Industry News

Willie Mack III and Davis Thompson receive sponsor exemptions for Rocket Mortgage Classic

  • Mack III is a Flint, Mich. native and the 2011 Michigan Amateur champion; Thompson is a University of Georgia senior ranked fourth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
  • General admission tickets go on sale May 27 for competition rounds Thursday, July 1–Sunday, July 4 and the Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Wednesday, June 30.

DETROIT (May 19, 2021) – Willie Mack III, a native of Flint, Mich., and Davis Thompson, the fourth ranked amateur golfer in the world, have accepted sponsor exemptions to compete in this year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, which will be played at the historic Detroit Golf Club June 28-July 4.

For Mack III, he will realize a lifelong dream when he tees it up this summer in his home state’s PGA TOUR event. He made his PGA TOUR debut earlier this year when he received sponsor exemptions to play in the Farmers Insurance Open and the Genesis Invitational. He was awarded the Genesis Invitational’s Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption, which represents advancement of diversity in the game of golf.

Thompson, a University of Georgia senior, has made three previous PGA TOUR starts, and also qualified to play in the 2020 U.S. Open via his amateur ranking. The Saint Simons Island, Georgia native posted a 2-1-1 record in 2020 while competing for the United States in the Palmer Cup and was named a first-team All-American by PING and the Golf Coaches Association of America.

“The Rocket Mortgage Classic has always strived to support golf’s great young talent, and we are pleased to award these opportunities to Willie and Davis,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Willie has a successful track record on the mini-tour circuit and considers Detroit Golf Club a home course, so will certainly have plenty of local support. Davis has represented the United States at golf’s highest amateur levels and surely will have a bright future in professional golf.”

Mack III and Thompson will join reigning Rocket Mortgage Classic champion and 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau in the 2021 tournament field along with fellow major championship winners Jason Day and Bubba Watson, as well as fan favorites Rickie Fowler and Harold Varner III. The tournament will feature 156 players competing for a total purse of $7.5 million and a winner’s prize of $1.35 million.

In addition to Mack III and Thompson, one additional sponsor exemption for the Rocket Mortgage Classic will be announced prior to the tournament. A fourth will be granted to the men’s winner of THE JOHN SHIPPEN, a 36-hole stroke-play invitational for Black golfers June 27-28 at Detroit Golf Club.

In 2011, Mack III earned his greatest golfing achievement, becoming the first African-American player to win the Michigan Amateur Championship. He enjoyed other amateur victories at the Flint City Amateur and the Genesee All-Star Golf Classic. Mack III began his high school career at Flint Central before transferring to Grand Blanc, where he was an All-State player who helped the Bobcats win 2004 Division I state championship.

“As a young man who grew up nearby in Flint, my father and I attended the Buick Open at Warwick Hills to watch Tiger Woods and other players compete at the highest level for many years,” said Mack III, an honorary member of Detroit Golf Club. “Playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic will be extremely meaningful to me because my father still lives in Michigan and will be able to watch me play on the PGA TOUR now. I am well aware of everything the Rocket Mortgage Classic is doing as part of the event’s Changing the Course initiative. The more I pursue my dream of reaching the PGA TOUR, the more I learn and want to push toward another dream of helping create more equality and diversity in the game I love.”

Thompson has previously ranked as the world’s top amateur golfer and recently placed third individually at the 2021 SEC Championship representing the University of Georgia as its captain. Over the past two years, he has racked up five amateur wins and 18 top-10 finishes.

“I am very appreciative of the Rocket Mortgage Classic for extending this sponsor exemption and excited to compete in this event for the first time against a great field,” Thompson said. “As I look to establish myself as a professional and earn status, these types of opportunities will prove invaluable in terms of the experience I will gain. I can’t wait to tee it up in Detroit this July.”

General admission tickets to the Rocket Mortgage Classic go on sale May 27 at, with a maximum of four tickets per day, Wednesday through Sunday. Ticket sales are launching in compliance with the most recent order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and in cooperation with government and health officials from the City of Detroit and State of Michigan.

Tickets to Wednesday’s Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic will remain at a fixed price of $20, while competition round tickets will be subject to dynamic pricing – starting at $60 for Thursday, July 1; $70 for Friday, July 2; and $80 for each day on the weekend, Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4.

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 has continued to make a positive and lasting impact on the city and its residents through its multi-year Changing the Course campaign, established in 2020 to end the digital divide in Detroit and ensure digital accessibility for all city residents. The Rocket Mortgage Classic was the most awarded event during the 2018-19 PGA TOUR season, being recognized for “Best Special Event” (then known as 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. More information is available at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@RocketClassic).

About Rocket Mortgage
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. Rocket Mortgage closed $320 billion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states in 2020. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. Currently, 99% of all home loans originated by the company utilize Rocket Mortgage technology.

Rocket Mortgage moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Companies employ 24,000 full-time team members nationwide. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix and operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit. Rocket Mortgage ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination by J.D. Power for the past 11 consecutive years, 2010 – 2020, and also ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers the past seven straight years, 2014 – 2020.

Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, ranked #5 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2021 and has placed in the top third of the list for 18 consecutive years.

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