Cam Davis wins Rocket Mortgage Classic for 2nd time after Akshay Bhatia 3-putts 18th hole


DETROIT — Cam Davis won the Rocket Mortgage Classic for the second time, closing with a 2-under 70 on Sunday that gave him a one-shot victory when Akshay Bhatia three-putted from 32 feet on the final hole.

“I wouldn’t wish what happened to Akshay on anyone,” Davis said. “But I’ve done a lot of grinding to kind of get myself out of a hole and just all of a sudden to do that, it’s pretty good.”

Davis, a 29-year-old Australian who won his first PGA Tour title three years ago at Detroit Golf Club, had not finished better than 38th in sixth starts since he tied for 12th at the Masters in April.

“I started working with a hypnotherapist a few weeks ago just to take another angle into trying to get myself sorted out,” he said. “I saw a little bit of a spark last week, but nothing to show this coming.

“This is crazy.”

Davis pulled into a tie with Bhatia with a birdie on the par-5 17th hole.

That proved to be enough when the left-handed Bhatia, who uses a long putter, watched his 4-foot par attempt on the 18th miss low and left for his first three-putt of the week.

“Just a little bit of nerves, honestly,” Bhatia said. “I’m human.”

Davis finished at 18-under 270 on a day of missed opportunities for the final pairing of Bhatia and Aaron Rai, each of whom shot an even-par 72. Davis Thompson (68) and Min Woo Lee (69) also finished one shot back.

Davis became the first two-time winner of the event since its debut on the PGA Tour schedule in 2019.

The 22-year-old Bhatia was seeking his third PGA Tour title and second this year after leading or sharing the lead after each of the first three rounds. He was coming off a fifth-place finish at the Travelers Championship, where he was in the final group that was disrupted by climate protesters storming the 18th green.

“I know how to close a golf tournament. I’ve done it before,” Bhatia said. “Just today wasn’t my day.”

Cameron Young shot 73 and plummeted to sixth place with two bogeys over the last three holes.

The pressure to win for the first time on tour may have gotten the best of Young, who has been a runner-up seven times, on the par-5 14th when his drive traveled 254 yards into the rough way left of the fairway.

With the ball in flight, Young pushed his driver into the tee box and broke the shaft. He was unable to replace it for the rest of the round.

Davis surged into a tie for the lead with three birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine.

He lost a share of the lead with a bogey on the par-5 14th, where his approach landed in rocks bordering a pond, but one birdie and three pars over the final four holes ended up being good enough.

Playing just behind Davis, Bhatia hit his second shot into a greenside bunker on the 17th. He blasted out to 9 feet, but pulled the putt to the left and settled for par.

That was the first of two costly misses.

Earlier in the afternoon, there were signs that it might not be Bhatia’s day.

Rai, who shared the second- and third-round lead with Bhatia, went ahead on the first hole after hitting his approach from 142 yards to 5 feet for birdie.

Bhatia fell two shots back on the par-4 third hole, where his approach settled in thick rough. He only advanced his chip 9 feet, leading to bogey.

He responded with a 31-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fourth, the first of just two birdies on the day.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf





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