Rocket Mortgage Classic Leaderboard 2022: Tony Finau picks up where he left off to share the lead after Round 1

With thunderstorms in the Detroit area earlier in the week, players were introduced to ideal scoring conditions in the morning hours of the first round of the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic. The man who finished fast to win last week’s 3M Open started the same way. form on Thursday, when Tony Finau signed an 8-under-64 bogey-free contract to command a portion of the lead with Canadian Taylor Pendrith.

Finau set up a batting clinic at the Detroit Golf Club while making more than four shots on approach and nearly two more off the tee. In fact, the 32-year-old was so in sync with his rider and irons in hand that he dropped out of the top 45 on both short-game metrics.

If Finau’s bat heats up – as it did on Sunday at the 3M Open – the rest of the field could be in trouble as he seeks his second win in a few weeks. Along with Pendrith, Webb Simpson and Michael Thompson combined strong approach play with timely placement to stay two strokes off the lead at 6 under. Both PGA Tour veterans dropped out of the top 100 of the FedEx Cup standings going into the week and have already advanced their positioning thanks to their first-round efforts and will be a storyline to follow for the next 54 holes.

The leaders

T1. Tony Finau and Taylor Pendrith (-8): Basketball is often described as “a game of racing” and it’s possible that golf could soon be seen in a similar light. From Patrick Cantlay in last year’s FedEx Cup Playoffs to Xander Schauffle in midsummer, players like Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler have been able to put together memorable quality runs. So this begs the question: Can Finau accomplish something similar?

A three-time PGA Tour winner and twice in less than a year, Finau is hitting the ball as well as anyone and may finally propel his name to the upper echelon of the game. Connecting all 18 greens in regulation in the first round at Detroit GC, it’s clear that the rest of Finau’s tournament – and season – will simply depend on the club.

“Yes, it felt a little like that, but it’s a whole different week,” Finau said. “This game is a funny game because sometimes you play well and the next week you’re a little boring, sometimes you play well and carry on. It was nice to carry on after last week and carry on today.”

other competitors

T3. Michael Thompson, Webb Simpson, Cameron Champ, Lee Hodges, Matt Wallace (-6)

T8. Stephan Jaeger, Taylor Moore, Sam Ryder, Si Woo Kim, Zach Johnson and nine others (-5)

The postseason is approaching and the last few days have been extremely kind to someone like Jaeger. With players departing for LIV Golf officially removed from the FedEx Cup standings, the 33-year-old jumped from 133rd in the season’s race to 125th without having to pick up a club. The movement inside the bubble continued into the first round when Jaeger fired a 5 under 67 and is now projected to move to number 111 based on his current placement.

“I don’t want to say too much to you, because it doesn’t happen – you know, I’m going to be fine anyway. It doesn’t change my life at all,” Jaeger said of the pressure to qualify for the postseason. “I have a great support team at home and my wife is always there. Yes, I want to. Do I need to? No, I’ll be fine anyway. I try to keep as much perspective as possible in that regard. It’s the end of the world and I know I’ll be back. Yeah, it’s a great start, so pedal to the ground this week and try to make something happen.”

Homeless Hubbs Makes Money

Not all hole-in-ones are the same as Mark Hubbard discovered on Thursday. Striking the 10th ace of your life — by your brother Nathan – the man known by some as “Homeless Hubbs” was disgusted by his putt on the par-3 11, dropped his putter and finally saw his putt fall to the bottom of the cup.

“Honestly, it was very embarrassing,” Hubbard said. “I looked it up and it was a perfect one-yard draw. Wyndham [Clark] it was actually like, as soon as I let go, he said, ‘Dude, you better not go in’, but it sure fell over and dripped like a putt. Yeah, I think it’s probably going to end up being one of my favorite hole-in-ones I’ve ever had just because of the situation. And none of them even gave me high-fives afterwards.”

Thursday’s FedEx Cup Biggest Moves

Going forward, the postseason will be on the minds of competitors as every shot is magnified when job security is at stake. After just 18 holes of play, some have already seen their names climb the FedEx Cup standings and hope to stay within the coveted top 125 to qualify for the first playoff event in Memphis in two weeks.

Taylor Pendrith



Webb Simpson



Matt Wallace



Cameron champion



Kiradech Aphibarnrat



Michael Thompson



Lee Hodges



Charley Hoffman



Stephan Jaeger



Zach Johnson



Rocket Mortgage Classic 2022 Updated Odds and Picks

  • Tony Finau: 10/33
  • Taylor Pendrith: 8-1
  • Webb Simpson: 14-1
  • Cameron Champion: 16-1
  • Cam Davis: 28-1
  • Sahith Theegala: 28-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 28-1
  • Kurt Kitayama: 35-1
  • Will Zalatoris: 35-1
  • Si Woo Kim: 35-1
  • Charley Hoffman: 40-1
  • Lee Hodges: 40-1
  • Callum Tarren: 40-1
  • Matt Wallace: 40-1
  • Troy Merritt: 40-1

The weather forecast for Friday looks quite similar to Thursday, meaning the wind will pick up during the afternoon wave. As such, it might be prudent to look for a player on the golf course early in the morning and Kitayama fits the criteria. Carding 5 under 67 in Round 1, the two-time DP World Tour champion looped around Detroit GC in a bogey-free fashion while connecting on 17 greens in regulation. Sixth in tee to green shots, Kitayama won about two shots both off the tee and on approach. He arrived in Detroit after a successful two-week stint in Scotland that saw him finish second to Xander Schauffele at the Scottish Open.

Rick Gehman and Greg DuCharme recap Thursday’s action at the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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