Ironbridge Golf Club pro makes unbelievable shot to qualify for June major.
For the third time since turning 50 four years ago, Doug Rohrbaugh qualified to compete in the U.S. Senior Open. And yes, the third time was charmed.
Going into the par-4 18th at Wednesday’s Open qualifier at Denver’s Cherry Creek Country Club, Rohrbaugh needed a birdie to secure the second and final berth in the event. Par would force a playoff.
But after his second shot splashed into the lake fronting the 18th green, the best possible outcome appeared to be bogey or worse. Clad in a stocking cap and raingear on a chilly day, Rohrbaugh took his drop about 100 feet from the pin and wedged one onto the green. The ball bit, spun back and dropped into the hole.
Just your run-of-the-mill par.
Rohrbaugh did wind up bogeying the same hole in his playoff with Dave Delich of Colorado Springs. But Delich’s second shot found the same lake that Rohrbaugh’s had found in regulation. And after a drop and a wedge to within three feet, Delich missed the bogey putt, sending Rohrbaugh to this year’s Senior Open at Sacramento’s Del Paso Country Club June 25-28.
Rohrbaugh, the PGA director of golf at Ironbridge Golf Club in Glenwood Springs, has conditional status on the Champions Tour. He has played in two events thus far. He tied for 15th in his season debut at the Greater Gwinnett Championship and finished T62 at the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek in Alabama last Sunday.
The 2013 HealthOne Colorado Senior Open winner and two-time defending Colorado PGA Professional champion, Rohrbaugh currently stands 82nd on the Champions Tour’s money list and is competing in this weekend’s Senior PGA Championship at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Indiana.
Former PGA Tour player Michael Grob of Billings, Montana was the other qualifier from the Cherry Creek event. He carded a 5-under-par 67.
Rohrbaugh won the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame’s Person of the Year Award in 2013.