A Dream Come True for Steve Rodriguez

9/5/2014

A Dream Come True for Steve Rodriguez at the Merit Golf Vacations PGA of Ontario Match Play Championship

 

For Immediate Release

 

September 5, 2014

 

AURORA, ON - The Journey to becoming the 2014 Merit Golf Vacations PGA of Ontario Match Play Champion didn't just start yesterday morning for Steve Rodriguez.  It didn't even start at the beginning of the 2014 golf season.  It started when he made the final four in the 2013 PGA of Ontario Match Play but came up short.  He entered the day with high expectations, he has had his eye on becoming the match play champion for a while and 2013 was supposed to be the year that he won it.  It was a dream come true.  "I have always loved match play.  I really wanted to win this tournament", Rodriguez said.  Everything had fallen into place in 2013, until it all fell apart.  Rodriguez's fourth place finish was nothing short of impressive, considering who he took down on his way, but it was not his goal.  His goal was to win.  So when the 2014 Match Play season started Steve Rodriguez, from Whitevale Golf Club, set his sights once again, but this time he would not be denied.  Defeating the likes of Adam Beange, Jim Zwolak, and Brad Pemberton, on his way to his second consecutive final four appearances. 

 

He started the day facing off against the always steady Gord Burns.  Rodriguez started out with a tricky tee shot left and scrambled for a bogey giving up the first hole to Burns.  Rodriguez was going shot for shot with Burns for four holes until he started to get on a roll and found his groove.  Rodriguez was 4UP walking off of 14 green.  Burns, just in the nick of time, woke up and hung on winning the next three holes to stay alive.  Rodriguez was worried that his hot start was going to sizzle out and he was going to fall short for a second straight year.  He managed to hold on halving the 18th hole and winning the first match of the day 1UP. 

 

After a short lunch break it was back to the first tee to square off against his next, and last opponent standing in his way of the championship.  Ed Maunder managed to squeeze by his good friend Alf Callowhill in his semi-final match.  Maunder and Callowhill traded blows all day and neither opponent held a larger than 1UP lead until Maunder took the 17th and deciding hole winning the match 2&1. 

 

Maunder took the lead on the first hole which Rodriguez quickly erased.  After that Rodriguez maintained a narrow lead until the 15th.  "The ball started getting away from me late in the round.  I started scrambling and Eddie was making his shots count", Rodriguez recalled after the round.  "Once he took the lead I really needed to dig deep to stay in it.  That putt on 18 was a tricky one with the match on the line."  Rodriguez drained a six footer on 18 to force a playoff.  After the first playoff hole solved nothing, Maunder found trouble in the right fescue and Rodriguez capitalized.  Realizing his goal from a year ago. 

 

What made his huge win it that much sweeter?  His father and wife were there for all 38 holes to see it happen.  "It's really a dream come true, I'm so happy to share it with them.  I have had my eye on this title for a while.  It means so much to me."  With the victory Rodriguez takes home the $3285 cheque and an exemption to join Team Ontario competing in the annual Titleist Cup.  He hopes to keep his hot streak rolling along as the PGA of Ontario Tournament schedule is far from over.  Rodriguez is headed up to the Ridge at Manitou to compete in the PGA Assistants Championship of Canada, followed by the PGA of Ontario Fall Championship at The Club at Lora Bay/The Georgian Bay Club. 

 

For the rest of the PGA of Ontario Tournament Schedule click HERE

 

To follow the PGA of Ontario Professionals at the PGA Assistants Championship of Canada click HERE

 

For Full Brackets from the Merit Golf Vacations Match Play Championship click HERE

 

Kevin Purcell

Executive Director

PGA of Ontario

kevin@pgaofontario.com

www.pgaofontario.com

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