LEWISTON — If Patrick Rodgers had been told he’d shoot 13-under par prior to the opening of the 54th Porter Cup held at Niagara Falls Country Course this weekend, he would have been pretty confident in his chances of repeating as tournament champion.
This year, though, 13-under wasn’t good for first place, or even second, as it turned out. Rodgers wrapped up his second career Porter Cup in third place, despite shooting one stroke better than his winning score from last year with a 13-under 267.
It wasn’t because his striking was off or because he wasn’t dropping his putts. Rodgers said he finished third simply because the rest of the field played so darn good.
“You can’t really go wrong with 13-under par,” Rodgers said. “I can’t be mad about how I played, especially with the rounds guys like Richy (Werenski) shot.”
Like Rodgers last year, Georgia Tech’s Werenski won this year’s tournament during his first trip to Niagara Falls, shooting a 17-under 263. Denny McCarthy, a junior at the University of Virginia, placed second with a 15-under 265.
It was the first amateur event Rodgers has played in all summer. He’s been too busy playing golf with the pros.
“It’s really nice getting back to amateur golf,” Rodgers said. “The field’s a lot deeper (in the pros), but you still have to go out there and play golf like everyone else. Being able to compete with the guys on the professional level has given me a lot of confidence and I’m excited to be back. These are a lot of fun.”
After winning it all last year, Rodgers, a Stanford sophomore from Avon, Ind., entered the weekend as the odds-on favorite to win the tournament. He was the highest ranked (No. 5) amateur player of the 78-player field according to the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings and was the No. 4 rated collegiate golfer, according to Golf Week Magazine.