Rogers Wins NEIGA Scholarship

University of Vermont freshman golfer Tom Rogers stunned the New England golf world Tuesday when he won the individual title at the 68th annual New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) Championship at the Captains Club.

Rogers, one of the top New England Prep golfers the last two years at Holderness, shot two rounds of 74 on the par-72 Post and Starboard courses at the Captains Club, and then won a one-hole playoff with a par, defeating Bryant College’s Jason Clary.

A total of 232 golfers from 47 teams participated in the championship.

“On the final hole of the second round, he had three-putted to finish in the tie with Clary,” UVM coach Mike Gilligan said. “It was great to see Tom respond like that in the playoff after a three-putt.”

The first playoff hole was the tenth hole at the Starboard Course, a dogleg right par-4. Rogers pumped his drive through the fairway into a bunker about 145 yards from the green, while Clary went down the middle with a three-iron before hitting up short of the green.

On the way to his ball, Gilligan told Rogers to relax and have fun, and to take a shot at knocking the ball on the green. Rogers did what Gilligan asked of him, slamming an 8-iron onto the center of the putting surface.

A routine two-putt for par from Rogers, and a poor chip and two putts from Clary, gave the young Catamount the prestigious title.

“It was really emotional for the guys to see one of their own win the title,” Gilligan said. “They couldn’t believe we were in that situation, watching one of our guys in a playoff for the New England title.

“This will help his future in golf and will certainly help the UVM golf program.” Gilligan said Rogers was cool, calm and collected during the whole tournament.

“He seemed pretty cool,” the ten-year Catamount coach said. “I don’t think he realized how big a deal this was.”

To be sure, it was a big deal. In winning the prestigious championship over the best collegiate golfers in New England, Rogers joins former UVM All-American and local golfing legend John Donnelly Sr. as the only Catamount to win the NEIGA crown. Donnelly won the title in 1964 at Rutland Country Club.

Rogers also joins an impressive list of golfers who have won the NEIGA title. The list includes Senior PGA standout Dana Quigley of Rhode Island (1969), PGA veteran Jim Hallet (Bryant), a five-time winner from 1981 to 1983, and PGA pro Tim Petrovic of Hartford (1986).

Vermont finished in a tie for twenty-first place with a two-day total of 654. The Catamounts shot a 332 on the Port course and then came back with a 322 on the Starboard course, tying Fairfield and Worcester State. Rhode Island won the team title with 600 total strokes, while Middlebury College was eighth with 633.

Middlebury’s Brad Tufts, who led after the first day, shot a 78 on Tuesday and tied for fifth.

Alex Squire finished in a tie for 86th (88-77-165) while Kyle Trzaskos tied for 126th (84-86-170). Shayne Bocash tied for 134th (86-85-171) and Andrew Siebengartner finished in a tie for 215th (96-94-190).

-Sports Info.