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A new event will kick off the week of the Rocket Mortgage Classic this summer in Detroit. The inaugural John Shippen National Invitational will feature a field of the nation’s top amateur and professional Black golfers.
The men’s division will be individual stroke play, and the winner will receive an exemption into that week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic. The Shippen will also feature a women’s division where players will compete in a two-player team format, with the winning duo earning an exemption into the LPGA’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (to be played July 14–17), which is also played as a team event.
“The John Shippen aims to address barriers that have prevented talented Black golfers and aspiring business professionals from realizing their dreams of playing professional golf or working in the golf industry,” said Rocket Mortgage CEO Jay Farner. “Rocket Mortgage is proud to support this event.”
The Shippen will be played at Detroit Golf Club (the same site as the Tour event) on June 27-28 and will include a one-hour TV special about airing on CBS leading into final-round coverage of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday, July 4.
The event, designed to showcase Black collegiate and professional golfers, is named after John Shippen, Jr., who was the first American-born golf professional and also the country’s first Black golf professional. Shippen was honored with PGA of America membership posthumously in 2009. He played in five U.S. Opens from 1896-1902.
The event is sponsored by Intersport, in collaboration with Rocket Mortgage, Trion Solutions, Dow, The Children’s Foundation and Sommer Woods (co-founder of Woods and Watts Effect).
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