RMC champ Nate Lashley celebrates first win with beers at DGC, night out at MGM Grand

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Nate Lashley studies his shot on the second hole during the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament Sunday.

Detroit — A whole lot of firsts these days for Nate Lashley.

He made his first trip to Detroit. He won his first PGA Tour tournament, in the first year of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. That earned him his first appearance in the British Open, later this month, which will mark his first trip to Europe.

And this week, he made his first trip to New York — for what we're quite certain was his first appearance on the "TODAY" show.

"TODAY" profiled Lashley's emotional win, which came 15 years after he lost both of his parents and his girlfriend in a plane crash.

"They'd just be proud," Lashley said during the "TODAY" spot." "It was a lot of hard work, and a lot of hard work from then. When I was young, they took me around when I was a kid. We were going around to tournaments and playing a lot of golf, and I was constantly playing sports. Without them, I wouldn't be sitting here today, that's for sure."

Lashley, 36, who is from Nebraska and played collegiately at the University of Arizona, shot 25 under to win Detroit's inaugural PGA Tour tournament by six shots.

It was an impressive showing that included two 63s.

Lashley said Sunday night at Detroit Golf Club that he thought about his parents throughout Sunday's round, and that he often thinks of them,

"I just kept pushing myself and tried to stay positive at times, which was not easy to do for a lot of years," Lashley said. 

No rest for the weary. Lashley will compete in this week's 3M Open in suburban Minneapolis. That's the other new PGA Tour stop this season, along with Detroit. This will be an easier entry into the tournament. After having to try to Monday qualify last week — he didn't make it — and then getting in as an alternate, Lashley now is completely exempt on the PGA Tour through next season.

He also took home the check of $1.314 million for winning in Detroit.

No wonder he was in a celebratory mood Sunday night. After handling his media obligations, he headed to the back patio at Detroit Golf Club for some beers with dozens of friends, family and club members. He then headed downtown for a night at MGM Grand Detroit, where he had dinner with his girlfriend, drank and gambled.

"It was surreal, for sure," Lashley said on "TODAY." "It's still a little bit of a blur, to be honest with you. It hasn't quite sunk in."


Twitter: @tonypaul1984