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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Rocket Mortgage: Sensational newbie Luke Clanton seems to make historical past


Florida State sophomore Luke Clanton burst onto the scene Saturday on the Rocket Mortgage Traditional as he posted the rating to beat.

He signed for a 7-under 65 to sit down at 14-under and just some pictures behind the leaders.

Clanton recorded six birdies, an eagle and one bogey on the day. He was 5-under via 11 holes earlier than he dropped a shot on the twelfth.

“We stayed tremendous calm and tremendous within the means of what we’ve been doing,” Clanton stated after his spherical on Saturday.

“I feel that’s one factor I’ve been battling the final couple of months just isn’t getting forward of my recreation and looking out into the long run, however as we speak, I feel we did such job of not attempting to power the birdies on the market, however we simply stayed actually in our course of as we speak.”

Via three rounds, Clanton leads the sector in strokes gained off the tee with +4.378. He’s additionally No. 7 in strokes gained placing, choosing up +4.346 on the remainder of the sector.

Nevertheless, in Saturday’s spherical alone, he leads in strokes gained off the tee (+1.491), placing (3.801) and complete (+4.712).

His flat stick was phenomenal because the Seminole golfer made 117 ft of putts throughout the third spherical. Nevertheless, his eagle on 14 was a veteran-like shot that confirmed what sort of guts he has.

“I smoked a driver approach down there, and that was in all probability one of many tougher ones I hit all day,” he stated. “Had the right 5-iron quantity with left-to-right wind. I checked out Jason and stated this could possibly be actually good if I hit this good, and I flushed it. I stated, “Be the proper membership,” and he stated it. Hit it shut and tapped in for eagle, so it was fairly candy.”

His 7-under 65 put him proper into rivalry to win a PGA Tour occasion. Can the 20-year-old make historical past this week? He made the lower on the U.S. Open and completed tied for forty first. Clanton was the second-lowest newbie behind Neal Shipley, who made his skilled PGA Tour debut this week.

“To have the ability to be out right here and even say I’m in rivalry to win a PGA TOUR occasion’s fairly nuts. It’s fairly cool, man,” he stated.

“I shot 7 underneath as we speak, it was superb, however we may have made a pair extra birdies on the market. My recreation plan has been the identical all week, pound driver as onerous as I can, get it down there and make just a few putts — it’s been good.”

The final newbie to win on the PGA Tour was Nick Dunlap, who gained the American Specific in January. He grew to become the first newbie since Phil Mickelson in 1991 to win on Tour.

The American Express, Nick Dunlap, Rocket Mortgage Classic, Luke Clanton

Picture by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Photos

Now, Clanton seems so as to add his identify to the historical past books.

“Me and Nick go approach again so it’s superior to see him try this,” Clanton stated. “It’s cool, man. I feel amateurs now, we’re so good. I feel plenty of guys have nice probabilities of profitable out right here and to be in rivalry with sooner or later to go is fairly candy.”

The Florida State sophomore had the most effective springs with three consecutive victories on the Seminole Intercollegiate, the Valspar Collegiate Invitational and the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial.

Clanton recorded 10 top-10 finishes in 14 tournaments this previous season, and he completed at par or much less in 30 of his 40 rounds. He’s at the moment ranked No. 6 within the World Beginner Golf rating system.

If the Ben Hogan semifinalist wins on Sunday, it will likely be the primary time in 79 years that two amateurs have gained on the PGA Tour. Cary Middlecoff and Fred Haas had been the final to win in the identical season in 1945.

Clanton will probably be in one of many last teams on Sunday, as his 65 pushed him 22 spots up the leaderboard.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Enjoying Via. For extra golf protection, comply with us @_PlayingThrough on all main social platforms. It’s also possible to comply with her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.



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