CHARLOTTE, N.C. – To be clear, it wasn’t the pressure of earning a PGA Tour card that got to Patrick Rodgers on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship so much as it was a demanding golf course and a world-class performance by winner Rory McIlroy.
And while the end result remains the same, Rodgers wasn’t dwelling on what could have been following a closing-round 68 at Quail Hollow Club.
“I was looking at the leaderboard to see what Rory was doing,” said Rodgers, who finished tied with Webb Simpson in second place at 14 under par. “He kept distancing himself.”
What else would one expect from a 22-year-old?
Rodgers, who was playing this week on a sponsor exemption, needed to finish alone in second place to claim enough FedEx Cup points to earn special temporary membership on the Tour. Through 16 holes he appeared to be a lock.
At 17 under he was three shots clear of Simpson for the runner-up spot, but he hit his tee shot into the water at the par-3 17th hole for a double bogey-5 and into a hazard on the final hole on his way to a closing bogey.
“I was just trying to play the best I could to finish off the round. I’m a little disappointed with the result but it’s something I can definitely learn from,” he said.
Rodgers, who has already won this year on the Web.com Tour and is third on that circuit’s money list, has three more starts to earn special temporary status, which would give him unlimited sponsor exemptions on the PGA Tour.
He’s playing next week at Colonial on a sponsor exemption, his top-10 finish at Quail Hollow earns him a spot in the field at the Byron Nelson Championship and he’s already in the field at the Memorial. He needs to earn nine FedEx Cup points, which would be equal to a top-60 finish at any of those events, to earn special status.