Rodgers ready for new Tour season after long break


NAPA, Calif. – Patrick Rodgers is one of the few players who feels refreshed at this week’s season-opening Open.

There's a reason for that: He hasn’t played for nearly two months.

Over the summer, Rodgers turned a handful of sponsor exemptions into a PGA Tour card. He finished the season inside the top 125 in FedEx Cup points, but because he was a non-member, he was ineligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs (and the potential millions). He couldn’t play the Tour Finals either, despite winning on that circuit in February.

He had no choice but to take a seven-week break. 

“Obviously I knew the situation and the format,” he said Tuesday after a practice round here at Silverado Country Club. “It was a little surprising the attention it got afterward and I think maybe a rule change is in order based on my situation. But I definitely tried to make the most of it.”

Rodgers moved into a new place in South Florida – “Everyone is talking about me and Justin (Thomas) breaking up,” he joked – watched a couple of Stanford football games, spent time with family in Indianapolis and worked hard on his game for the past four weeks. 

“I feel really refreshed and chomping at the bit to play having watched my peers play in the FedEx Cup,” Rodgers said. “It’s not easy, but I think with my long offseason I can use it to an advantage this fall and get off to a really good start.” 

Rodgers likened the break to what he experienced at Stanford, where there was a two- or three-month gap between college events.  

“You get back to those same routines and preparations,” he said. “Breaking down my game, figuring out my strengths and weaknesses and just trying to attack it methodically. It’s all about playing well at the right time. I didn’t need to be playing well three weeks ago, but I do Thursday.”