May 19, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- The Colts logo has been on Patrick Rodgers' golf bag since he turned professional. (Jonathan Wall/PGA TOUR)
FORT WORTH, Texas -- When Patrick Rodgers made his professional debut last year at the Travelers Championship, he had an intriguing logo on the pocket of his Nike staff bag.
Just below his name was a large blue horseshoe that, if you weren't an ardent follower of the NFL, could've been mistaken as a symbol of good luck and fortune.
In actuality, the horseshoe was the logo for the Indianapolis Colts, the professional football team Rodgers grew up rooting for as a kid in Avon, Indiana.
Unlike most of the players on TOUR who have their equipment sponsor's logo prominently displayed on the side panels, Rodgers carries a blue staff bag that's covered with large Colts logos.
Following a decorated three-year career at Stanford University — Rodgers was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American and broke Tiger Woods' school record for lowest career stroke average during his time in Palo Alto — the former No. 1-ranked amateur received a phone call from the Colts, asking if he'd be interested in representing his hometown team on the golf course.
"It was a pretty big surprise for sure," Rodgers said at this week's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. "But Mr. (Jim) Irsay (Colts owner) has a been a huge supporter of golf for a long time and I guess was looking for the right opportunity to support a golfer. It's a really unique partnership and ties me to Indianapolis, which I love.
"What better way to represent the city I'm proud to be from than to represent the hometown team. It's really cool and the bag turns a lot of heads out on the golf course."
For the first four months of his professional career, Rodgers had the Colts logo on his Nike staff bag before switching to a new bag last fall that had the team's colors (blue and white) and the horseshoe logo on the side panels and pocket.
Rodgers didn't know it at the time, but his three years at Stanford University would also be spent with three current Colts players, including starting quarterback Andrew Luck.
Luck, who was a senior when Rodgers was a freshman, helped the 22-year-old as he was weighing the decision to turn pro after his sophomore season.
"(Andrew Luck) was nice enough to come back after his first year in the NFL and helped me weigh the pros and cons on if I should turn professional." Rodgers said. "Ever since then we've stayed in touch. It's cool to throw some ideas off him every now and then and get his take on things."
Luck's advice convinced Rodgers to stay for the 2013-14 season. The decision proved to be a smart one for Rodgers as he went on to record six wins and was named college golf's consensus Player of the Year.
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Even Patrick Rodgers' putter cover has the Colts' logo. (Jonathan Wall/PGA TOUR)
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