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Rocket Mortgage Classic: How Nate Lashley went from third alternate to leader

  • June 30, 2019


The British Open at Royal Portrush is the only remaining major as the new look PGA Tour schedule winds down with two regular season events left after the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club.
Golfweek, USA Today Network

DETROIT – Back when he was a real estate agent nearly a half decade ago, Nate Lashley only dreamed of this.

Even on Monday, winning Detroit’s first PGA Tour event appeared out of reach.

He carded a 4-under-par at TPC Michigan on Monday, which was not good enough to enter the Rocket Mortgage Classic as a qualifier, so Lashley became the tournament’s third alternate. Once he got the call, thanks to a few withdrawals, Lashley has played better than everyone else here. 

“I shot well, but not well enough,” Lashley said Saturday. “You have to make a lot of puts on those Mondays.

“I guess I was saving them for the tournament.”

LEADER: Nate Lashley’s inspiring story: A plane crash and the will to keep playing golf

Once he got to the Detroit Golf Club, Lashley sandwiched rounds of 9-under 63 Thursday and Saturday between a 5-under 67 on Friday, taking a commanding six-stroke lead entering Sunday’s final round.

He is 23-under-par 193 for the tournament.”It was just one of those days where really nothing could go wrong,” he said. “Even when I hit bad shots, I wasn’t really getting in trouble.” 

Over 54 holes, Lashley has bogeyed once and has 24 birdies. The 36-year-old’s consistent play built him his large lead. 

Lashley is searching for his first career PGA Tour win, chasing a trophy he once thought was virtually impossible. But what if he quit golf for his former profession? 

“Well, definitely not when I was flipping houses,” Lashley said. “I thought I was pretty much done with golf, but I always felt like I had the talent and ability to play at here.” 

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