Redman, Stallings, and Kisner Hold First Round Lead at Rocket Mortgage Classic

By Dave Shields

Doc Redman really likes the Detroit Golf Club. On Thursday, he carded a 7-under 65 to take a share of the lead in the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Redman finished runner up here last year to winner Nate Lashley in the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic. He picked up this year where he left off last year.

But it took a blistering back 9 for Redman to surge into the lead. After a bogey on the par-4 10th hole, Redman caught fire. He birdied 7 of his last 6 holes, including the final 4 to fall into a three-way tie at 7-under with Scott Stallings and Kevin Kisner.

A slew of golfers are one shot back at 6-under including Peter Malnati, JJ Spaun, Emiliano Grillo, Chase Seiffert, Chris Stroud, Matt Wallace and, yup, Bryson DeChambeau. DeChambeau’s presence in the top 10 has been pretty much a constant this season.

Fourteen golfers are two shots back at 5-under, including a player that has gone AWOL this year, Rickie Fowler.

After a poor showing at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Fowler missed the cut at the RBC Heritage and sat out the Traveler’s Championship last week. The downtime did him some good as he practiced with his new coach John Tillery.

“I was working on some stuff,” Fowler said. “Colonial, Hilton Head, unfortunately I got some pretty bad blisters and so yeah, last week at home – I mean Friday at Hilton Head was not fun trying to fight through that. Felt like I did OK, but not good enough, Fowler said, reported the PGA. “So last week at home I wasn't able to play interlock, which is my normal grip, so just kind of had to hit balls overlap and work on some fundamentals and not really worry too much about how I was hitting it and stuff like that. So, once I got here, Tuesday was the first day I was actually able to start hitting balls somewhat interlock. It was still bothering me, but they're healing, so today was the first day that it felt at least good enough to go ahead and go.”

It worked out pretty well as he fired off 7 birdies.

With 24 players within two shots of the lead and 45 golfers within three shots after the first round, this should be a crazy Fourth of July weekend. Who will break out of the pack?

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Dave Shields

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