Sunday, July 31, 2011

Freshman Patrick Rodgers wins Porter Cup in a playoff!

Photo detail
Courtesy PGA of America - click to enlarge
Incoming freshman Patrick Rodgers closed with a brilliant 31 final nine holes to win the prestigious Porter Cup in a playoff.  Patrick eagled both the par 5 11th and the par 5 13th, then birdied 16 to close the gap on Wesley Bryan who had been cruising with a large lead after 10 holes.  A birdie 2 on the first playoff hole capped off the stunning victory.  Patrick had rounds of 68-63-69-68 for a 12-under par total of 268.  He had only 5 bogies over the 4 rounds offset by 14 birdies and 2 eagles.

Returning junior Andrew Yun finished tied for 6th on rounds of 67-69-68-67, sophomore to be Cameron Wilson finished tied for 11th with 72-66-64-70 272 and defending champion senior David Chung tied for 72nd with rounds of 72-72-69-78.
Scorecards of each round - click to enlarge

The tournament website can be found here --- and an article by Golf Week online is shown below:

LEWISTON, N.Y. - Patrick Rodgers knows what it takes to contend in major amateur tournaments. Actually breaking through to win was another matter.
Until Saturday.
Rodgers, 19, of Avon, Ind., made an improbable comeback in the 53rd Porter Cup, erasing a seven-shot deficit with eight holes to play and defeating Wesley Bryan on the first playoff hole.
“It was weird,” said Rodgers, a Stanford freshman, who shot 12-under 268 at Niagara Falls Country Club. “I was so far out of it with eight holes to play that I didn’t even really think about winning until it was over. I just kept playing and grinding trying to get myself back in it.”
Rodgers eagled both par 5s on the back nine, the 11th and the 13th, then birdied the par-3 16th en route to a final-round 68. Meanwhile, Bryan, a South Carolina senior from Chapin, S.C., struggled to find the clubhouse, bogeying three of his final six holes to shoot 4-under 66.
With momentum having changed sides over those final few holes, the playoff was predictable: After Bryan dumped his tee shot into a greenside bunker at the 189-yard par-3 18th, Rodgers hit to within 15 feet.
“I rolled it in and just went bonkers after that,” Rodgers said.
Bryan had played flawlessly early, making the turn in 6-under 29 and then adding birdie at the 11th to go to 7 under for the round.
But Rodgers, playing in the final group with Bryan and third-round leader Paul Haley (70-269, T-3), a recent Georgia Tech graduate, made his move.
At the par-5 11th, with 232 into the green in two, Rodgers hit it to within a foot for a tap-in eagle. Meanwhile, Bryan, who had a 5-footer for eagle, missed.
At the 13th, Rodgers gambled off the tee and left himself a 285-yard second shot, which he hit over trees to 10 feet, from where he made another eagle. Bryan three-putted for bogey, cutting his lead to three and losing all momentum. From there, Rodgers kept up the pressure, right through the playoff hole.
Next up for Rodgers: This week’s Western Amateur and then the U.S. Amateur later in August.
He’s also got his eye on the season’s big prize in amateur golf: a berth on the U.S. Walker Cup team that will play the top amateurs from Great Britain and Ireland on Sept. 10-11 at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland.
“That was the reason for me to switch to full-time amateur golf this summer, although I could have played a few more junior events,” he said. “I know that I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I know I learned a lot from this week that I can use.”
After so many top finishes in big events this year -- runners-up at The Players Amateur and the Terra Cotta Invitational, and third places at the Azalea Invitational and Jones Cup -- Rodgers’ play at the Porter Cup signals a pivotal moment in his development as a top amateur.
“This was so important for me,” Rodgers said. “I kind of got a taste of being in contention this summer, but I haven’t been able to finish it off. I just kept trying to learn from all those weeks.”
Consider the lesson learned.
- D.J. Piehowski contributed

Friday, July 22, 2011

Andrew Yun and Steve Ziegler garner postseason honors

Stanford junior to be Andrew Yun was recently named to the 2011 All-Nicklaus team by the Golf Coaches of America.  Here is the announcement by the GCA on their website:

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – The 24 honorees for the 2011 All-Nicklaus Team have been announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Players from Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA were recognized for their outstanding play during the past collegiate season.

The All-Nicklaus Team was created in 2008, and is not only named for history’s greatest player but also a long-time supporter of collegiate and amateur golf. Jack Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988. The Nicklaus Award is annually given to the top collegiate men’s golfer in Division I, II, III, the NAIA and the NJCAA.

The All-Nicklaus team is comprised of Cyril Bouniol and Alex Carpenter of Abilene Christian, UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay, Bud Cauley of Alabama, Cumberlands Pierre Carlsson, Edward Delashmutt of Mesa CC, Meridian CC’s Brandt Garon, Luke Guthrie of Illinois, Central Alabama’s Paul Harris, John Jackson of Cal State Monterey Bay, Texas Lutheran’s Ryan Kiel, Jimmy Kozikowski of South Mountain, Claremont McKenna’s Tain Lee, Justin Lower of Malone, Centre College’s Chris Morris, John Peterson of LSU, Augusta State’s Patrick Reed, Kyle Souza of Chico State, Oklahoma Christian’s Oscar Stark, Oklahoma State’s Kevin Tway and Peter Uihlein, Florida’s Bank Vongvanij, James White of Georgia Tech and Stanford’s Andrew Yun.

Steve Ziegler, recent graduate and captain of the 2010-11 team was also honored as one of 138 Division I golfers as a 2011 Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-American Scholar for his excellent golf combined with high academic achievement.

The announcement by the GCA on their website is shown below:

NORMAN, Okla. – Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars for Divisions I, II and the NAIA have been announced by the GCAA. A total of 138 players in Division I, 49 in Division II and three in NAIA earned the honor. Additionally, 20 honorees were added to the previously released Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars. To be eligible for Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar status an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least two full years at the collegiate level, participate in 70-percent of his team’s competitive rounds or compete in the NCAA Championships, have a stroke-average under 76.0 in Division I, 78.0 in Division II and NAIA and 79.0 in Division III, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 in Division I, II and III and 3.5 in NAIA. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.