DETROIT (September 2, 2020) – Following a wildly successful debut in 2019 and a spectacular sophomore showing earlier this year, the third-annual Rocket Mortgage Classic will be held June 28 – July 4, 2021, as it returns to the historic Detroit Golf Club.
The event will focus on raising funds to support the “Changing the Course” initiative which was launched in 2020 in light of the profound impact of COVID-19 on Detroit and the clear need for greater and more equitable digital connectivity in America’s least connected major city. The vision of this multi-year campaign is to ensure every Detroit resident has access to the internet, technology and digital literacy training they deserve within a 10-minute walk of their home.
“We are creating the PGA TOUR’s must-see event in 2021 by leveraging the incredible momentum generated from the first two years of the Rocket Mortgage Classic,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Bringing 156 of the world’s best golfers to Detroit over the Fourth of July weekend has proven to be a great way to celebrate the holiday, especially considering we are continuing to make a positive impact on one of our country’s great cities through our efforts with Changing the Course.”
During the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic, $1.4 million was raised to support Changing the Course through a special charity exhibition match hosted by two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, as well as the AREA 313 Challenge, where donations from title sponsor Rocket Mortgage were triggered by players who made an eagle, ace or birdie (3-1-3) on holes 14, 15 and 16. The event’s total contribution to non-profit partners, including the net proceeds from the 2020 tournament, will be announced in the coming weeks and is expected to far surpass the amount generated in 2019.
“While the Rocket Mortgage Classic is a great event – bringing together our team members, the community and TOUR golfers for an exciting weekend at Detroit Golf Club – we remain laser focused on using the tournament to make a lasting impact that benefits the residents of our hometown through Changing the Course,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage. “Providing every Detroiter access to the internet is no small feat, with nearly one in three families currently lacking connectivity, which is why we continue to leverage this unique platform as a vehicle for good.”
After Nate Lashley cruised to a six-stroke victory and his first career PGA TOUR win at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic, Bryson DeChambeau muscled his way to 23-under-par to win the 2020 tournament. Ranked 10th in the world entering the event, DeChambeau earned his sixth career TOUR win at the age of 26, leading the field with an average driving distance of 350.6 yards.
The 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic was one of the PGA TOUR’s “Return to Golf” events that was played without fans following a nearly three-month hiatus due to the ongoing pandemic.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Rocket Mortgage Classic directs its net proceeds to Detroit-based non-profit community partners through the Rocket Giving Fund, which will provide financial contributions to organizations seeking to ensure 5G internet technology becomes available for all of the city’s residents. The Rocket Giving Fund is also aiming to provide access to technology and digital literacy programming for Detroit residents.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic was the most awarded event on the PGA TOUR’s 2018-19 schedule, being recognized for “Best Special Event” (the AREA 313 Celebrity Challenge) and “Best Tournament Sales” as well as being honored with the first “Fair Way Award” for its diversity and inclusion initiatives.