Detroit Fans Treated to Exciting Finish in the Rocket Mortgage Classic

Rickie Fowler makes birdie on the final hole to send the tournament into a three-way sudden death playoff. After a bad drive, he hits an outstanding approach shot and birdies again to take the win.

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Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, MI — July 2, 2023

Rickie Fowler knew he needed a fast start when he teed off in the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. It was important for him to put some distance between himself and the remainder of the field. As the leader, you want to convince your pursuers there is no way they can keep up with you, no matter what they do.

He accomplished the task with birdies on the third and fifth holes. Another birdie on the par-five seventh pushed Fowler’s leading total to 23 under after his opening nine holes.

You can’t be content making pars on the Detroit Golf Club course. It takes cashing in on birdie opportunities and avoiding the mistakes that turn into bogeys.

Fowler avoided the bogeys, but after the birdie on seven, he carded seven straight pars, and suddenly there was a player creeping up on him.

Making a Charge

Colin Morikawa started his final round two strokes behind Fowler, and he knew it would take a solid effort to overcome the deficit and maybe some bad luck to befall those players ahead of him to put him in a place to take the win.

Morikawa used the lull in Fowler’s round to make a charge of his own. Four birdies on the front side of the course combined with three more on 10, 12, and 14 brought Morikawa into a tie with Fowler at 23 under par. Morikawa has three holes to play, and Fowler has four remaining.

Fowler is playing the final round with Adam Hadwin and Taylor Pendrith. Pendrith failed to make a run up the leaderboard, shooting even par on the front nine. A double bogey on the 14th took him out of contention for the win.

However, Hadwin hung with Fowler matching his three-under score on the opening nine. Hadwin’s birdie on the par-three 15th hole created a three-way tie for the lead.

The Finish

Playing two groups ahead of the final threesome, Morikawa birdied the par-five 17th to take the outright lead. Fowler ran his string of pars to nine holes with a four on the 16th, which was matched by Hadwin.

The remainder of the field could only watch as the top three fought it out for the victory over the final two holes of the tournament.

Morikawa closed out his day with a par on 18 and posted his lowest score of the tournament, a 64. Hadwin birdied the 17th and tied the leader in the clubhouse with one hole to play. Fowler made par and will have to birdie the 18th to be shut out of a potential playoff.

Hadwin’s approach on 18 landed short of the hole and rolled into the right fringe. Fowler dropped his second shot three feet from the pin. Electing to chip up, Hadwin came up four feet below the hole and will have a testy birdie putt to stay tied for the lead. He calmly sank the putt to send the tournament into overtime.

Fowler did his part, rolling in the short putt to make birdie on the last. Setting up a three-way sudden-death playoff to determine who will claim the winner’s trophy.

The Playoff

The players head back to the 18th tee, where Morikawa tees off first and lands his ball perfectly in the fairway. Fowler yanks his drive right into the gallery, and his chances are going to hinge on the kind of lie he has when he gets to his ball. Hadwin finds the fairway with his shot leaving Fowler as the player in trouble on the first sudden-death hole.

Fowler’s ball is in the trampled-down portion of the rough where the gallery stood. It sits in casual water, which is a break as he gets relief and actually is able to improve his angle to the pin. He drops his shot within 11 feet of the hole.

Hadwin’s shot lands inside of Fowler’s ball. Too much backspin pulls it twice as far from the hole as Rickie’s position. Morikawa hits the green but bounces long into the rough behind the hole.

Hadwin elects to play first and rolls his putt past the hole. Morikawa chips short, and in a remarkable turn of events, Fowler now has a chance to make a birdie and walk away with his first PGA Tour win since 2019.

Never in doubt, Fowler’s ball dropped into the bottom of the hole, and the celebration was on.

