LIV Golf not hindering Rocket Mortgage Classic from recruiting another strong field

Tony Paul, The Detroit News on

Published in Golf

DETROIT — The Rocket Mortgage Classic will be the only golf game in town.

But it won't be the only golf game that draws eyeballs and intrigue late next month.

The PGA Tour's fourth Rocket Mortgage Classic will be played July 28-31 at Detroit Golf Club — and will be held opposite the third event of the new and controversial LIV Golf tour. The Saudi Arabia-funded LIV tour, which has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars to so far land eight of the top 50 golfers in the world, will compete that same week at Bedminster in New Jersey.

Among the players who have gone to the LIV are Rocket Mortgage Classic regulars Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and, most recently, Matthew Wolff.

Still, there has been otherwise minimal impact on the field for next month's PGA Tour stop in Detroit, said Jason Langwell, who, as executive director of the Rocket, is the chief recruiter of players. Few of the top players who left for LIV have been prime Rocket recruiting targets, Langwell said.

"I suppose when Bryson went to the LIV tour, we had a conversation about it. For us, he was someone we were expecting to play here," Langwell said of DeChambeau, whose financial partnership with Rocket Mortgage was quickly severed by the Detroit home-loan behemoth after he bolted for LIV.


"We really haven't seen an impact beyond that from a recruiting standpoint. … That's not really an impediment from a recruiting standpoint.

"The conversation never really goes there. It's always been about the same things: 'Tell me about the city, tell me about the golf course, tell me about the experience.'"

The 156-player Rocket Mortgage Classic has been slow to develop, because of a variety of factors — LIV being one, and the tournament's new place on the schedule, held shortly after the Scottish Open and the British Open and right before the FedEx Cup playoffs, being the major one.

Still, the tournament has landed some marquee names to get ticket sales on the uptick, including Will Zalatoris, Tony Finau, Justin Rose and, on Monday, Patrick Cantlay and Adam Scott, among others.


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