RMC recap: Highlights from Day 2 at Detroit Golf Club
Detroit — Here's a look at Friday's highlights from Day 2 of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club:
Shot of the day
Just like Thursday with Rickie Fowler's hole-out for eagle, it came early on Friday — hint, hint, golf fans coming to the course Saturday and Sunday — when Ollie Schniederjans made the first hole-in-one in Rocket Mortgage Classic history.
It came at the short par-3 fifth hole.
From 144 yards, Schniederjans pulled a wedge and flew it in the hole, much to the delight of the 20 or so fans who were following the group.
"He threw his club in the air," said Mark Moody, 61, of Mount Pleasant, one of those fans. "It's nice to see that pros get excited, too."
Schniederjans would've tipped his cap to the applause, if he wore one. He doesn't, because he hasn't worn them since Little League, and he likes his hair.
It was the highlight of the week for Schniederjans, 26, from Dallas. Even when it's your 11th hole-in-one, you still enjoy the heck out of it. He missed the cut, though, at 3 over.
"The course is great, and the tournament seems awesome. They set it up great," he said after signing his scorecard, and before departing Detroit Golf Club.
"And yeah, I'll have that hole-in-one memory."
Hole of the day
We're going to go with the par-5 17th hole, which played 569 yards and was the easiest hole in the second round at Detroit Golf Club.
Of the 155 players to play the hole Friday, 10 made eagle and 78 made birdie. It averaged more than a half-stroke under par.
Nobody made a bigger eagle, though, than Petoskey's Joey Garber. It got him to 5 under, and as he was heading up 18, the cut line moved from 4 under to 5 under.
Garber striped his drive 331 yards, and then hit his approach to a little less than 25 feet, before draining that putt. That helped him salvage a par-72, after a first-round 67, assuring him two more days of fun in the sun in his home state.
Only six players made bogey at No. 17.
Quote of the day
"It's nice when you have one of these weeks at a course you can score on, and if you play well, you get rewarded. Some of the weeks, the courses are so tough, people don't really realize it. You could hit good shots all day and shoot over par. A lot of the weeks, the courses are really difficult, so it's a nice change coming here." — Nate Lashley, the leader following the first and second rounds of this tournament. He's at 14 under and takes a one-stroke lead over Cameron Champ into Saturday's third round.
Lashley, the last player in the field this week, made nine birdies in his opening-round 63, and six in his second-round 67.
Souvenir of the day
The style is called Instant Classic — and maybe that’s what Detroit’s skyline is becoming.
Truth is, we never gave the skyline much thought. It’s just sort of up there, beyond the People Mover tracks. But you see it at the Rocket Mortgage Classic apparel shop on a flat-brimmed, Fowler-style hat from Puma, and it’s looming even larger on $32 T-shirts from Katie Lord.
The skyline sits in a circle above the legend, “Detroit Golf City.” The shirts come short-sleeved in maritime blue or gray, and long-sleeved in navy, a lighter blue, black or white.
Okay, they’re just T-shirts. But in a way, they’re high fashion.
Speaking of souvenirs, tournament director Jason Langwell said they sold out of certain logo golf balls as well as pin flags (the best seller to autograph-seekers). They got restocked Friday.
While Garber (5 under) and Jackson's Brian Stuard (6 under) made the cut, albeit not as easily as they would've hoped, the other two locals in the field are done after 36 holes.
Grand Rapids' Matt Harmon, a mini-tour player who played at Michigan State and once was Big Ten player of the year, finished at 1 under after a par-72 in the second round, while Glen Arbor's Lee Houtteman finished at 10 over — last in the field.
Houtteman, at 57 the oldest player in the field, rebounded from a first-round 80 to card a more-respectable 74.
Area 313 update
This will be the epicenter of the tournament this week, and it's especially intriguing because of a $313,000 charity payout (half to the player's charity of choice, and the other half to the tournament's) that will be triggered if, over the course of the four days, any player manages to go 3-1-3 on Nos. 14-16 — eagle at the par-5 14th, hole-in-one on the par-3 15th, and birdie on the par-4 16th.
So far, nobody's threatening. There have four eagles on the 14th this week, but only two of them made the cut (Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak), and neither has birdied 16 yet. Nobody has aced the 15th.
Zack Sucher came the closest at 15 on Friday, hitting to 2 feet, 7 inches.