AP Photo

Final Results of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club

Pos Player To Par R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 Rickie Fowler (won on 1st hole of sudden death) -24 67* 65 64 68 264
T2 Adam Hadwin -24 66 68* 63 67 264
T2 Collin Morikawa -24 66* 67 67 64 264
T4 Taylor Moore -21 64 67* 69 67 267
T4 Lucas Glover -21 69* 69 64 65 267
T4 Peter Kuest -21 64 70* 65 68 267
7 Adam Schenk -20 65 68* 69 66 268
8 Justin Lower -19 68 65* 67 69 269
T9 Stephan Jaeger -18 69* 68 70 63* 270
T9 Alex Noren -18 68 68* 67 67 270
T9 Peter Malnati -18 69 66* 67 68 270
T9 Brian Harman -18 68 68* 66 68 270
T9 Aaron Rai -18 65* 68 66 71 270
T14 Chris Kirk -17 67* 68 67 69 271
T14 Carl Yuan -17 70 66* 64 71 271
T14 Taylor Pendrith -17 67 64* 67 73 271
T17 Chad Ramey -16 68 69* 69 66 272
T17 Cameron Davis -16 69 65* 69 69 272
T17 Zecheng Dou -16 69 69* 66 68 272
T17 Troy Merritt -16 68* 68 67 69 272
T21 Max Homa -15 69 68* 69 67 273
T21 Keegan Bradley -15 69* 67 69 68 273
T21 Nicolai Hojgaard -15 67 68* 67 71 273
T24 M.J. Daffue -14 66* 70 70 68 274
T24 Davis Thompson -14 70* 69 68 67* 274
T24 Sungjae Im -14 68 70* 66 70 274
T24 Vincent Norrman -14 71 69* 69 65* 274
T24 Dylan Wu -14 65* 69 66 74 274
T29 Callum Tarren -13 67 68* 71 69 275
T29 Brett Stegmaier -13 67* 70 69 69 275
T29 Sam Bennett -13 65* 75 66 69 275
T29 Chez Reavie -13 69* 70 65 71 275
T33 Doug Ghim -12 66 71* 69 70 276
T33 Ben Griffin -12 70 67* 69 70 276
T33 Chesson Hadley -12 68 70* 69 69* 276
T33 J.J. Spaun -12 70 69* 67 70 276
T33 Garrick Higgo -12 71* 69 68 68* 276
T33 Ryan Palmer -12 70* 67 67 72 276
T33 Davis Riley -12 68* 72 71 65* 276
T40 Sam Ryder -11 65 71* 70 71 277
T40 Kelly Kraft -11 69* 71 67 70* 277
T40 Trevor Cone -11 71 67* 68 71 277
T40 Satoshi Kodaira -11 71* 65 69 72 277
T40 Ludvig Aberg -11 65* 67 73 72 277
T40 Vince Whaley -11 69 69* 66 73 277
T40 Adam Svensson -11 71* 67 71 68* 277
T47 Alex Smalley -10 72* 66 69 71* 278
T47 Russell Knox -10 70* 69 67 72 278
T47 Kevin Tway -10 70* 70 68 70* 278
T47 Brice Garnett -10 69* 71 68 70* 278
T47 Tyler Duncan -10 70 68* 66 74 278
T52 Harry Higgs -9 70* 69 68 72* 279
T52 Carson Young -9 69 68* 70 72* 279
T52 Kyle Reifers -9 70* 69 66 74 279
T52 Luke Donald -9 71* 66 71 71* 279
T56 Christiaan Bezuidenhout -8 71* 69 68 72* 280
T56 Greyson Sigg -8 70* 70 68 72* 280
T56 Nate Lashley -8 67* 71 70 72* 280
T56 Brendon Todd -8 68* 68 72 72* 280
T56 Scott Stallings -8 70* 70 69 71* 280
T56 Robert Streb -8 70 70* 70 70* 280
T56 Nick Watney -8 72 68* 71 69* 280
T56 Ryan Gerard -8 69 71* 71 69* 280
T64 Andrew Landry -7 71* 63 72 75* 281
T64 Chase Johnson -7 70* 70 68 73* 281
T64 Hank Lebioda -7 69* 69 71 72* 281
T64 Ryan Moore -7 67 70* 72 72* 281
T64 Charley Hoffman -7 67* 69 73 72* 281
T64 Sepp Straka -7 68 66* 76 71* 281
T70 S.Y. Noh -6 71 67* 68 76 282
T70 Zach Johnson -6 71 69* 68 74* 282
T70 Martin Laird -6 70* 68 72 72* 282
T70 Robby Shelton -6 68 72* 71 71* 282
T74 S.H. Kim -5 73* 67 69 74* 283
T74 Will Gordon -5 72* 68 69 74* 283
T74 Sam Stevens -5 70* 70 73 70* 283
T74 Danny Willett -5 70* 67 77 69* 283
T78 Justin Suh -4 65* 72 73 74* 284
T78 Kyle Westmoreland -4 67* 73 72 72* 284
T78 Matt Wallace -4 68* 71 75 70* 284
T81 Ryan Brehm -3 70* 69 72 74* 285
T81 Henrik Norlander -3 71* 68 72 74* 285
T83 Matthias Schwab -1 71 69* 69 78* 287
T83 Paul Haley II -1 72 66* 76 73* 287

*Started round on the back nine