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Rocket Mortgage Classic notes: Phil Mickelson rage tweets and the tournament needs a big-name savior

Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Golf

DETROIT — Please save us, Bubba Watson.

Come to our aid, Rickie Fowler.

Help us, Patrick Reed, you're our only hope.

Nothing against the guys at the top of the Rocket Mortgage Classic leaderboard, but, well, let me see if I can put this as delicately as I can: THIS TOURNAMENT NEEDS STAR POWER!

Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann are fine, fine players and they shared a one-shot lead in the tournament Saturday at Detroit Golf Club after three rounds with a score of 14-under-par 202.

Six-time major champion, golf icon and media pugilist Phil Mickelson made the cut on the number, shot even-par 72 and stayed at 3 under with no hope of winning. A top-10 finish might be a miracle.

 

Watson, the other notable lefty in the field, did his best. The colorful fan favorite and two-time Masters champ wore a pair of Air Jordans handed down directly by Michael Jordan and did what he could by shooting a 67 to get to 8 under. But he's going to need a Jordan-like effort to win Sunday.

Fowler, once ranked fourth in the world, has finished in the top three of every major and probably holds the current title of best player to never win a major. He shot 68 and is at 9 under. As a Rocket Mortgage ambassador and also fan favorite he would be a good champion for the tournament.

Reed, the 2018 Masters champ and the highest-ranked player left in the field at No. 9, also would give the tournament some cache if he's able to lift that — I want to say "unique" — trophy on Sunday. But he's way back at 5 under.

With star players like Bryson DeChambeau and Hideki Matsuyama gone, it's going to be hard for the tournament to feature a marketable returning champion next year if one of the few notable players doesn't make a big move in the final round.

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