Joaquin Niemann and Tom Lewis Share 36 Hole Leadership at Rocket Mortgage Classic



DETROIT – Joaquin Niemann as well as Tom Lewis topped the Rocket Mortgage Classic weekend leaderboard.

On Friday, Niemann and Lewis both threw 3-under 69 and 10-under 134. Troy Merritt (68), Chris Kirk (68) and Max Homa (65) hit back.

First round leader Davis Thompson was one of eight players two strikes back. Thompson, 22, had over 73, a day after Detroit Golf Club’s record coincided with 63.

The wind increased significantly during the second round, with gusts of up to 25 mph that knocked heads off their feet and made the relatively short and easy route more challenging.

Reigning champion Bryson DeShambeau, the sixth-ranked in the world, expressed dissatisfaction with the unpredictable wind and erratic play throughout the round.

He missed the cut with 1-under 143, after opening 72 with 71.

An unexpected split with Tucker also gave Brooks Koepka more jab feed via social media, announcing Thursday as “Caddy’s Appreciation Day” on Twitter.

Almost two weeks ago, the 2020 US Open champion went from leading the same nine-hole tournament to 26th place with a collapse. Despite playing in dim fields, DeShambeau finished 19th in the Travelers Championship last week and failed to make it to Detroit.

PGA Championship Winner Phil Mickelson fired 72 after opening from 69, making a cutoff of 3-less than 141 and changed my melody about returning to play Motown.

Patrick Reed, who was one of only two top 10 players, also found himself on the verge of being cut 3 fewer after rounds 69 and 72.

Champion Masters Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from Friday after testing positive for COVID-19. The PGA Tour does not test fully vaccinated players.

At least 35 players were forced to withdraw due to a positive test result, and Matsuyama became the fifth player in the middle of the tournament since the start of the testing program last June. The last PGA Tour event to test outside of the Majors will be the Barbasol Championship July 15-18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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