Defending Champion Bryson DeChambeau to Join Fellow Major Champions Jason Day and Bubba Watson,
Fan Favorites Rickie Fowler and Harold Varner III
at 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic
April 22, 2021
Reigning U.S. Open champion and eight-time PGA TOUR winner DeChambeau, 2015 PGA Championship winner Day and two-time Masters champ Watson bring major talent to Detroit tournament.
Harold Varner III and Rocket Mortgage golf ambassador Rickie Fowler will also be in Detroit for July 4 weekend event.
“Faces of AREA 313 Presented by Priority Health” program offers golf fans the ability to support the Changing the Course initiative and early access to Rocket Mortgage Classic events.
DETROIT (April 22, 2021) – Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and fellow major championship winners Jason Day and Bubba Watson have committed to play in the third annual Rocket Mortgage Classic – the first PGA TOUR event ever held in the city of Detroit – when it returns to historic Detroit Golf Club June 28-July 4. Other early player commitments include fan favorites Rickie Fowler and Harold Varner III.
“The Rocket Mortgage Classic has quickly cemented itself as one of the favorite events on TOUR for some of the best players in the world,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Bryson is smashing records with his powerful drives and, simply put, has been the most fascinating golfer on the PGA TOUR since he won our tournament last year. All of our early committed players have tremendous resumes and will put on a tremendous show for the fans here in Detroit while helping us raise critical funds to help close the digital divide in Detroit.”
These world-class PGA TOUR golfers and fan favorites are capable of providing fireworks inside the ropes over July 4th weekend at the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic:
Jason Day, a former World No. 1 from Australia, won the 2015 PGA Championship and 2016 PLAYERS Championship along with 10 other PGA TOUR titles. He finished third in the final 2015 PGA TOUR FedExCup standings after winning two playoff events.
Bryson DeChambeau, a Rocket Mortgage golf ambassador, is the reigning champion of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the world’s sixth-ranked player. Among his eight PGA TOUR titles is the 2020 U.S. Open championship. The TOUR’s FedExCup leader and driving distance leader is the fifth golfer in history to win both the NCAA Division I championship and the U.S. Amateur in the same year.
Rickie Fowler, a Rocket Mortgage golf ambassador, is a five-time PGA TOUR winner and the 2010 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. The 2015 PLAYERS Championship winner represented the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics and has played in the Ryder Cup on four separate occasions.
Harold Varner III is a PGA TOUR fan favorite who was victorious at the 2016 Australian PGA Championship. He was tied for second heading into the final round of the 2019 PGA Championship.
Bubba Watson owns 12 PGA TOUR wins, which include the 2012 and 2014 Masters tournaments, and is an avid supporter of the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s Changing the Course initiative. He represented the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics and placed T8.
Watson played an instrumental role in the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic’s goal of Changing the Course, an effort to bridge the digital divide in Detroit. He organized a 9-hole televised event the Wednesday of tournament week with fellow PGA TOUR golfers that helped raise $1 million.
This year, the Rocket Mortgage Classic is doubling down on its charitable focus – aiming to raise more than $1 million through fan engagements and returning initiatives at its highly-acclaimed, three-hole stretch, AREA 313, which is the epicenter of fan activity during tournament week. AREA 313, which will soon be “The Most Charitable Three Holes in Golf,” is named in honor of Detroit’s famed area code and is comprised of the 555-yard par-5 14th hole, the 160-yard par-3 15th hole and the 446-yard par-4 16th hole.
“All proceeds raised through AREA 313 will be directed to the Changing the Course initiative, and these contributions will be invested into organizations and infrastructure that seek to bridge the digital divide and offer digital connectivity to all Detroit residents,” said Laura Grannemann, Vice President of the Rocket Community Fund. “We are unconditionally committed to Changing the Course, as it is vital for us to support our local community and provide necessary technology, digital access, digital literacy and educational training for Detroiters now and in the future.”
New to the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2021 is the “Faces of AREA 313 Presented by Priority Health” program. It will enable companies and community members to pledge $313 or more for their face, that of a fellow fan, first responder, frontline worker or loved one lost from the COVID-19 pandemic to be prominently displayed on an electronic videoboard or along the hospitality structures within the three-hole stretch. Each donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Priority Health, which has pledged $50,000 to the initiative. Faces are available by visiting RocketMortgageClassic.com, and each purchase is accompanied by a ticket that allows fans access to the event Monday, June 28 and Tuesday, June 29.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic directs its net proceeds to community partners and, in partnership with its title sponsor Rocket Mortgage, last year unveiled its new Changing the Course initiative, a multi-year campaign with a vision that every Detroit resident has access to the internet, technology and digital literacy training they deserve. The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on a number of unaddressed underlying issues in Detroit, internet accessibility being one of the most severe.
Through the Changing the Course initiative, the Rocket Giving Fund, the 501(c)(3) host organization of the tournament, disbursed $2.1 million to the Connect 313 Fund, which was developed in advance of last year’s tournament by the Rocket Mortgage Classic in partnership with the City of Detroit and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan – with additional engagement from community, philanthropic and business stakeholders. The PGA TOUR event raised more than $2.7 million overall in its sophomore iteration.
The Connect 313 Fund is rooted in the City’s digital inclusion strategy and is a coordinating mechanism for all digital inclusion stakeholders driving collectively toward the singular vision of bridging the digital divide. In addition to coordinating a city-wide, data-driven digital inclusion strategy, the Connect 313 Fund will make investments into Detroit-based nonprofit partners to increase access to technology, internet and digital literacy resources.