What's buzzing:

Stanford's Rodgers to turn pro after season

AP - Sports
Stanford's Rodgers to turn pro after season

View gallery

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2013 file photo, Patrick Rodgers, of the United States team, tees off on the …

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers, the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world, said Monday that he will forgo his final year of eligibility to pursue a professional career after this season.

The two-time All-American said he decided to make the announcement now because he didn't want the growing speculation about his future to become a distraction for the team. The eighth-ranked Cardinal are hoping to make a deep run at the NCAA championships in May before Rodgers leaves.

''I think we have an amazing team - the best that we've had in my three years here - and we have an opportunity to do something special,'' Rodgers said in a statement issued through the university. ''I want to put all of the focus on trying to win a national championship for the team.''

Rodgers arrived at Stanford in 2011 as one of the nation's top recruits from Avon, Ind., where he won two state championships. He has won seven tournaments in less than three full seasons at Stanford and also helped the U.S. team win last year's Walker Cup, the amateur version of the Ryder Cup.

Rodgers' 70.55 average strokes per round are the best in Stanford history, bettering Tiger Woods' 70.96. His seven career wins are tied with Joel Kribel for the second most in school history. Only Woods, with 11, has more.

''The numbers speak for themselves,'' said Stanford men's golf coach Conrad Ray. ''He's one of the best college golfers we've ever had. It's bittersweet for me, because as a coach and a guy that values his role on the team, we're going to hate losing him. Even if it was next year after graduation, we'd love to take 10 guys like Patrick and see how we'd do. His work ethic is insatiable.

''He has characteristics of world-class players. It's a credit to him that he has taken a lot of well-thought time to analyze the situation he has in front of him. To Patrick's credit, he's made all the right steps and moves to date. You have to trust in his instincts and direction he's going with his game.''

Rodgers has some experience on the PGA Tour already.

He has played in four PGA Tour events, including taking the lead at the John Deere Classic last year before finishing 15th. He said he plans to return to Stanford at some point to finish his degree.

''Stanford has done so much more for me than golf,'' Rodgers said. ''The immense social network between alumni and students is just incredible. Both the golf program and academic environment have accelerated my progress beyond what I ever thought possible and prepared me really well for life on the PGA Tour. I couldn't have done what I have done so far without the help of Stanford University.''

View Comments (1)
  • Gerald Green recreates socks-only dunk from 2008 contest

    The 29-year-old is still one of the most athletics players in the NBA. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 17 minutes ago
  • Tracking Kentucky's quest for perfection

    Tracking Kentucky's quest for perfection

    John Calipari and the Wildcats have the talent, depth and schedule to potentially run the table and finish 40-0, but there are a lot of games between now and the NCAA title game on April 6. Keep track of their progress and see who they've beaten … More »

    17 minutes ago
  • Love picked to be assistant at Presidents Cup

    Love picked to be assistant at Presidents Cup

    Davis Love III told U.S. captain Jay Haas last year that he would be in South Korea for the Presidents Cup one way or another, which at the time meant that if the 50-year-old Love didn't qualify for the team then he would go as an assistant captain. … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago
  • Machado, Wieters return for Orioles in loss to Tigers

    Matt Wieters and Manny Machado each were hitless in three at-bats in their first game since their seasons were cut short by injuries last year, and the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Detroit Tigers 5-4 Wednesday. Wieters had Tommy John surgery in … More »

    AP - Sports - 21 minutes ago
  • AP source: Vikings to meet with Adrian Peterson on Wednesday

    AP source: Vikings to meet with Adrian Peterson on Wednesday

    Adrian Peterson is about to feel what it's like to be recruited again. Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman plan to travel to Peterson's home near Houston on Wednesday to meet with their disgruntled star running back, a … More »

    AP - Sports - 21 minutes ago