Mon, 13 Jul 2020

Simpson's return highlights Rocket Mortgage field

Field Level Media
30 Jun 2020, 09:19 GMT+10

FedEx Cup leader Webb Simpson, defending event champion Nate Lashley and Rickie Fowler will form of the featured groupings for the first two rounds of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which begins Thursday in Detroit.

Simpson pulled out of last week's Travelers Championship after a family member tested positive for coronavirus. The golfer ranked No. 6 in the world has since said that his family has all tested negative, which led to him enter the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Simpson won the RBC Heritage the week before withdrawing from the Travelers.

Lashley shot a 25-under-par 263 to win by six shots in last year's tournament at Detroit Golf Club. It is the lone PGA Tour victory for Lashley, a 37-year-old who is ranked 84th in the world.

Fowler is ranked 31st.

Also slated to play together are No. 7 Patrick Reed, No. 10 Bryson DeChambeau and No. 23 Hideki Matsuyama of Japan. DeChambeau has a streak of six straight top-10 finishes, including three in a row since play resumed earlier this month.

No. 48 Bubba Watson, No. 52 Brendon Todd and No. 58 Jason Day of Australia will form a grouping. Todd was tied for the 54-hole lead at Travelers before finishing in a tie for 11th place.

Another other trios will be No. 15 Tyrrell Hatton of England, No. 22 Sungjae Im of South Korea and No. 50 Brandt Snedeker. Im is No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings while Hatton's last four worldwide starts produced two wins, at the Turkish Airlines Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, plus a tie for third at the RBC Heritage.

None of the top five golfers in the world are entered in the Detroit tournament. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is ranked No. 1, followed by Spain's Jon Rahm and the American trio of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka. Johnson won the Travelers Championship by one shot on Sunday, and McIlroy (tied for 11th), Rahm (tied for 37th) and Thomas (cut) also competed.

Koepka withdrew ahead of the Connecticut event when his caddie tested positive for the coronavirus.

Thomas is second in the FedEx Cup standings.

Harris English, who tested positive for COVID-19, has withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Monday.

The remainder of the pairings will be announced Tuesday.

--Field Level Media

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