With buzz circulating that he planned on going pro, Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers wanted to remove all uncertainty with the most important stretch of the collegiate golf season upcoming.
After this spring’s quest for a national title comes to a close, the former Avon standout and No. 1-ranked amateur in the world will turn professional.
“I wanted to put my intentions out publicly because I thought it was important with the growing speculation in the golf world,” Rodgers said. “I felt like I owed it to Stanford and to my team to eliminate any distraction. I wanted to get out in front of it and help my team play our best golf down the stretch.”
The strategy worked, as Rodgers came away with the individual title at last week’s ultra-tough Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, while Stanford tied for second as a team.
Rodgers’ two-stroke victory was his eighth at Stanford, good for second all-time and three shy of Tiger Woods’ school record. With just five events left if the Cardinal reach the NCAA Championships, Rodgers might not catch Woods, but he has left his mark at the school, and vice versa.
“I owe so much to Stanford – the golf program, the professors, the students and alumni,” Rodgers said. “The decision to turn pro is a reflection of the accelerated progress I’ve made here. I can’t imagine being where I’m at after three years of college somewhere else.”
Rodgers made a fruitful connection with another high-ranking Stanford sports figure last spring, when he was contacted by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
“It was a really neat experience,” Rodgers said. “We sat down and talked about his process, and it was really interesting to me, not having come from a football background. He offered me some great advice, and I also realized just how valuable Stanford academics and athletics are, and how much I could improve in my own career.