Players to Watch: No. 9, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez
December 23, 2017
By Kevin Prise , PGATOUR.COM
- Veteran Jose de Jesus Rodriguez won the 2017 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Order of Merit. (Enrique Berardi/Getty Images)
Jose de Jesus Rodriguez has seen plenty of ups and downs in his professional golf journey, but for the 36-year-old Mexico native, there’s reason to believe that the best days could be ahead.
Rodriguez put together a banner season on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica in 2017, winning his first start at the 70 Avianca Colombia Open in February and proceeding to capture the Order of Merit on the strength of nine top-25 finishes in 13 starts – and subsequently earning fully exempt status on the 2018 Web.com Tour.
Top 10 Players to Watch: No. 10, Jimmy Stanger | No. 9, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez | No. 8, Matt Ryan | No. 7, Chris Baker | No. 6, Kramer Hickok | No. 5, Curtis Luck | No. 4, Wyndham Clark | No. 3, Sam Burns
The man affectionately referred to as ‘Camarón’ – which translates into English as ‘the Shrimp’ – notched his second victory of the season at the Abierto del Paraguay-Copa NEC in August, and also recorded runner-up finishes at the BMW Jamaica Classic and 64 Aberto do Brasil.
It’s true that the youth movement has hit golf in full force in recent years, with players in their early to mid-20s showing no fear in competing and winning on the Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR levels.
But there’s plenty of room at the highest levels of the game for wily veterans like Rodriguez, who watch their abilities develop over the first decade or so of their professional careers, before they truly hit their stride.
The 11th-year pro held full Web.com Tour status in 2014 and finished 82nd on the money list in a season highlighted by a T7 finish at the Nova Scotia Open, narrowly missing a Web.com Tour Finals berth. He also played eight Web.com Tour events in 2015, but made just one cut.
Rodriguez says his biggest dream is to become a member of the PGA TOUR. If he continues to demonstrate his form of 2017, that dream just might become a reality.