Aussie Davis wins second PGA Detroit title in four years

Cameron Davis of Australia celebrates with the trophy after winning his second PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic (Gregory Shamus)
Cameron Davis of Australia celebrates with the trophy after winning his second PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic (Gregory Shamus)

Australia's Cam Davis hung tough down the stretch as rivals faltered to capture his second US PGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic in four years by a stroke on Sunday.

American Akshay Bhatia missed a par putt from just outside four feet to bogey the 18th hole and hand the Aussie a one-stroke victory at Detroit Golf Club.

Davis fired a two-under-par 70 in the final round to finish 72 holes on 18-under 270 with Bhatia settling for a share of second alongside countryman Davis Thompson, England's Aaron Rai and Australian Min Woo Lee.

Davis sank a birdie putt from just outside four feet at the par-5 17th to match Bhatia for the lead and at 18 pitched from the rough to within inches of the hole and tapped in for par to set the stage for the tension-packed finish.

"I wouldn't wish what happened to Akshay on anyone," Davis said. "But I've done a lot of grinding to get myself out of a hole and to all of a sudden do that, it's pretty good."

Davis, whose only other PGA win came in 2021 at Detroit, had not managed a top-10 finish all year and was overcome with emotion after seeing the victory was his.

"I had a lot of support to get me out of the doldrums there. I saw a little bit of a spark last week but nothing to show this coming. This is crazy," Davis said.

"I started working with a hypno-therapist a couple of weeks ago just to take another angle in trying to get myself sorted out.

"From where I was a couple weeks ago until today, just a completely different person."

It was heartbreak for Bhatia, who sought a third PGA title in 12 months after wins at last July's Barracuda Championship and April's Texas Open.

"It sucks, no other way to put it. I mean, just sucks," Bhatia said. "Just a little bit of nerves, honestly. I'm human."

Bhatia, who shared the lead when the day began, suffered his first bogey of the week at the par-4 third hole, answered with birdies at the par-5 fourth and seventh holes, then parred 10 holes in a row before his first three-putt bogey of the week on the hardest hole of the last round.

Other rivals faded as well to set up Davis for the triumph.

American Cameron Young, a seven-time PGA runner-up seeking his first title, was one off the pace before bogeys at 16 and 18 ended his bid.

Rai, chasing his first PGA title, fired a 72 but couldn't close the gap down the final holes.

- Lee bogeys 18 to fall -

Davis opened with a three-putt bogey, but answered with a 20-foot birdie putt at the third, a 21-footer to birdie the par-3 fifth and a tap-in birdie at the par-5 seventh after finding a bunker to share the lead at 18-under at the turn.

Davis found a hazard at the par-5 14th and made bogey to leave Bhatia alone at the top until his birdie at 17.

Lee made a tap-in birdie at the par-5 14th then sank a 20-foot chip-in at the par-3 15th and chipped to inside four feet to set up a birdie at the par-5 17th to grab a share of the lead.

But Lee went over the green into deep rough at 18, pitched into rough on the opposite side of the green and even with a pitch inches from the hole took a closing bogey to fall one stroke short.