DUBLIN, Ohio – Patrick Rodgers took a big step toward extending his PGA Tour season with a 3-under 69 to open the Memorial Tournament.
Rodgers was a surprise runner-up at the Wells Fargo Championship, but he still needed nine FedEx Cup points – the equivalent of a top-60 finish – to secure special temporary status on Tour. He missed each of the last two cuts, and this week’s event is his final chance to earn the status and unlock unlimited sponsor invites for the rest of the season.
“I definitely feel like I underachieved,” Rodgers said of his results in Texas. “I wasn’t sharp mentally, I got easily frustrated and, especially in Dallas, it was a sloppy week for me.”
Rodgers won earlier this year on the Web.com Tour, and is currently sixth on that circuit’s money list with the top 25 earners getting PGA Tour cards. A made cut will likely allow the 22-year-old to craft a schedule between the two tours to best prepare him for full-time status next season.
Rodgers earned a spot in this week’s field by winning the Nicklaus Award last year as the top collegiate player. While he was on-site to receive the award last year from the tournament host, he hadn’t played Muirfield Village until Monday’s practice round – not that he was totally devoid of course knowledge.
“It’s weird. It’s one of those courses like Augusta where I feel like I know every hole and I had never been there,” he said. “I knew how putts broke from watching Tiger and some of the other guys playing over the years. Knew how tee shots shaped and stuff.”