Dan Gilbert’s vision brought PGA Tour to Detroit, but he’s unlikely to attend

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — It's long been Dan Gilbert's vision to bring the PGA Tour to Detroit.

Well, the PGA Tour is coming to Detroit. But Gilbert isn't expected to be there.

Special event productions field technician Jeffrey Addison, of Shelby, N.C., sets up devices on the second green used to calibrate three cameras that track putting distances.

Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Rocket Mortgage bureau that is sponsoring this week's first-ever PGA Tour tournament in Detroit, continues to rehab from a stroke he suffered last month.

In a schedule of appearances of company officials released to media representatives Sunday, Gilbert wasn't listed. Instead, Bill Emerson, vice chairman of Quicken Loans, was listed as the speaker during Wednesday's opening ceremonies for the tournament.

Emerson spoke last month during the Mackinac Policy Conference.

"He has a great passion for this event, and in particular what it means for the city of Detroit," said Jay Farner, Quicken Loans CEO, last month shortly after Gilbert had a stroke. "I know that he'll be excited to watch it all take place in the next few weeks.

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"Right now, we're just taking things day by day. I've expressed to the entire team at Quicken Loans that our mission is to just give him the time and space he needs to recover and recuperate, and do those sorts of things."

Representatives for Gilbert and Quicken Loans either didn't respond to messages Sunday or said they weren't sure if he would attend the tournament. 

Gilbert, 57, the billionaire Detroit booster, wasn't feeling well in late May and asked a friend to take him to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. Quicken Loans representatives visited Gilbert in the hospital in the days after he suffered the stroke and painted a picture of Gilbert "improving by the hour."

Gilbert was released from the hospital last week and entered an in-patient rehabilitation program, company officials said.

Gilbert, who also owns the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, has been a big proponent of bringing major professional golf to the city limits of Detroit. Quicken Loans sponsored The National in suburban Washington, D.C., the last five years, but it was with the understanding that the PGA Tour would eventually come to Detroit.

The PGA Tour followed through last spring, announcing Detroit would host a tournament. That event is Thursday through Sunday at Detroit Golf Club.

"We have a great team at the family of companies," said Farner, talking to reporters last month, "and I know we'll do him proud as he's resting."

Rocket Mortgage Classic

When: Thursday-Sunday 

Where: Detroit Golf Club

TV: 3-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Golf Channel. 1-2:45 p.m.Saturday and Sunday, Golf Channel; 3-6 p.m., CBS.

Purse: $7.3 million

Tickets: RocketMortgageClassic.com


Twitter: @tonypaul1984