Korn Ferry Tour Playoffs
Patrick Rodgers rallies to retain PGA Tour card, while Joseph Bramlett wins Korn Ferry Tour Championship
This was not how anyone would have plotted Patrick Rodgers’ career trajectory, not in 2014, when he turned professional in the wake of a college career that shared similarities with that of another Stanford prodigy, Tiger Woods.
Yet there he was on Sunday, back in his home state of Indiana, facing the prospect of losing his PGA Tour job, when he took another page from the Tiger playbook, delivering a clutch performance that ended with a fist pump on the 18th green.
Rodgers, 29, shot a final-round 67 in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind., to move from outside the top 25 and into a tie for 15th to regain the PGA Tour exemption he was on the verge of losing when he finished 128th on the FedEx Cup points list to miss the PGA Tour playoffs for the first time since becoming a PGA Tour member in the 2015-2016 season.
“I am so grateful,” he posted on Twitter shortly after concluding his round.
Another Stanford player, Joseph Bramlett, won the Korn Ferry Tour Championship with a final-round seven-under 65 and a 72-hole total of 20-under par 268 to retain his PGA Tour card for the 2021-2022 season.
Rodgers shares the Stanford record for most tournament victories with 11 and actually produced a better career scoring average than Woods. Yet his PGA Tour career, though profitable (more than $8 million in earnings), has not been notable. In 191 career starts, he has yet to deliver a victory.
When he missed making the FedEx Cup playoffs, he chose to enter the three-event Korn Ferry Tour playoffs. A tie for 20th and a missed cut in the first two events required a high finish in the Tour Championship for him to secure one of the 25 PGA Tour cards available in the tour playoffs.
Entering the final round, he was outside the top 25, bogeyed the first hole, then began a steady climb up the leader board with five birdies and an eagle on the next nine holes. Though he made two bogeys on the back nine, he added a birdie at 17 and secured his PGA Tour job with an 18th-hole par.
Bramlett, meanwhile, began the final round trailing leader Trey Mullinax by four and swept past him with a back-nine of six-under par 30 to win by four. Bramlett, who had not made the FedEx Cup playoffs in any of his three seasons on the PGA Tour, shot consecutive 65s to close the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.
Mullinax, an Alabama teammate of Justin Thomas’ who was attempting to complete a wire-to-wire victory, bogeyed three of his final five holes in a round of 70, though he regained his PGA Tour card for the first time since 2019.
The others earning their PGA Tour cards were Aaron Rai, Bronson Burgoon, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, J.J. Spaun, Hayden Buckley, Sahith Theegala, Matthias Schwab, Vincent Whaley, John Huh, Alex Smalley, Joshua Creel, Lucas Herbert, Callum Terren, Scott Gutschewski, Dawie van der Walt, Kelly Kraft, Michael Gligic, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Austin Cook, Kurt Kitayama, Peter Uihlein and Justin Lower.