Texas Open contender finds lost ball, hits second provisional, somehow makes bogey
Bad shots always seem to come at the worst times, even for PGA Tour pros.
Such was the case Sunday for Valero Texas Open 54-hole leader Patrick Rodgers. The final round already wasn’t going according to plan for Rodgers, who had slipped from a one-shot lead at 13 under to begin the day, to four back of Corey Conners after four front-nine bogeys.
He steadied himself on the start of the back nine with a few pars, but then things got away from him on the par-5 14th.
Still four back, Rodgers set up to go for the green on the hole he had birdied each of the previous three rounds. However this time, the hole was playing into the wind and he had 291 yards left for his second out of the first cut.
“Oh no,” NBC Analyst Paul Azinger said as soon as Rodgers’ ball left the face of his 3-wood. “What a time to hit a foul ball.”
This wasn’t just a foul ball. It was a shank.
The ball came out screaming, low, right and heading more right. Rodgers immediately dropped his club and looked away in disgust. The ball ended up in the trees right of the fairway, out of view from NBC’s cameras, but clearly in a spot that would be difficult for Rodgers to get to, let alone swing from.
With no spotters in the area, Rodgers plopped down a provisional ball, but his now-fourth shot wasn’t much better. This one was also right, but caught the green side bunker and at least gave him a chance to get up and down for bogey.
Only he’d never get to play that ball.
Against all odds, the next shot the broadcast had of Rodgers was him crouching behind his ball, deep in the brush, weighing his options. There was no way he could take a swing at it.
He wouldn’t be able to go back on line with the flag for his drop if he took an unplayable since it would just be more brush, but he also couldn’t play the provisional he already hit.
This is where things get unique. While Rodgers did the correct thing by hitting a provisional, he would still have to go hit another one back from the first cut. The provisional was out of play.
“He cannot play the provisional ball because he found his original,” PGA Tour rules official Orlando Pope said on the broadcast.
His only option to take and unplayable was stroke and distance. Rodgers hopped back into a PGA Tour cart and was driven back out to where he hit the first two 3-woods to give it one more go.
His third try? Again, right.
If you’re keeping score at home, his *second* fourth shot ended up in the same bunker as his *first* fourth shot.
From there, his fifth bounced in the middle of the green and kept rolling over the green, still 22 feet from the hole.
But then Rodgers did the unthinkable: He chipped in for bogey.
“Took awhile but he saved bogey,” Broadcaster Dan Hicks said. “That’s one of the craziest bogeys I’ve ever seen.
“You don’t normally hit a driver and three 3-woods and make bogey.”
Rodgers quickly shrugged off the bogey by birdieing the very next hole to play the 14th and 15th in even. Just goes to show there are no pictures on the scorecard.