Rainy Rocket: Brutal weather forecast could interfere with PGA Tour stop

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — It always rains birdies at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. This year, it might just rain buckets, too.

The weather outlook for the next week-plus in Metro Detroit is super soggy, which could create headaches for organizers of the third annual PGA Tour stop at Detroit Golf Club.

Rain could be an issue for next week's Rocket Mortgage Classic.

According to weather.com, the forecast from this Sunday through next Sunday calls for a chance of rain each day, from 58% to 35%, with thunderstorms probably this Sunday through next Saturday, and morning showers called for next Sunday. That's supposed to be the final round.

The PGA Tour will play through light rain, at least until the course is deemed unplayable. Detroit Golf Club, the flattest course on the PGA Tour, drains better than courses with more slope. The PGA Tour will not continue playing if there's lightning.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic has avoided weather issues the first two years, but almost certainly won't be so lucky this time around. The first round is set for Thursday, and the fourth and final round Sunday, July 4.

If there are weather delays, the PGA Tour will push play into the following days and do what it can to complete all four rounds — even if that means moving the final round to Monday, in this case, July 5.

More: 'We feel great': RMC officials expecting big galleries, boatload of birdies, long run on PGA Tour

The last tournament to be moved to a Monday finish by weather was the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Tuesday finishes only are done in the most drastic of cases, but probably wouldn't be an option for Detroit, with players wanting to travel overseas to get ready for the British Open.

Tournaments also can be shortened to 54 holes. The last to be shortened from 72 holes to 54 holes was the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, won by Jackson native and Oakland University alum Brian Stuard. The last tournament shortened to 36 holes was the 2005 Nissan Open.

The last tournament canceled altogether because of weather was the 2016 Greenbrier Classic; the course was flooded and deemed unplayable.

Michigan, at least, has one big thing going for it should play have to be halted for extended periods: The amount of daylight. There are more than 15 hours between sunup and sundown in July in Michigan.

Tens of thousands of tickets already have been sold for next week's tournament, putting the event in position to be the largest sports gathering in Michigan since the start of the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020.

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Twitter: @tonypaul1984