Rickie Fowler: 'It's great to be involved' in Detroit's PGA Tour stop

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Rickie Fowler all but committed on Monday to participate in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Detroit — The man in orange is coming to Detroit.

Rickie Fowler all but officially committed to playing in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic in June, when Detroit Golf Club will host the city's first-ever PGA Tour stop.

Fowler made the comments during his Monday press conference at the Masters this week.

Fowler always was considered a slam-dunk to play in Detroit, given he's a paid pitchman for Rocket Mortgage Classic, a wing of Dan Gilbert's Quicken Loans, which long has been a PGA Tour partner.

"I'm definitely excited about being up there in Detroit," Fowler told reporters Monday in Augusta, Ga. "The Tour hasn't been there in, I think it's been 10 years or so.

"We're gonna do our best to try to get the best field we can and push the event, and hopefully have a great turnout up there. I know Detroit's obviously a great sporting town, so see if we can pull some golf fans from, not just Detroit, but the areas and to see what Dan Gilbert and Quicken Loans and everything they've been doing in the Detroit area and trying to build the city back up a bit."

There have been no official player commitments yet for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, to be played June 27-30 at the historic club located west of Woodward and south of Seven Mile.

Tournament organizers have told The News they expect them to start rolling in shortly after the conclusion of the Masters, set for this Thursday-Sunday.

Rocket Mortgage Classic officials have been at several PGA Tour events, recruiting the biggest names in the game, though it appears some of them will be a swing-and-a-miss. The absences are expected to include Phil Mickelson, given he committed to playing the new tournament in Minnesota the week after Detroit. Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau and reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed also have committed to Minnesota, while DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson are early commitments for the tournament in Connecticut the week before the Detroit tournament. 

Day, who has been a season-ticket holder for Gilbert's Cavaliers of the NBA, figures to be a possible addition to the Rocket Mortgage Classic field. It's also close to his home in Ohio. Tournament organizers continue to pursue the biggest fish, Tiger Woods.

Detroit's place on the schedule appears to be a favorable one, two weeks after the U.S. Open and three before the British Open. Most golfers want to play some tournament or tournaments between major championships, but are hesitant to overbook.

Fowler said he's heard about the renovations at Detroit Golf Club, but hasn't yet seen them. He said he hopes to get up to Detroit before the tournament, but isn't sure he will.

"It's great to have some awesome partners, and one of them being Rocket Mortgage, to see the investment they've put into golf, but also getting the tournament back up to Detroit," Fowler said. "It all being involved with helping kind of rebuild the city of Detroit a bit.

"It's great to be involved. I know I'm excited to get there."

First thing's first for Fowler, 30, who still is searching for his first major championship. He's finished runner-up in three out of the four, including at last year's Masters, and third place in the other.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic marks the PGA Tour's return to a full-time stop in Michigan after the Buick Open held its last tournament in 2009 in Grand Blanc.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984