05/10/09 — Rogers takes Walnut Creek Championship

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Rogers takes Walnut Creek Championship

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 10, 2009 2:00 AM

Chris Rogers will never forget his final round at the Walnut Creek Championship.

The Ole Miss graduate fired a final-round 68 and sealed his first-ever career victory on the eGolf Professional Tour at Walnut Creek Country Club on Saturday afternoon. A Tennessee native, Rogers posted a four-day round of 19-under par 265 and pocketed a $50,000 paycheck.

Kyle Reifers finished two strokes back.

"It has been a really excellent week of golf," said Rogers. "The course was great and I was able to make the most of my opportunities in the final round."

The players benefited from soft greens and limited wind during the first two days of the 72-hole event. Golfers carded consistent rounds in the mid-60s due to the receptive conditions.

A brisk wind greeted golfers on Saturday and sweltering temperatures dried the greens, which made balls roll faster.

"It was a lot tougher out there today compared to when we got started," said Rogers. "They put the pins in some hard spots and the greens were noticeably faster."

One of several golfers unable to finish 54 holes on Friday, Rogers returned to the course early Saturday morning to complete the third round. He entered the final 18 holes down one stroke and faced an additional hurdle with a wayward shot on the opening hole.

"I made bogey on number one, and that's one of the easiest holes on the course," said Rogers. "But, in a way it might have helped me because it forced me to refocus and get my head back into what I was doing."

Rogers got back into the game on the front nine and seized the lead on the back side. He birdied the par-4, No. 10 hole and completed the round with a birdie on No. 18.

"I played the par-fours really well all week," said Rogers. "Obviously, nobody wins a tournament without putting the ball well. So I would say that was the best part of my game."

Reifers fired a final-round 70 and finished at 17-under 267. His 1-under round lacked the spectacular shots needed to upend Rogers' tournament-title run.

"One under is a good day, but a couple more birdies would have been huge," said Reifers. "I played consistent golf this week, and it was good enough to come home in second."

The eGolf Tar Heel tour will make its next stop at Sapona Country Club from May 20-22. The tour returns to Walnut Creek in mid-September.