Junior diary: Mohawks, Canon Cup and Jr. PGA
The 2010 Canon Cup was an awesome experience.
Even though the East lost, it was certainly one of the most memorable weeks of my junior golf career. With golf being an individual sport, we don’t often get to experience the team aspect. It was cool to be part of a team and root for others in such an individual game. Some of my best friends were on the team and I made some new friends with whom I will remain close.
One of the most memorable experiences was actually the night before the Canon Cup started. Emma Talley was kind enough to give my hair a little trim. It was getting long so we decided to cut the sides, but not the top. The end result was a defined, dirty Mohawk that I flaunted throughout the week. I had to wear a visor to make sure that all people around the event could experience the effect.
Patrick Rodgers, 18, will file a diary each week this summer as he plays some of the premier junior events in the country.
Rodgers, a second-team AJGA All-American, is No. 5 in the Golfweek Junior Rankings. He has two top-10 finishes in 2010, including a second place at the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
The East team was a tightly knit group. Gus, our captain, had some good bonding activities and we all became good friends. We rooted for each other – maybe a little obnoxiously at times – but it was fun to really get into the event.
The golf course was incredible. Old Sandwich Golf Club is a links-style course that looks very natural. The fairways are lined with high grass and the bunkers are penal. The real trouble is around the greens. There are many swales and valleys that made chipping and putting very challenging. However, it was a great course for match play. There were many risk-reward holes where you could take advantage of the golf course.
This week, I head back home for a huge event. The Junior PGA Championship is an event that the top players mark on their calendar, and to have it held in my home state is exciting. Sycamore Hills Golf Club is an amazing course. It is very similar to Muirfield Village. It is in perfect condition and the Jack Nicklaus design makes it a really fun course to play. This week is particularly important, as the Junior Ryder Cup team is picked after the final round. Every player this week is hoping to play well to earn a spot on the team.
I am excited for the week. My game feels good and hopefully I can bring home a trophy!