Beaufort News

Rogers shakes off bad round to win HHIPGA Professionals in playoff

David Rogers was quick to admit he didn't think he deserved to win. He was even quicker to display his surprise when he did.

The first-round leader of the annual HHIPGA Professionals Championship, Rogers began Tuesday's final round poorly and only got worse as the day progressed.

But he gathered himself when it mattered most.

Rogers bounced back from an off day at the course with a brilliant up-and-down for par on No. 18 to force a playoff and another par on the same hole to clinch a one-hole playoff victory over Doyle Ricks at The Golf Club at Indigo Run. It was Rogers' second consecutive title in the Professionals Championship. He finished the tournament with a two-day total of two-over-par 146.

"Those two shots on my last two holes were my best of the day," said Rogers, who fired a final-round 76, 4-over par. "I was struggling, but it was good enough."

Barely. Rogers opened with a three-shot lead after a 4-under 68 in Monday's first round. He quickly gave those shots back Tuesday, though, setting up a two-man race with Ricks on the back nine.

An assistant pro at Secession Golf Club, Rogers nearly lost another stroke -- and in turn the two-day tournament -- on the final hole when he hit his tee shot into the sand and his next into a bunker short of the green, but his ensuing chip stopped within 3 feet of the hole, and he tapped in for par to force the playoff.

Rogers' par on the only playoff hole -- which he set up with a beautiful chip from wide of the green on his third shot -- proved good enough when Ricks had a 30-foot putt fade slightly right of the hole.

"Thought it was going to go in," said Ricks, an assistant pro at the Golden Bear Golf Club at Indigo Run. "It was a tough putt, but I had to give it a whirl."

Easy putts were hard to find at The Golf Club at Indigo Run, where hard greens and difficult pin placements made birdies disappear.

No player shot under par on Tuesday. Matt Lucchesi was the only player to shoot even par, and he finished in third place with a two-day total of 4 over, two shots back of Rogers. Mark Tomedolskey, Jordan Pomeranz and Matt Stewart tied for fourth at 149.

The high scores made Rogers' opening-round 68 all the more impressive. It was one of only two below-par rounds in the tournament. Ricks opened Monday with a 1-under 71.

"With the conditions out here today, it was tough," Rogers said. "I was lucky enough that I gave myself enough of a cushion (Monday). And I needed it all."

HHIPGA Professionals Championship

(*won playoff)

Top finishers

*1. David Rogers 68-78-146

2. Doyle Ricks 71-75-146

3. Matt Lucchesi 76-72-148

4. Mark Tomedolskey 76-73-149

4. Matt Stewart 75-74-149

4. Jordan Pomeranz 72-77-149

7. Doug Weaver 74-77-151

8. Tom Logue 74-78-152

8. Colby Wilson 75-77-152

10. Ed Brill 75-78-153