Industry News

Past champions Chase Johnson and Wyatt Worthington II to headline elite field at the John Shippen Men’s Invitational 

Winner of the June 22-23 event at Detroit Golf Club will earn exemption into PGA Tour’s 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic (June 27-30); final round on Sunday, June 23 will be open to fans with complimentary admission and parking

DETROIT (May 29, 2024) – The stage is set for the fourth annual THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational, to be played June 22-23 at Detroit Golf Club. Tournament organizer Intersport announced today an outstanding 14-player field of top professional and amateur Black male golfers who will battle for an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic June 27-30. 

Notable players competing in the 36-hole stroke play tournament include defending champion Chase Johnson and 2022 winner Wyatt Worthington III. 

Johnson captured THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational last year by three strokes and earned a spot in the 2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic field. The Kent State University alum made the most of the opportunity by firing back-to-back rounds of 70 and securing his first PGA TOUR cut. It also marked the first time in the tournament's three-year history that the JOHN SHIPPEN winner made it to the weekend.  

In 2022, Worthington II shot 73-65----138 to win THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational and earn a spot in the Rocket Mortgage Classic field. The Gahanna, Ohio, resident has also qualified for the PGA Championship via his finishes at the PGA Club Professional Championship in 2016, 2022, 2023 and 2024.  

The final round of THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men's Invitational will be open to fans, with complimentary admission. Complimentary parking will also be offered at University of Detroit Mercy, with shuttle service to and from Detroit Golf Club. No ticket is required. 

“THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men's Invitational provides a platform to showcase some of the best professional and amateur men’s Black golfers in the game, and we're thrilled to grant the winner an exemption to the PGA TOUR's Rocket Mortgage Classic next month,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “This event not only celebrates golf's storied legacy, but also champions a future where diversity and excellence thrive on the course. We're eagerly looking forward to welcoming such exceptional talent back to Detroit Golf Club and we welcome fans to join us to enjoy the final round on Sunday.” 

For the first time since its 2021 debut, THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational features prize purses for all three of its events this season: THE JOHN SHIPPEN Cognizant Cup, THE JOHN SHIPPEN Women’s Invitational and THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational. The top-three finishers and ties in each event will be awarded a share of the purse. The winner of THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational will take home $13,200 from a $22,000 purse. Second place will earn $6,600, while $2,200 will go to the third-place finisher.  

Players with Michigan ties in the field for THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational include Willie Mack III (Flint), Andrew Walker (Battle Creek, Michigan State) and Troy Taylor II (Michigan State). 

Mack III boasts 75 professional wins throughout his career. The Bethune Cookman University graduate played in the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic on a sponsor exemption and has appeared in seven PGA TOUR events.  

Walker, then only 14 years old, became the youngest Black golfer to play in the U.S. Amateur in 2014. The Michigan State University product tied for third at last year’s THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational. 

Taylor II was second at last year’s SHIPPEN event. The Ohio native and Michigan State graduate has played in the tournament each year since its debut in 2021. 

Nyasha Mauchaza, a Korn Ferry Tour member and native of Harare, Zimbabwe who played college golf at Towson, is the SHIPPEN field for the first time. 

Intersport, a leading Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency, partnered with Woods & Watts Effect in 2021 to create THE JOHN SHIPPEN - a series of competitions created to provide playing opportunities on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR for the nation’s top Black women and men golfers. THE JOHN SHIPPEN Sports Business Summit also will be held for the fourth year to create awareness about employment opportunities within the business of sports. 

THE JOHN SHIPPEN was created to identify historical barriers, expand Black representation in golf, and address the lack of Black representation in business and leadership roles within the golf and larger sports industry for people of color. The events are named after John Shippen, Jr., who was both the first American-born golf professional and the country’s first Black golf professional. 

“We are excited about the tremendously strong field of eleven professionals and three amateurs that will be competing in THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational once again this summer,” said Sommer Woods, tournament lead for THE JOHN SHIPPEN. “This event continues to provide opportunities for many of the best Black men’s golfers to showcase their talents and to earn a spot in the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic. We’re appreciative of the support that Rocket Mortgage has put behind THE JOHN SHIPPEN since the very beginning.” 

Since 2021, 90 of the nation’s best Black women and men golfers have competed in THE JOHN SHIPPEN. THE JOHN SHIPPEN has awarded 16 playing opportunities on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour, and donated $340,000 to local charities, scholarships and fellowships. SHIPPEN alumni continue to see success beyond the National Invitational through player-earned memberships on the PGA TOUR Champions, PGA TOUR Americas and Ladies European Tours.  

Last year was another historic year for THE JOHN SHIPPEN, as, for the first time in the event’s history, the Men’s Invitational champion, Johnson, made the cut at the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.  

For updated information on THE JOHN SHIPPEN, please visit www.TheJohnShippen.comand follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@TheJohnShippen) and Twitter (@TheJShippen). For information about sponsorship opportunities or how to get involved, please email us at

THE JOHN SHIPPEN Men’s Invitational 
2024 Player Field 
(Players Listed in Alphabetical Order) 

AGE: 20 
STATUS: Amateur  
COLLEGE: Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama 
·       2024 SIAC Freshman of the Year 
·       2024 SIAC Conference Champion 

AGE: 33 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Ecole Technique Muhazi, Kigali Rwanda 
RESIDENCE: Hobe Sound, Florida 
·       APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational at Torrey Pines (T2) 
·       The Jim Thorpe Invitational & Pro Am - Feb 16/17/18 (T5) 
·       2024 Minor League Golf Tour 
·       Winter Abacoa Classic – T27  
·       Coral Springs Major, I Tune Up – T17 

