Patrick Rodgers and his team, after a season in which he finished 86th in the FedEx Cup standings, wanted more. So they number-crunched.
“Me and my coach, Jeff Smith, really had a good meeting after the playoffs and just kind of figured out where we needed to get better, where I’m falling short of sort of the elite players out here, and I feel like we’re implementing that playing week after week, and it’s showing up on the course,” Rodgers said last week.
“Where did you feel like you were maybe falling short?” a reporter asked.
“Yeah, I wasn’t behind Tour average, but obviously the elite players in the world are incredible tee to green,” Rodgers said. “Rory’s been driving it on another planet almost, he’s obviously the best player in the world off the tee, and that’s a huge advantage that I feel like I’m capable of getting somewhat close to. And then you see guys like J.T. and Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm, the way they hit their approach shots and the way that they’re able to attack from the fairway, it’s a huge asset in their game, and I feel like if I can just kind of chip away getting a little bit closer to those guys, the way I putt it, I should be able to put together a nice year.”
“Should” quickly has become “is.”
Since early September, when the new PGA Tour season started, Rodgers has nearly bettered his finishes over all of his seven events — cut, tie for 54th, tie for 28th, tie for 16th, tie for third, tie for 27th, tie for 16th — and he’s in line for it to continue on Sunday in his eighth. After a third-round 64 on Saturday at Sea Island Golf Club, Rodgers shares a one-shot lead, at 14-under, with Ben Martin, and the two, along with Adam Svensson, will tee off in Sunday’s final grouping, at 11:06 a.m.
Just like Rodgers and his team drew it up.
“Yeah, it’s a fine line out here,” Rodgers said last week. “It takes a lot of patience. I can’t force a win out here on this Tour and I can’t control the conditions and the breaks or what anyone else does. If I do a good job of focusing on what I can control and getting lost in my process of playing, I back myself every time, I feel like I’ll have a good chance.”
Below are the final-round tee times. TV coverage will begin at 1 p.m. on Golf Channel.
2022 RSM Classic final-round tee times (All times ET)
Tee No. 1
9:05 a.m. — Martin Trainer, Hayden Buckley, J.J. Spaun
9:16 a.m. — Joel Dahmen, Denny McCarthy, Zac Blair
9:27 a.m. — Russell Knox, J.T. Poston, Robby Shelton
9:38 a.m. — Cole Hammer, Scott Stallings, Ben Griffin
9:49 a.m. — Erik Barnes, David Lingmerth, Seung-Yul Noh
10 a.m. — Wyndham Clark, Justin Rose, Paul Haley II
10:11 a.m. — Callum Tarren, Danny Lee, Chris Stroud
10:22 a.m. — Ben Taylor, Will Gordon, Seamus Power
10:33 a.m. — Kevin Streelman, Beau Hossler, Harry Higgs
10:44 a.m. — Taylor Pendrith, Taylor Montgomery, Alex Smalley
10:55 a.m. — Sahith Theegala, Andrew Putnam, Brian Harman
11:06 a.m. — Patrick Rodgers, Ben Martin, Adam Svensson
Tee No. 10
9:05 a.m. — Keith Mitchell, Kevin Kisner, Justin Suh
9:16 a.m. — Chris Gotterup, Akshay Bhatia, Michael Kim
9:27 a.m. — Trevor Cone, Aaron Baddeley, Greyson Sigg
9:38 a.m. — Patton Kizzire, Dean Burmester, Kevin Roy
9:49 a.m. — Brandon Wu, Harris English, Henrik Norlander
10 a.m. — Davis Riley, Brice Garnett, Matthias Schwab
10:11 a.m. — Zecheng Dou, Tyson Alexander, Eric Cole
10:22 a.m. — Jim Herman, Kevin Yu, Carl Yuan
10:33 a.m. — Stephan Jaeger, Dylan Wu, MJ Daffue
10:44 a.m. — Jacob Bridgeman, Joseph Bramlett, Brent Grant
10:55 a.m. — Ryan Armour, Andrew Landry, Doc Redman
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