AVONDALE, La. – Many pegged Patrick Rodgers as a potential breakout star in 2016 after his play last summer and fall.
It just hasn’t panned out yet.
“It’s been a little bit of a grind of late,” he said Thursday after an opening 67 at the Zurich Classic. “I like the things I’ve been working on over the last two or three events, and it’s nice to have it finally show up.”
Last fall, Rodgers posted four consecutive top-10s and rolled into the offseason with plenty of confidence. “It really felt like I was turning the corner for the time as a pro,” he said.
But after a busy year, he took a longer-than-usual break and didn’t return until the Farmers Insurance Open in late January. All of his momentum was gone. Part of the vaunted high school class of 2011, Rodgers has always been a strong ball-striker, but this spring he developed bad habits with his swing and had a two-way miss with his driver and irons. He paid the price during the Florida and Texas swings, with its windy conditions and penal courses.
“Hitting spinny shots all over the place is not very good,” he said.
After two missed cuts in Texas, Rodgers said his swing is back where he wants it. His 67 Thursday was his lowest round this year.
“I have to make sure I take the long view of everything,” he said. “It’s so easy to get out here and expect to do great things right away. I feel like I have the game to do it, but I have to understand it’s a 30-year career. It’s just hard to do sometimes.”