The day didn’t start out so great.
The first shot by Cambridge Springs junior Trevor Rodgers at Monday’s PIAA Class A West Region golf tournament arced off the No. 8 tee at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville and touched down in a bunker.
Then, Rodgers’ chip out of the sand soared over the par 3’s green and landed in the tall grass behind it.
“It was nothing but ball,” said Rodgers. “It was one of those shots where you hit it and you go, ‘Oh, no.’”
Three stokes later, Rodgers was walking to his second hole of the day with a double bogey on his card.
Yet, the Blue Devils golfer went right back to work, and battled the course through the next 17 holes, eventually finishing the round at 6-over-par 78.
That was good enough to make Rodgers the first state qualifier from Cambridge Springs in 30 years.
Rodgers, who finished in a tie for eighth at Monday’s tournament, now moves on to the two-day PIAA Class AA Individual Championship, which runs Monday and Tuesday at Heritage Hills Golf Course in York.
The last Cambridge Springs golfer to get this far? Well, that would be Rodgers’ father, Kevin Rodgers, who made it to states as a senior in 1982.
“He was the first one,” Trevor said about his dad’s trip to states. “They didn’t even have a team. He didn’t have a coach. He went down to districts and qualified on his own.”
Talk about following in your father’s footsteps.
“He’s the one that got me started,” said Trevor. “He worked with me through the years. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to him for getting me where I am now.”
Trevor is the only Crawford County golfer to make the double-A individual tournament, and one of just three from District 10. The other two are North East’s Brian Ropiecki and Harbor Creek’s Teven Vargo, both of whom scored 80s on Monday.
“We were pretty happy,” said Cambridge Springs head golf coach Larry Shrefler. “We figured (Rodgers) would have to be in the 70s to have a chance and he finished right there.
“He putted really well. Inside 10 feet, he made just about everything. On one green he three-putted. But I think he hit 13 greens in regulation.”
Rodgers and all of next week’s competitors will get an initial crack at the Heritage Hills course on Sunday during a sanctioned practice round.
“Hopefully he’ll do well,” said Shrefler. “He has done great so far. I’m really happy for him, first getting out of districts and now qualifying for states. It’s a tribute to how much time he commits toward the game.”
The lone D-10 boys golfer in Class AAA to advance to states was Slippery Rock’s Brett Rinker. He finished second in the West Regional with an even-par 72, one stroke behind West Region champ Kevin O’Brien of North Allegheny.
The Meadville boys golf team will also be represented at states after winning the West Region Team Championship this past Friday. The Bulldogs will compete in the PIAA Class AAA state tournament on Oct. 24 at Heritage Hills.
District 10 will also be sending two female golfers to the state tournament. North East’s Megan Moylan won the Class AA West Regional on Monday with a 5-over-par 77. Hickory’s Rosy Hearns finished tied for third with a 10-over-82.
The day didn’t start out so great.
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