October 07, 2014
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Patrick Rodgers was college golf's top player in 2014 before turning professional. (Jeff Haynes/Getty Images)
NAPA, Calif. -- Patrick Rodgers starred at Stanford before turning pro in June. The Indiana native now carries a white staff bag covered with large Indianapolis Colts logos. A Stanford star who now plays for the Colts, quarterback Andrew Luck, helped Rodgers as he was weighing when to turn pro.
Rodgers was thinking about turning pro after his sophomore season, but Luck's advice helped convince him to stay on campus for the 2013-14 season. It was a good decision. Rodgers won six times last season and was college golf's consensus Player of the Year before turning pro after his third season for the Cardinal.
"He sat down and had some breakfast with me and just talked about his experience in football," Rodgers said in his Tuesday press conference at the Frys.com Open, where he is competing on a sponsor exemption. "Hearing about his experiences, ... it was huge for me to go back and spend my junior year at Stanford and realize how important that year would be for me. He played a huge part in not only that year that I spent at Stanford, my junior year, but the success I had there and hopefully the success that I'm going to have in professional golf."
Rodgers played in seven PGA TOUR events since turning pro. He made five cuts, but also failed to finish better than 39th. It was enough for him to crack the top 200 in the FedExCup, though. That qualified him for the Web.com Tour Finals, where he earned exempt status for the 2015 Web.com Tour season.
Rodgers had to withdraw from his final TOUR start of 2013-14, the Wyndham Championship, because of an injured oblique; he declared himself healthy Tuesday, though. That injury also kept him out of the first Web.com Tour Finals event, as well. He finished T8 at the third Finals event, the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship to move to 50th in the Web.com Tour Finals priority rankings entering the season finale. The top 50 earn TOUR cards for the 2014-15 season, but he missed the cut at the Web.com Tour Championship to fall out of the top 50.
He's exempt for next year on the Web.com Tour, though. He'll be trying to follow in the footsteps of 2013 Walker Cup teammates Max Homa and Justin Thomas, who needed just one Web.com Tour season to earn PGA TOUR cards. Homa and Thomas are making their debuts as PGA TOUR members this week. Rodgers will play the first two rounds this week with Blayne Barber, who played with Rodgers on the 2011 Walker Cup team.
With the Web.com Tour season getting underway in 2015, Rodgers is playing PGA TOUR events on sponsor exemptions. He also has exemptions into next week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and OHL Classic at Mayakoba, he said.