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Akshay Bhatia and Aaron Rai Share Lead Heading into Final Round of 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic

Akshay Bhatia and Aaron Rai Share Lead Heading into Final Round of 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic

DETROIT - Akshay Bhatia and Aaron Rai will enter the final round of the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic tied at the top of the leaderboard. The duo holds a one shot lead at 17-under par heading into Sunday's final round at Detroit Golf Club.


It sets up an exciting conclusion to the tournament as Bhatia and Rai vie for their first victory of the season. Bhatia is searching for his third PGA Tour title overall, while Rai is still seeking his first win on tour.


After a wild moving day that featured low scores throughout the field, thirteen players find themselves within four shots of the lead. Local amateur Luke Clanton shot the low round of the day, a 7-under 65, to push himself into the top-7 on the leaderboard entering the final round.


Amateur Luke Clanton during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. (Raj Mehta)


When asked about the final round showdown, Bhatia expressed his excitement for the atmosphere and opportunity to win. "I love the feeling of just all the adrenaline and fan support, so I’m excited for [Sunday]," said Bhatia. "This is what I want, I want to win. It’s just going to be fun whether or not it happens and just being in this position, it’s awesome."


Akshay Bhatia in the third round of the PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament, Saturday, June 29, 2024, at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit. (Katy Kildee/Detroit News via AP)


Rai seemed happy to be in contention and looking forward to playing alongside his friend and competitor once more. "It’s always fun playing with Akshay. We know each other pretty well, and it was nice [Saturday] that we both played well and kind of kept the rounds going and kind of fed off each other at certain times,” said Rai. “Akshay’s been playing some great golf as well over the last few months really, so I’m sure it’ll be fun tomorrow and I look forward to it.”


Aaron Rai (left) and Akshay Bhatia began the round sharing the lead (PHOTO: AFP)


With over $9.2 million on the line, including a winner's share of $1.656 million, the pressure will be high for those at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. Golf fans can watch the conclusion of the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic on CBS, with final round coverage beginning at 3pm EST. It sets up for a thrilling finish as the field battles for one of the biggest paydays on the PGA Tour this season.


Read more: Golf Galaxy Employee Qualifies for PGA Tour After Nerve-Wracking Playoff


2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic purse - The top finishers received the following payouts:


1st place: $1.656 million


2nd place: $1.002 million


3rd place: $634,800


4th place: $450,800


5th place: $377,200


How did the weather delay impact the players' performances


Third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic took a crazy turn on Saturday due to the weather. They had to suspend play in the middle of the afternoon at around 2:48 PM because some severe storms were rolling in. From what I heard, the storms were supposed to last until 5 PM or so.


The final group on the course that day had only finished 4 holes? Talk about bad timing. Well, from those 4 holes, it seems Carl Yuan, Dylan Wu and Taylor Moore were all tied up at 15-under par for the lead. Rickie Fowler wasn't too far back either - he was just one stroke off the pace at 14-under through 5 holes.


That long delay probably gave those guys a much-needed break, but I'm sure it didn't help with their rhythm out there on the course either. It would be tough to get back into a groove after sitting around waiting for the rain to pass. 


Earlier in the day they tried having groups of three go off together to help things move along faster before the storms. But unfortunately the weather just kept getting worse so they had no choice but to postpone the round.


Overall, that stoppage seemed to throw a wrench in the normal flow of things for the weekend. The players had to quickly change their mindsets for the final 18 holes on Sunday. It's anyone's guess how exactly that delay impacted scores or who might have won it all when it was all said and done. 







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Sarah has a strong background in sports journalism, with a degree in journalism from a top university in the US. She has covered men's professional golf for over 10 years, attending major tournaments around the world and building an extensive network within the men's golf community. Her writing is known for its in-depth analysis, insider access, and ability to bring the drama and excitement of professional golf to life for readers.

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