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Golfer Rodgers named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year

Stanford men’s golfer Patrick Rodgers was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year on Monday, marking the third time a member of the Cardinal has won the award and the first time since 2005. The honor tops off an outstanding campaign that included eight top-10 finishes and two individual victories.

Rodgers, listed No. 3 in Golfweek’s latest rankings, was a highly touted recruit after a stellar high school career in Avon, Ind. He got off to a quick start for the Card, finishing as the team’s low scorer in all four of the fall tournaments and posting a top-seven finish in each. Rodgers was also named to the All-Pac-12 First Team, joining an impressive list that includes Stanford junior Andrew Yun and UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay, who posted the best amateur score at this year’s Masters.

At the Pac-12 Championships in Corvallis, Ore., Rodgers placed eighth with a score of 8-under, including a tournament-best mark of 65 in the third round. He was the top finisher among conference freshmen and second-best for Stanford, which finished sixth overall in a disappointing showing.

Rodgers captured his first career victory back in his first collegiate tournament in September at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, where he shot a 4-under 206 to pace the Cardinal to a 16-shot team victory. Rodgers was the first Cardinal golfer to win his first college tournament since Tiger Woods accomplished the same feat 17 years ago.

Rodgers’ second career win came in April at the Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he beat Cantlay and New Mexico State’s Justin Shin by two shots.

As a result of his solid play all year long, Rodgers was named as one of 10 semifinalists for the 2012 Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate golfer. Additionally, Rodgers, along with Yun, was named to the 2012 Palmer Cup team, a Ryder Cup-style competition in June that matches the United States’ best college golfers against the best college golfers from Europe .

Rodgers will be back in action from May 17 to 19 when Stanford hosts the NCAA West Regional. The Cardinal will be the second seed in the regional, and the field includes Pac-12 champion Cal, the top seed, and conference foe Oregon State.

 

-Jack Blanchat and Zach Zimmerman

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