window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-QV9HFVZD64'); Bhatia Takes First-Round Lead with Stellar 64 at Rocket Mortgage Classic author - TELCOTELCO

Bhatia Takes First-Round Lead with Stellar 64 at Rocket Mortgage Classic

Akshay Bhatia seized the first-round lead at the Rocket Mortgage Classic with a dazzling 8-under 64 at Detroit Golf Club. The highlight of his round came with an eagle chip-in from 83 feet on the 17th hole, followed by a closing birdie. Bhatia, 22, a two-time PGA Tour winner including the recent Texas Open, surged with six birdies in his final six holes, showcasing his strong form.

Taylor Montgomery and Michael Kim trail closely behind, each carding a 7-under 65. Montgomery fired a bogey-free round highlighted by a 6-under 30 on the front nine.

Defending champion Rickie Fowler finished strong with three consecutive birdies to post a 6-under 66. Joining him at 66 were Will Zalatoris, Aaron Rai, Eric Cole, and Matti Schmid.

Among the notable performances was Neal Shipley, making his PGA Tour debut after notable amateur showings at the Masters and U.S. Open. Shipley, 23, rebounded from a slow start to finish with a 5-under 67, including an eagle and five consecutive birdies.

The field features limited top-ranked players, with Bhatia ranked 31st worldwide. Tom Kim, ranked No. 16, struggled with a 1-over 73, needing a strong second round to make the cut.

In addition, amateurs Luke Clanton and Miles Russell made their PGA Tour debuts. Clanton, setting a Florida State record, opened with a 69, while Russell, 15, faced challenges including a double bogey but managed a commendable 74.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic continues with expectations of competitive play on a course conducive to low scores.

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