|Photo by Matthew Stockman & Web.com Tour|
BOGOTA, Colombia – Rookie Patrick Rodgers of Indiana rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat Steve Marino and win the weather-delayed Colombia Championship presented by Claro.
Rodgers, who broke Tiger Woods’ all-time scoring record during three All-American seasons at Stanford, closed regulation play with an all-world birdie at the par-5 18th after hitting his tee shot into a hazard.
“I must have been amped up because that shot doesn’t normally go that far,” said Rodgers. “I had a really awkward stance in there and had to get the ball up quickly and still keep it under the trees.”
Rodgers chipped out sideways and then wedged his third shot to within three feet. He canned the birdie putt for a 6-under 65 that gave him the clubhouse lead at 17-under 269. Marino, the 54-hole leader, made a short birdie putt of his own on the final hole of regulation to force the playoff.
Following a pair of two-putt pars on the first extra hole, Rodgers stuffed a 7-iron from 198 yards inside of 10 feet to put the pressure on Marino, who wound up missing another lengthy birdie putt.
“This is huge,” said Rodgers, who earned the win in only his seventh Tour start. “I’ve already had so many ups and downs in my pro career. To be out here and win so early is a dream come true. I’m really excited for the rest of the season.”
Rodgers collected a check for $144,000 and moved to No. 1 on the Web.com Tour money list two weeks into the season.
The four-day schedule was turned into a game of catch-up thanks to a series of afternoon storms that forced several suspensions of play.
The field of 77 had to finish the third round early Sunday morning and barely had enough time to exhale before heading back out in the same threesomes for the fourth round.
“I didn’t even know if we’d get in 72 holes and that’s a huge credit to the entire tournament staff,” said the 22-year-old winner. “I loved this course from the start. It’s such a great test of golf.”
Rodgers finished off a 5-under 66 early Sunday to close out the third round but trailed Marino by four as he headed back to the first tee.
“I knew that it would be a birdie fest with the greens being soft,” he said. “I just tried to go out with the pedal to the metal and make as many as I could.”
Five birdies in his first 10 holes pushed put Rodgers into contention for the first time all week.
“I had to keep being patient and try to make birdie on every hole,” he said. “I think this course suits my game well. It allows me to put the ball in play and take advantage of my wedge game.”
Sunday’s closing round waited out another suspension in play but more than half the field finished, the tournament was locked in for 72 holes.
“It was a unique experience to be called off the course with three holes to go in the most intense moment of my career,” said Rodgers. “To have all that time to think about it and then to come out and birdie two of the last three is something I’m very proud of.”
Rodgers former Stanford teammate Andrew Yun (65) finished tied for third along with Chase Wright (69), two shots back while Tyler McCumber (69) of Jacksonville, Fla., was solo fifth, four off the pace.