Cam Davis wins 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic, earns second victory in Detroit

Cam Davis loves the Motor City.

The Australian has two career PGA Tour titles to his credit after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic for the second time.

Davis, the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic champion, shot 2-under 70 Sunday at Detroit Golf Club to get in the clubhouse at 18-under 270, and that was good enough for the title when Akshay Bhatia took three putts from 32 feet to make bogey at the last.

“I wouldn’t wish what happened to Akshay on anyone, but I’ve done a lot of grinding to get myself out of a hole,” he said. “It’s pretty good.”

Davis, 29, hadn’t recorded a single top-10 finish this season, and conceded he didn’t see a week like this coming to get him “out of the doldrums.” Since May, in his last six starts, Davis was a cumulative 32-over par, and had missed the cut at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

“I saw a little bit of a spark last week” said Davis, who finished T-48 at the Travelers Championship, his best result in his last six starts, “but nothing to show this coming, so this is crazy.”

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Davis earned $1.656 million for the win, more than he had made in 16 previous starts combined. A few weeks earlier he began working with hypnotherapist Grace Smith, who helped him get into a better head space.

“From where I was a couple of weeks ago to today, just completely different person,” he said.

Davis was a member of the International Team at the 2022 Presidents Cup and seemed on the verge of a breakthrough but he’s struggled to keep his card for much of the last two seasons. Davis termed the time between his victories in Motown to be “frustrating.”

“Because I see a lot of young guys coming out and winning multiple times and making it happen,” he explained. “To not be one of those guys, especially now I’m almost 30, there are guys out here 21, 22 that are doing things that I wish I was doing and had done at their age.”

Davis isn’t the only one surprised that he had been stuck on one victory for the last few years. The 2022 International Team Captain Trevor Immelman, working as lead analyst for CBS Sports on the broadcast, and Golf Channel’s Tripp Isenhour both shared the same sentiment.

“When you watch Cam Davis hit the ball and you watch his skillset you go, ‘How does this guy only have one win on the PGA Tour?’ ” said Isenhour. “It’s great to see him find the peace that pulls him to where he needs to be. That might be bad news for every one else because he’s very, very talented.”

In the final round, Davis opened with a bogey at the first but bounced back with birdies at Nos. 3, 5 and 7, the latter giving him the solo lead. Bhatia caught him with a birdie of his own at No. 7 and it turned into a back-and-forth affair with several competitors nipping at their heels.

Davis drilled a 3-wood at the par-5 14th that landed on the front of the green but reversed gears and trickled into the water. It was a terrible break and he made bogey to drop one stroke behind. But he got revenge on 17, sinking a 4-foot birdie putt at the par-5 17th to tie Bhatia for the lead.

“I felt like it just wasn’t going to be my day,” Davis said. “I was honestly very surprised that I was tied for the lead with the last group coming down 18.”

A Northwest breeze blew on Sunday and protected the par 5s, preventing players from feasting on the four holes that the field had picked apart during the first three rounds. Davis Thompson (68), Min Woo Lee (69), who had a share of the lead before a bogey at 18, and 54-hole co-leader Aaron Rai (72) tied for third. Seeking his first Tour title, Cameron Young was just one stroke back when he cracked the shaft of his driver in anger on the 14th hole. He brooded on the greens too as his balky putter let him down and he settled for a 73 and a T-6 finish. Amateur Luke Clanton, 20, remained in the trophy hunt until late on the back nine, signing for an even-par 72 and T-10 finish.

No one left with a sense of what could’ve been more than Bhatia, who played in the final group on Sunday for the second straight week and missed out on a playoff when his par attempt from just under 5 feet at 18 caught the right edge of the cup and spun out, his first three putt of the week, first miss from inside 6 feet all week and just his second bogey of the tournament.

“It sucks, there’s no other way to put it,” Bhatia said. “Just a little bit of nerves, honestly. I’m human.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek