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DETROIT (June 2, 2020) – Top-ranked amateur golfers Sahith Theegala and Peter Kuest have accepted sponsor exemptions to compete in Detroit’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, and will launch their professional careers when the PGA TOUR event comes to Detroit Golf Club July 2-5, the tournament announced today.
In just its second year, the Rocket Mortgage Classic is quickly becoming known as a tournament where the PGA TOUR’s future stars get their starts. Last year, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff were among the top young players recently turned professional who teed it up in Detroit thanks to tournament-issued exemptions. Both have quickly established themselves on the PGA TOUR with steady play and victories within the last 12 months.
Additional TOUR professionals joining the 156-player field for the Rocket Mortgage Classic will be announced in the coming weeks.
“As we prepare to host the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic in just one month, we’re excited to be able to extend sponsor exemptions to two of the most exciting young players in the game,” said Jason Langwell, the Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Sahith and Peter have put together remarkable college and amateur golf careers, and to see them make their starts as professionals right here in Detroit will be a truly special experience.”
Theegala and Kuest will actively support the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s charitable efforts toward “Changing the Course.”
As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Rocket Mortgage Classic directs its net proceeds to community partners, and in partnership with its title sponsor Rocket Mortgage, the event recently unveiled its new “Changing the Course” initiative – a multi-year campaign with a vision that every Detroit resident has access to the internet, technology and digital literacy training they deserve within five years. The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on a number of unaddressed underlying issues in Detroit – internet accessibility being one of the most severe. The vision of “Changing the Course” is a Detroit where every resident has access to the technology, internet and digital literacy that is the baseline for education and opportunity in today’s economy.
“The Rocket Mortgage Classic continues to be a destination for the TOUR’s highly ranked professionals and amateurs, alike, which speaks to the passion that exists for golf located in the heart of one of America’s great cities,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage. “We are excited to continue adding great talent, and great ambassadors, to our field of golf’s greatest competitors.”
In 2019, the Rocket Mortgage Classic raised more than $1.2 million in support of nonprofit organizations, with $1.1 million being directly invested in the city of Detroit. It also won three “Best Of” awards in its inaugural year from the PGA TOUR, including the “Fair Way Award” for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, making it the most-awarded event on the TOUR.
Theegala turns professional leaving behind the No. 3 spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, a spot to which he ascended thanks to 11 top-10 finishes over the last two seasons. In May, the Pepperdine University product was named the 50th winner of the Haskins Award, given annually to the player of the year in men’s college golf, and was a first-team NCAA All-American for the 2019-20 collegiate season, as well as the top-ranked player in both the Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat rankings. He has played in two professional events previously while retaining his amateur status – he finished tied for 49th at the 2017 Genesis Open after earning his way into the field through a qualifier for college players, and also competed in the U.S. Open the same year.
“I’m not only extremely excited to get my professional career underway by playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but am grateful to Rocket Mortgage and the tournament staff for extending this sponsor exemption to me,” Theegala said. “I was impressed with the amazing impact the event had on the city of Detroit in its debut last year, and I am looking forward to supporting its new Changing the Course initiative, as I know how important digital access is to providing tools for education, medicine, employment and so many other opportunities.”
Kuest is the 41st-ranked amateur in the world and has starred at BYU the last four years, winning a record 10 college events in just 49 starts and setting a school record this season with a 69.42 scoring average. He led all of college golf this season in birdies and eagles, and was selected to participate in the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup, one of the top invitation-only collegiate events in the world.
“Making the jump from the amateur ranks to playing as a professional is a huge milestone in my golf career, and I couldn’t be more appreciative and proud to start as a pro at the Rocket Mortgage Classic,” Kuest said. “It’s clear to me that the tournament and the title sponsor, Rocket Mortgage, are fully behind using this event as a tool to affect positive change in the city of Detroit, and I’m pleased to play a small part in that incredible effort.”
The Rocket Mortgage Classic is scheduled for July 2-5 at Detroit Golf Club and will feature 156 of the PGA TOUR’s top players competing for a purse of $7.5 million. With essential personnel only permitted onsite, the event will be broadcast on Golf Channel, CBS, PGA TOUR Live and PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM.
About the Rocket Mortgage Classic
The Rocket Mortgage Classic made history in 2019 as the first PGA TOUR event ever held in the city of Detroit, and Nate Lashley added to the historic feel of the week by winning for the first time on the PGA TOUR and becoming the tournament’s inaugural champion. Embodying the spirit of Detroit, the week-long event featured great entertainment, cuisine and social activities on and off the course. The Rocket Mortgage Classic was the most awarded event during the 2018-19 PGA TOUR season, 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. The Rocket Giving Fund is the primary charitable beneficiary of the tournament and will support many local charities. More information is available at RocketMortgageClassic.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@RocketClassic).
About Quicken Loans / Rocket Mortgage
Detroit-based Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest home mortgage lender. The company closed nearly half a trillion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states from 2013 through 2018. In late 2015 Quicken Loans introduced Rocket Mortgage, the first fully digital mortgage experience. Today, 98% of all home loans originated by Quicken Loans utilize Rocket Mortgage Technology.
Quicken Loans moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Quicken Loans and its Family of Companies employ more than 17,000 full-time team members in Detroit’s urban core. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix. Quicken Loans also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination by J.D. Power for the past ten consecutive years, 2010 – 2019, and also ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers the past six consecutive years, 2014 – 2019.
Quicken Loans was once again named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2019 and has been included in the magazine’s top 1/3rd of companies named to the list for the past 16 consecutive years. In addition, Essence Magazine named Quicken Loans “#1 Place to Work in the Country for African Americans.”
For more information and company news visit QuickenLoans.com/press-room.
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