Monday qualifiers: Rocket Mortgage Classic
June 30, 2020
By Ryan French, PGATOUR.COM
- June 30, 2020
- Kurt Kitayama shot 64 to get into the field at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Here’s a look at the two players who Monday qualified for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. There was a four-for-one playoff to decide the last spot. There are two spots available at each Monday qualifier after the COVID-19 break.
Kurt Kitayama (64)
Turned pro: 2015
PGA TOUR starts: 10
PGA TOUR earnings: $174,249
Notes: Has played in five PGA TOUR events so far this year, making four cuts … His best finish was a T18 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am … He has 10 career starts on the PGA TOUR … He has played 31 career Korn Ferry Tour starts, making 13 cuts, with zero top 10s … Had a win on the Asian Developmental Tour in 2018 … Had two runner-ups and a fourth-place finish on Asian Tour in 2018 … At end of 2018 went to European Tour Q school and got thru all three stages, despite not ever playing in Europe prior to Q school … He then won the Afrasian Bank Open (co-sanction event with Sunshine Tour) and the Oman Open in the 2018-19 European Tour season … Ranked 1187th in world rankings at the beginning of 2018 and is now ranked 77th … Had a great career at UNLV, including top 15 scoring average in school history … Scoring averaged of 70.6 as a sophomore in high school … Was an All-Section point guard in basketball in high school both his junior and senior year.
Donnie Trosper (67)
College: Michigan State University
Turned pro: 2019
PGA TOUR starts: 0
PGA TOUR earnings:
Notes: This will be his first start on any of the PGA TOUR-sanctioned tours … Won in a three-hole playoff for the final spot … Lost in a playoff for the last spot in the Puerto Rico Open Monday qualifier this year … Is a 2020 Korn Ferry Tour member … Made it from Pre-Qualifying all the way to final stage at Q school … Shot every single round under par in Q school … Transferred to Michigan State after three years at Central Florida … At Central Florida, he was named conference freshman of the year and made All-conference twice … In his one year at Michigan State he set the lowest scoring average in school history (71.37) … Ranked as high 241st in World Amateur Golf Rankings before turning pro … won four American Junior Golf Association events in 2014, tying for second all-time with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
A quick chat with Donnie Trosper after Monday qualifying at the Rocket Mortgage Classic:
PGATOUR.COM: What does it mean to Monday qualify for you to get your first PGA TOUR start in your home state?
TROSPER: You know, this course really set up for well for my game, it sets up really well for a fade and that is what I hit, so I was confident coming in. It just means a lot. I really can’t believe it right now. It hasn’t sunk in, I’m sure that will take some time. You always think you are going to eventually get there, but this is a really great feeling, like I said before, I just can’t believe it.
PGATOUR.COM: There haven’t been many playing opportunities because of quarantine. What did you do to keep your game in shape and what were your expectations coming in to today?
TROSPER: I used Dustin Johnson as some motivation, he came off of vacation and won at the Travelers [Championship], so figured I could come out of quarantine and play well. Luckily, I grew up on a golf range, so I worked really hard on game during the break and felt really good coming in. A lot of the guys here are in the same situation, without good status we all haven’t played much, so that was pretty equal across the board.
PGATOUR.COM: You lost in a playoff for Puerto Rico Open. Did you learn anything from that playoff, that you were able to apply to today?
TROSPER: Yes, for sure, just to not to put so much pressure on myself. I put a ton of pressure on myself in that playoff and I am sure it hurt me. I also learned a little from Daniel Berger then other day in the Charles Schwab Challenge playoff. He was on the range ripping drivers while Colin Morikawa was hitting wedges. I used that warming up for playoff, ripping some drivers really helped me get some of the tension out and loosened me up. I tried my best to enjoy myself.
PGATOUR.COM: On the first playoff hole, you made a long birdie putt, but Andres Echavarria made one right after that. Is it hard to reset mentally, thinking you might have won it, only to have him make one also?
TROSPER: I was really proud of that putt; I mean you dream of putts like that. And to make it was really cool. You play your whole life for a putt like that, and to make it was just awesome. But yeah, it’s disappointing for sure to have him make it right on top of me. On the walk over to the next tee, I really had to refocus. Then he made that great up and down on the second playoff hole, you just have to keep focused.
PGATOUR.COM: How many times have you played Detroit Golf Club? Will you have some home course advantage?
TROSPER: I just played there last week with (former Detroit Red Wing) Darren McCarty and (former Detroit Lion) T.J. Lang. It really helped me, I think, with playing it under pressure, I was really nervous playing with those guys. I really hope that helps this week. It’s so rare in golf to be able to sleep in your own bed and play in an event, let alone a PGA TOUR event. I really just can’t wait for this week.
NOTABLE MISSES: Andrea Pavan 67, Andres Echavarria 67, MJ Daffue 68
STRENGTH OF TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP MONDAY QUALIFIER:
Combined number of PGA TOUR starts: 36
Number of players with at least 1 PGA TOUR wins: Zero
Combined number of PGA TOUR wins: 0
Combined PGA TOUR earnings: Over $125K
Combined Korn Ferry Tour wins: Zero
Player with most PGA TOUR wins in the field: None
Name of course: Oakland University Katke course; 6,878 yards; rating 74.3, slope 140
2019-2020 SEASON MONDAY QUALIFIER STATS
Average Medalist score: 65.2
Average last qualifying spot score: 66.8
Total number of cuts made: 10 of 48 (20.8%)
Most recent results (Travelers Championship): David Pastore MC (Chase Koepka WD)
Money earned: $325,518
Best Finish: Garrett Osborn, T18, Sanderson Farms
NEXT MONDAY QUALIFIER
July 6: Workday Open Monday Qualifier, Country Club of Muirfield Village
NOTES FROM OTHER TOURS
Monday Qualifier Hayden Buckley birdied his last four holes at the Utah Championship presented by Zion Bank and finished in the Top 25.
Paul Peterson finished T16 at the Korn Ferry King and Bear Classic two weeks ago after Monday qualifying. That earned him a spot in the Utah Championship presented by Zion Bank. He then finished in top 25 again, earning a spot in this week’s event.