behind the lead as play began last Sunday, but finished the day 4-under and 17-under for the tournament. The win was Finau’s third on the PGA Tour, and he is now 16th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
World No.4 Patrick Cantlay will play this weekend in his first tournament since The Open, where he finished tied for eighth. Will Zalatoris, who finished tied for sixth at the Masters, second at the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open, and tied for 28th at The Open is also taking part in the tournament this weekend. Zalatoris, who has not played in a Presidents Cup or a Ryder Cup, has made a strong case to be a member of the U.S. team at the Presidents Cup this fall.
Cameron Young, whose phenomenal putt for Eagle at The Open meant he finished second at the tournament, will also participate in the Rocket Mortgage Classic this weekend. Max Homa, who is 20th in the Official World Golf Ranking, is also part of the field for this weekend’s event.
Overall, five of the Top 20 players in the World Golf Ranking are participating in this weekend’s event. In addition, the winner of the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, Cam Davis, is also scheduled to play this weekend.
Tee Times to Watch This Weekend
The Rocket Mortgage Classic will get underway Thursday at 6:45 a.m. EST. Tony Finau and Cam Davis will begin play together at 7:18 a.m. alongside Nate Lashley.
At 7:29 a.m. Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, and Jason Day will tee off in one of the best groups of Thursday and Friday. Patrick Cantlay, Cameron Champ, and Gary Woodland will follow 11 minutes later at 7:40 a.m.
Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young, and Davis Love III will begin play together at 12:43 p.m. Max Homa, Luke List, and Joel Dahmen will be one of the next groups to tee off at 12:54 p.m.
Scott Piercy, who led last week’s 3M Open heading into Sunday, will tee off at 1:38 p.m. alongside Kevin Chappell and Joohyung Kim. The final groups will begin their first rounds at 2:22 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.
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