Monday, October 1, 2012

Patrick Rodgers is a repeat winner at famed Olympia Fields as team finishes tied for 4th

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Patrick Rodgers wins at Olympia Fields - photo by Mike Koon of Univ of Illinois
The first event of the 2012-13 tournament season is being played at the famed North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club outside Chicago, an event Stanford dominated in 2012 with a 16-stroke win. Olympia Fields North hosted the 2003 US Open plus three other majors and the event features a strong field.  Live scoring is provided by Golfstat.

This season's first event features returning 1st team All-American Patrick Rodgers and senior Steven Kearney from last year's win at Olympia Fields, plus 3 new starters, Andre De Decker, Shane Lebow and freshman David Boote.  Cameron Wilson is still recovering from a back injury and Andrew Yun is not in school preparing for the PGA Tour's qualifying school.

Super sophomore Patrick Rodgers repeated as individual winner with rounds of 72-68-67 207.  His 3-under total was the only under par score as he won by 5 shots.  Patrick's final round 67 included 4 birdies and only 1 bogey which added to his 2nd round 68 without a bogey blew away the field. Here's an excellent article by Golf Week on the tournament win by Patrick. Read excerpts from the article below.

Patrick's scorecards can be found below (click to enlarge):
Patrick Rodgers' winning 3 round scorecards
Patrick Rodgers is interviewed after his win

Freshman David Boote (73-70-71 214) completed an impressive first collegiate tournament as he tied for 7th individually, only 2 strokes out of 2nd position.  Next came Andre DeDecker (73-74-78 225 T39), followed by Steven Kearney (79-73-77 229 T56) and Shane Lebow (79-78-76 233 T65).
3rd round scorecards for the team - click to enlarge

As a team Stanford finished tied for 4th, 19 strokes behind winning Arkansas.   
Final team results - click above to enlarge


“This is as close to home as it gets in college golf,” said Rodgers, who hails from the Indianapolis suburb of Avon, a three-hour drive from Olympia Fields. “It doesn’t get any better than the weather today.”
The final round was played in cool, windy conditions that sent amber leaves blowing past players’ balls. It was a perfect day to tailgate at a Big Ten football game. This tournament was dominated by visitors from the Southeastern Conference, though.
Arkansas shot 14-over 854 (283-278-293) to win by 13 shots over conference rival Florida. Cappelen, the 36-hole leader, struggled to 75 Tuesday, but Cook matched Rodgers’ 67. Illinois’Charlie Danielson also shot 3 under, matching the day’s low score.
Rodgers’ comfort in his native environs is underscored by his play here the past two years.
“I think just being back here, with the seasons changing, the bent grass and fast greens, he felt really comfortable here last year, and it carried over,” Stanford head coach Conrad Ray said. “He got a little bit better every day. That’s a fine round in those conditions.”
The same architect, Tom Bendelow, designed Olympia Fields’ South Course and Rodgers' home course, the Country Club of Indianapolis. Olympia Fields’ South Course, which played 7,080 yards, is slightly shorter than the North, forcing players to make decisions off the tee and defending itself with trickier greens.
Rodgers made just one bogey over the final 36 holes. He hit sand wedge to 15 feet on the second hole for Tuesday’s first birdie. He sank an 8-footer for birdie on No. 6 that he had to play “pretty much sideways,” then wedged close to birdie the par-5 seventh hole. He made bogey on the ninth hole before rolling off eight consecutive pars. His round ended with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th.
“I was struggling a little bit with my swing during the first round, but I struck it great these last two days,” Rodgers said. “I kept myself in it with my short game on the first day, which gave me the opportunity to play well these last two rounds.”
The victory was his third in 13 career collegiate starts. He was a first-team All-American last year after representing the United States at the 2011 Walker Cup. Rodgers returned home from the Walker Cup just two days before the start of last year’s Olympia Fields Intercollegiate, driving from Indianapolis to meet the team for his Cardinal debut in this Chicago suburb. He hadn’t set foot on Stanford’s campus as a student before that victory.
This season starts with high expectations after his freshman success. He considered attending Q-School because of the PGA Tour’s drastic changes to its qualifying structure, but decided to stay in school. He played three professional events this summer, missing the cut at the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship (72-73) and John Deere Classic (67-74), as well as the Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational (76-73).
Things started to turn around later in the summer. He was third in his title defense at the Porter Cup and advanced to the second round of the U.S. Amateur.
He said he struggled at the start of the summer as he tried to make swing changes at Stanford. This was the first time he didn’t have regular access to his coach, Kurt Schier, who lives in Indianapolis.
“I’m getting back to some older positions,” Rodgers said. “I kind of got away from a few things that had me hitting it well.” Those struggles had their benefits, though. They helped him improve his short game and game management. He has implemented a new tee shot – a low cut with the driver – that will help him hit fairways on tighter holes.
“This is testament to the hard work I’ve put in,” Rodgers said, “and I just have to keep going forward.”
His sophomore season is off to the right start.

Stanford advanced to a tie for 7th place after shooting the 3rd best round of the day, a 585 total, but is now 21 strokes behind as it lost ground to leading Arkansas.  The Cardinal is 9 behind the 2nd place team from Auburn.

Patrick Rodgers (72-68 T3) led the way once again, followed closely by freshman David Boote (73-70 T9).  Next is Andre DeDecker (73-74 T29), then Steven Kearney (79-73 T54) followed by Shane Lebow (79-78 T68).  

Patrick's sparkling round, 2nd only to one at 67, was marked by all pars and two birdies on the front.  David Boote is having a fine start to his college career --- his 2nd round included 3 birdies on his final 5 holes.  Scorecards for round 2 are below:
Click above to enlarge

Stanford is tied for 9th, 14 shots behind after rounds of 72 (Patrick Rodgers), 73 (Andre De Decker and David Boote) and 79 (Steven Kearney and Shane Lebow).  The highest-ranked team in the field, No. 8 Arkansas, lived up to its ranking, shooting a first round 283 (+3). That's five strokes in front of Northwestern (288) and six better than third-place Auburn (289). Northwestern's Nicholas Losole was the only player to break par, firing a two-under par 68 to lead the field individually by two strokes over six players.

First round scorecards are below:
Click above to enlarge

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