Stanford's Rodgers to turn pro after spring
Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers, the top-ranked amateur golfer in the World Amateur Golf Ranking will turn pro after the spring season, the school announced Monday.
Rodgers, from Avon, Ind., has won seven times for the Cardinal, including the recent Prestige at PGA West, and is No. 11 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
“I want to formally announce that my intention for the future is to turn professional at the end of this season,” Rodgers said in a statement on Stanford's official athletics website. “I came to this decision with a clear understanding of the impact it might have and had countless conversations with my parents and coach weighing the options and ensuring I made the best decision.
“The reason for coming out with this announcement now is over the past year, there has been growing speculation of what my plans would be. I thought I owed it to the team, to Coach (Conrad) Ray, and Stanford University to get ahead of the situation and come out with it now in order for it to not become a distraction for myself or the team.
“I think we have an amazing team – the best that we’ve had in my three years here – and we have an opportunity to do something special. I want to put all of the focus on trying to win a national championship for the team.”
Rodgers was an All-American as a freshman and sophomore, compiling a 70.55 strokes per round average, which is tops in Stanford history, eclipsing Tiger Woods' 70.96.
Rodgers has seven career wins, which is four behind Woods.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Ray said in the release. “He’s one of the best college golfers we’ve ever had."
Rodgers' success also went beyond Stanford, playing on the Americans' 2011 and 2013 Walker Cup teams and won the '11 Porter Cup. He also held the lead at the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic in 2013 before finishing 15th.
As for school, Rodgers will have one more year to complete to gain his degree, and he intends to complete it after getting his bearings in the pro game.
“I do intend to come back at some point and finish my education,” Rodgers said. “In the very near future, I will be shifting my sole focus on starting my professional golf career. After navigating through the terrain and difficulties that process presents, I intend to complete work towards my Stanford degree.
“I’ve put a priority both on golf and in the classroom. I’m really proud of the work that I’ve done in the classroom and the experiences that I’ve gained. I think it’s a unique university, with the brilliant minds and professors, guest lecturers and all the students who bring so much to the table academically and athletically.”
Rodgers also took to Twitter to thank fans and the school:
Excited to formally announce My intentions to turn professional after the NCAA Championship this spring— Patrick Rodgers (@PRodgersGolf) March 3, 2014