Patrick Rodgers, Stanford roll at The Goodwin
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Stanford's Patrick Rodgers was happy to sleep in his own bed this week.
As far as comfort goes, the Cardinal were happy to tee it up at their home Stanford Golf Course Friday through Sunday at The Goodwin.
Rodgers led the team to a 20-stroke victory Sunday in Stanford, Calif., taking his third straight individual title along the way. Rodgers, who announced earlier this month that he will be turning pro after this season, has now won nine times in his collegiate career – two off of the Stanford record set by Tiger Woods.
"Tiger did it in two years, which was pretty impressive. I'm trying to win every time I tee it up, and with four events left, hopefully I'll be able to chase that record," Rodgers said. "It feels great being at the home course this week and staying in my dorm and my comfortable bed and having a lot of familiar faces around here. ... It was nice to have a great week, play solid and feel comfortable."
Rodgers is not the only player that may have benefited from home cooking. The Cardinal placed three golfers in the top five of the tournament en route to a 25-under 815 performance. Senior Cameron Wilson finished in third at 6 under and freshman Maverick McNealy finished in a tie for fourth at 5 under.
"The guys are fortunate because they get to play our course a lot and they're comfortable here," head coach Conrad Ray said. "That showed today. They birdied the holes they normally do and managed the golf course well today.
"All week we had a couple of stretches throughout the course that I thought were key stretches. The first six holes at Stanford are probably the toughest in the entire course. Our guys got through those first six holes in good fashion all week."
Rodgers posted 18 birdies through 54 holes, including eight in his opening-round 63. Rodgers posted a 1-under 69 during a rainy second round, but finished up with a 6-under 64 to beat out runner-up Rico Hoey of Southern California by six strokes.
"In the first round, that really low score was a product of understanding the golf course a little better than I have in years passed," Rodgers said. "I've played around here plenty of times and I just left my ball in the correct spot on every hole and, before you know it, it added up to 63."
Rodgers made two 25-foot putts to finish the first and second rounds, giving the team "positive vibes" following each round, Ray said.
"I've always been a team-first motivated player. ... I try to win each event and our team has the same mindset," Rodgers said. "Both for me and my team, we have a lot to prove. I think we're flying under the radar a little bit, which is a good thing this time of the year. Hopefully we'll be able to turn some heads with our play."
USC and UCLA tied for second at 5 under, Washington finished in fourth at 1 under and Oregon and Alabama-Birmingham tied for fifth at 3 over.
Stanford will play the Western Intercollegiate April 12-13 before heading into the Pac-12 Championships.