PGA champ Brooks Koepka unlikely for Detroit; Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth still possible

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Brooks Koepka won his fourth major championship Sunday.

Detroit — We're less than 40 days from the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic, the PGA Tour's first stop in the city of Detroit.

And tournament officials are expecting a new batch of player commitments any day.

But you probably can cross Brooks Koepka, the four-time major champion who just collected a second consecutive PGA Championship on Sunday, off that list.

Koepka already has committed to playing the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., the week before the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and the inaugural 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn., the week after the tournament at Detroit Golf Club.

With the U.S. Open the week before the Travelers, playing in Detroit would mean four weeks in a row for Koepka, and that's just not going to happen.


Koepka, 29, held on to win the PGA Championship on Sunday, giving him the last two PGA Championships and the last two U.S. Opens. Amazingly, he has only two other wins on the PGA Tour.

Several other big names also have committed to playing the Travelers and 3M, making them serious long shots for Detroit, including Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic, set for June 27-30, already has a decent field shaping up, with more than 50 commitments — among them Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world until he was dethroned by Koepka on Sunday, and Rickie Fowler, a Rocket Mortgage pitchman who is the unofficial spokesman for the tournament.

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Meanwhile, everyone continues to wait on word from Masters champion Tiger Woods, who surprisingly didn't play between the Masters and the PGA Championship. He almost always has played at least once between majors, but decided to rest this time around. Woods might think twice about that moving forward, given he missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

If he plays between the U.S. Open and the British Open, he almost certainly will play in Detroit or suburban Minneapolis — rather than the Travelers or the John Deere Classic.

Traditionally over the years, he has played two weeks before a major, which would make him more a fit for the 3M Open. But as he showed after the Masters, and at age 43 and with several surgeries in recent years, he is open to altering his ways — perhaps putting Detroit more in play. He also has a relationship with Dan Gilbert, the Quicken Loans founder who sponsored his tournament in suburban Washington, D.C., the last five years before he got the PGA Tour to give that spot on the schedule to Detroit.

Other fan favorites to watch: Justin Thomas has committed to the Travelers but not the 3M, and Jordan Spieth hasn't committed to either, yet. Spieth is considered a strong possibility to come to Detroit.

Other major champions in the Detroit field are Bubba Watson (2012 Masters, 2014 Masters), Jimmy Walker (2016 PGA) and Jason Dufner (2013 PGA).

Twitter: @tonypaul1984