This trip to Michigan went much better for Maverick McNealy.
A rookie on the PGA Tour, McNealy closed his final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic with a 6-under 66, missing a 4-foot putt for birdie on No. 18 early Sunday afternoon at Detroit Golf Club to finish at 15-under for the tournament.
It wasn’t enough to get McNealy his first victory, but it put him position to likely record his second career top-10 finish.
“It was a good day today,” McNealy said. “I rode my putter all the way to the finish.”
The last time McNealy was in Michigan to play was the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills, an event he entered as the top-ranked amateur in the world and the favorite to win. It never came together that week for McNealy, who was eliminated in a playoff and failed to reach match play.
Still, it was a memorable week for McNealy, whose father caddied for him. Scott McNealy grew up in Michigan and attended Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills. He spent much of his childhood playing Oakland Hills, Bloomfield Hills Country Club and Orchard Lake Country Club.
“It's fun thinking back the last time I was here was when my dad caddied for me at the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills a couple years ago,” McNealy said earlier in the week.
“(My dad) was the junior club champion at Orchard Lake Country Club back in the day and I think sailing champion as well. It was really cool, he showed me around town when we were here a couple years ago. He grew up in Bloomfield Hills and I've been rattling off the street names to him as I'm driving back to the hotel and he knows all of them.”
McNealy’s goal now is to see if he can finish strong and reach the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Making East Lake is my goal this year and I just want to give myself a chance there because if you make it there, you've got a chance for the FedEx Cup.”