Sports

Ex-Stanford All-American Rodgers gains PGA Tour status

 

Last year at this time, Stanford's Patrick Rodgers was regarded as the nation's finest college golfer after receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award.

One year later, the Cardinal graduate is just one of the boys after earning PGA Tour status thanks to a scrambling final round at The Memorial on Sunday at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

Rodgers made birdie on his final two holes to shoot a final-round 73. He finished in a nine-way tie for 40th and earned $21,727.56.

His finishing effort was just enough for special temporary membership, which is awarded to players who equal the FedExCup points of No. 150 on last year's standings. That status will allow him to accept unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of this 2014-15 season.

Rodgers opened with rounds of 69 and 66 at The Memorial, appropriately hosted by Nicklaus. Rodgers was in fifth place through 36 holes. But, he suffered seven bogeys and made just a single birdie during a third-round 78.

On Sunday, with his Tour status hanging in the balance, Rodgers made birdies on four of his first seven holes before playing the next four holes in 4-over-par. His temporary membership seemed in jeopardy after a triple-bogey at the par-3 16th, where his tee shot found water.

Rodgers, however, bounced back with a birdie on both 17 and 18 to secure his status. He holed a 47-footer on No. 17 and a 9-footer on 18.

"Seeing all my buddies come out here and have a lot of success, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get out here as quick as I can," Rodgers said.

Rodgers, 22, got within reach of temporary membership with his tie-for-second finish at the Wells Fargo Championship last month. He needed just nine more FedExCup points to reach the threshold for temporary membership, but earned just one point in his next two starts.

The next task for Rodgers is earning his PGA Tour card for the 2015-16 season.

Rodgers also won earlier this year on the Web.com Tour and is No. 6 on that circuit's money list. That will give him a backup plan in case he does not finish in the top 125 on this season's FedExCup standings. He arrived at The Memorial with 315 FedExCup points, which would've ranked him 115th in the FedExCup standings at the start of the week.

Rodgers has made the cut in 12 of 19 career PGA Tour starts, including his runner-up tie at the Wells Fargo and a tie for 15th as an amateur at the 2013 John Deere Classic.

After leaving Stanford and turning pro, Rodgers posted his first pro win by finishing 17-under-par at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship in Bogota, Colombia, on the Web.com Tour.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/PGA Tour

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