Rodgers faces big week at Memorial in bid for PGA Tour status

Rodgers faces big week at Memorial in bid for PGA Tour status

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Rodgers faces big week at Memorial in bid for PGA Tour status

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It hardly could be considered having your back to the wall — not when you’re 22 and have a world of talent — but Patrick Rodgers does face a layer of pressure at this week’s Memorial Tournament.

Having compiled the equivalent of 314 FedEx Cup points in eight PGA Tour starts, Rodgers needs to reach 323 for a special temporary membership, which merits the chance for unlimited sponsor exemptions. That’s important for a kid with Rodgers’ appeal to sponsors, because he has already exhausted the limit of seven exemptions that he can receive without an STM.

When Rodgers, the former Stanford star who won the 2014 Haskins Award as college golf’s top player, finished joint second at the Wells Fargo Championship a few weeks ago, he appeared all but certain to achieve his 323 mark. After all, he had starts in the Colonial (the last of his seven exemptions), the Nelson (by virtue of his top-10 finish at the Wells Fargo) and the Memorial (as winner of the 2014 Jack Nicklaus Award).

But Rodgers was an MDF at Colonial and received just .88 FedEx Cup points (rounded off to 1), then he missed the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson. He has to make the cut at the Memorial and likely finish at least 63rd.

If Rodgers succeeds at Muirfield Village, it wouldn’t be much of a shock if he took the baton and turned the STM into a full card for 2015-16. After all, there is plenty of evidence that Rodgers is destined to offer a strong rivalry to his good friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. They’ve gotten a head start on Rodgers on the PGA Tour, but this is a long way to go in their careers and the jury will remain out.

They are that talented of a trio.

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