AGE: 41 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Ohio State University 
RESIDENCE: Cincinnati 
·       Three-time THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor (2021–2023) 
·       Finished second on 2023 APGA Season Points list 
·       2004 Big Ten Individual Stroke Play Champion                  
·       Earned conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour for the 2018 season 
·       Six-time APGA Tour winner  

AGE: 26 
STATUS: Professional 
COLLEGE: Riverside City College 
RESIDENCE: Los Angeles 
·       Three-time THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor (2021–2023)     
·       2023 PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open competitor  
·       2023 APGA Butterfield Bermuda Invitational Champion 
·       2024 APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational Champion 
AGE: 28 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Kent State University 
RESIDENCE: Berberton, Florida 
·       Three-time THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor (202 –2023)      
·       2023 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational champion 
·       2024 PGA TOUR Genesis Invitational – T51 
·       2023 PGA TOUR Rocket Mortgage Classic – T64 
·       2023 PGA TOUR World Wide Technology Championship – T69 

AGE: 35 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Bethune-Cookman University 
RESIDENCE: Flint, Michigan 
·       Three-time THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor (2021–2023) 
·       2023 Korn Ferry Tour member  
·       2021 PGA TOUR John Deere Classic – T64 
·       2021 PGA TOUR Rocket Mortgage Classic – T71 
·       80 professional wins  

AGE: 23 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Howard University 
RESIDENCE: Memphis, Tenessee 
·       Turned professional at conclusion of spring collegiate season 
·       American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team  
·       2023 Ben Hogan Award Watch List  
·       Leader in  2023-24 Bridgestone APGA Collegiate ranking (PGA TOUR’s Pathway to Progression 
·       #1 African-American player according to World Amateur Golf Ranking  
·       Collegiate Tournament Wins   
o   2021 PGA Works D1 Collegiate Championship   
o   2022 MEAC Championship   
o   2022 PGA Works D1 Collegiate Championship   
o   2022 River Run Collegiate   
o   2022 USF Howard Intercollegiate  
o   2023 Inaugural Southwest Airlines Showcase 
o   2024 Princeton Invitational 
AGE: 36 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Towson University 
RESIDENCE: Port St. Lucie, Florida 
·       2024 Korn Ferry Tour Member 
·       From Zibabwe. Family moved to U.S. in 2005. 

AGE: 24 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Duke University 
RESIDENCE: Raleigh, North Carolina 
·       Two-time THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor (2022–2023) 
·       Three PGA TOUR starts (John Deere Classic, Shriners Children’s Open, Wells Fargo Championship) 
·       2024 PGA Americas member 

AGE: 22 
STATUS: Amateur 
COLLEGE: Howard University 
RESIDENCE: Rockford, Illinois 
·       One collegiate win 
·       Two collegiate top 10s 
·       Top 10 at Mountaineer Invitational 2021 
·       T6 at Boilermaker Invitational 2022 
·       T5 at APGA Tour @ TPC Deere Run 2022 
·       T3 & Low Amateur in the 73rd Illinois Open Championship 2022 
·       T2 at USF-Howard Intercollegiate 2022 
·       T3 at Carpet Bagger Intercollegiate 2023 
·       T6 at NEC Conference Championship 

AGE: 24 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Michigan State University 
RESIDENCE: Westerville, Ohio 
·       Three-time THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor (2021–2023) 
·       One Korn Ferry Tour start 
·       2024 Florida Professional Tour Annual Ocala Open T19 
·       2024 Florida Professional Tour Wildwood Open T11 

AGE: 18 
STATUS: Amateur  
COLLEGE: Temple University 
RESIDENCE: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 
·       2023 Pennsylvania State Junior Amateur Champion 
·       2019 Drive Chip and Putt National Champion (Boys 12-13)  

AGE: 23 
STATUS:  Amateur 
COLLEGE: Virginia Union University 
RESIDENCE: Indian Trail, North Carolina 
·       2024 CIAA Conference champion           
·       2024 CIAA Golfer of the year 
·       Four-time All-CIAA 
·       2024 Bud Kivett Invitational T2 

AGE: 37 
STATUS: Professional  
COLLEGE: Methodist University 
RESIDENCE: Columbus, Ohio 
·       Three-time THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational competitor (2021–2023)     
·       2022 THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Invitational Champion 
·       Four-time PGA Championship competitor  
·       2022 PGA TOUR Rocket Mortgage Classic competitor  
·       Winner of TPC Las Vegas APGA 2023 

About Intersport 
Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in creating sports, lifestyle, culinary, and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality, Customer Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions, and Sports Properties, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps its clients create ideas, content, and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. To learn more about Intersport, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 

About Woods & Watts Effect 
Woods & Watts Effect is an equity and inclusion consulting firm of transformation engineers, co-founded by Sommer Woods and Michele Lewis Watts, Ph.D. They are a solutions-driven team that adeptly designs programs that assess a company’s strengths and areas for improvement relative to inclusion and social equity. Woods & Watts Effect provides innovative thinking, engagement, and execution. They produce viable, actionable solutions for sustainable change through a bold, non-traditional, and engaging approach. More information is available at 

About Rocket Mortgage 
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage is the largest retail mortgage lender and is a part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT). 

The lender enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. Since its founding in 1985, Rocket Mortgage has closed more than $1.7 trillion of mortgage volume across all 50 states. 

J.D. Power has ranked Rocket Mortgage #1 in client satisfaction for both primary mortgage origination and servicing 21 times – the most of any mortgage lender. Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, has placed in the top third of Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” the list for 21 consecutive years. 

Solomon Hughes, 614.315.2446,  
Greg Ball, 760.271.9183,