Cameron Davis wins Rocket Mortgage Classic for 2nd time thanks to Akshay Bhatia’s 3-putt

One man’s loss is another man’s treasure, and that mantra certainly applied to the conclusion of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

With Cameron Davis in the clubhouse at 18-under-par, Akshay Bhatia arrived on the 72nd hole tied for the lead. The 18th hole is a long par-4, measuring 472 yards. This dogleg left ranked as the most challenging hole during the final round, as a creek bisects the fairway and snakes up the right side of the green.

But Bhatia had no issues off the tee. He striped his drive down the middle of the fairway and then knocked his approach to 32 feet away from the back right pin, with his ball nestling in the back left corner of the green.

Then disaster struck.

Bhatia hit a poor stroke with his birdie attempt, coming up four feet short. He then pulled his par putt, which lipped out on the low side and handed Davis the victory. It was the first three-putt Bhatia had all week.

“It sucks, no other way to put it,” Bhatia said after his round.

“Just sucks. It’s hard; you’ve got so much slope there, so you don’t want to run it five, six feet by. Yeah, just a little bit of nerves, honestly. I’m human, and the greens get slower throughout the day here; the poa annua is pretty tough.”

Davis, meanwhile, posted a 2-under 70, which included four birdies and two bogies. His first bogey came at the par-4 1st hole, and his second one came at the par-5 14th, thanks to an unfortunate break. The Australian hammered a 3-wood from 281 yards out and landed onto the front of the green, but his ball trickled back into the penalty area.

It looked like his chances had sunk there, but Davis bounced back with a birdie at the par-5 17th to get back to 18-under. He smashed his 3-wood on that hole again, as his second shot landed just short of the green. Davis then got up and down for birdie with ease.

With Davis at 18-under, a playoff seemed possible, but with the par-5 17th yielding plenty of birdies, somebody, like Bhatia or even Min Woo Lee, looked destined to reach 19-under and leave Davis just short of his second career PGA Tour victory.

But fate left Davis with his second career Rocket Mortgage Classic title, as he now hopes to make the International Team at the President’s Cup this Fall. He has the game to do so, so hopefully, this win will give him some momentum in the coming months—something he has not had as of late.

Before this week, Davis had not recorded a top-20 finish since The Masters, when he tied for 12th at Augusta National. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open and most recently tied for 48th at the Travelers Championship. But Davis proved to International Captian Mike Weir that he can turn things around quickly, a necessity for match play.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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