Boys Golf: New Trier’s Rodgers goes from hardwood to links for nephew
Patrick Rodgers, the nephew of New Trier girls basketball coach Teri Rodgers, competes in the NCAA Regional tournament.
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:47PM
WINNETKA — Like seeing a football player out of the stadium, there was Teri Rodgers last week on the veranda at Exmoor Country Club.
Instead of the stylized pantsuit she usually wears on the sideline, the veteran New Trier girls basketball coach was dressed out in golf gear for the Western Amateur media day.
“It’s out of context, I know,” she joked.
But Rodgers had good reason to be there in Highland Park, a day otherwise reserved for press types and club members. She was caddying for her nephew, Patrick Rodgers, one of the top amateur players in the country, if not the world. Teri’s brother Charlie is Patrick’s father.
An Indianapolis-area resident and rising sophomore player at Stanford, Patrick Rodgers represented the players last week at the media conference.
Admittedly not a big player herself, Teri Rodgers was excited about the opportunity to share in her nephew’s tournament experience.
“It was a real joy for me to be out there with him,” Teri said of her first loop. “Talking to him about his thoughts and how he wanted to tackle the course was cool. I really enjoyed that.”
Teri has watched Patrick, the No. 3-ranked player, according to Scratch Players World Rankings, grow up around the game, mostly because her brother joined a country club in Indianapolis for business purposes.
A late bloomer to golf, Patrick gravitated to the game when he realized his basketball career would never take off.
“I think he’s really progressed throughout the years,” she said. “One interesting thing about him was he played a lot of basketball, but he was really small. He was a terrific shooter.
“It was his freshman year that he decided he really wanted to pursue golf. He was then able to have some success, and he wanted to see what he could do with it.”
Only 19 years old, Patrick Rodgers has done more than most players will ever do in their lifetimes.
On the same team last season as New Trier graduate Wilson Bowen, Rodgers won two tournaments, posted 10 top 10s in his 12 tournaments and earned first team All-American honors. The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year’s 70.7 stroke average was second in program history to Tiger Woods to Andrew Yun.
Last week, Rodgers competed at a professional tournament in Columbus, Ohio. He was looking forward to challenging himself this week against some of the world’s best amateurs at his second Western Amateur.
“I like that it’s such a grueling test of golf,” said Rodgers, one of 16 players to advance to match play last year at North Shore Country Club. “The eventual winner has to play well for an entire week. There’s really two different golf tournaments.
“A victory at the Western Amateur would be the biggest of my career.”
While Teri Rodgers won’t be on the bag this week, she planned to be in the gallery following her talented nephew.
“I’m just glad this tournament comes later in the summer, so I don’t have any basketball responsibilities,” she said. “I will be cheering him on and being a fan.”