Snowmass Club golf pro Doug Rohrbaugh back at U.S. Senior Open
Doug Rohrbaugh believes he finally has the advantage. He’s played in the U.S. Senior Open before, but never on home grass and never in front of so much support.
“A lot of friends and family are going to be able to come out and watch,” Rohrbaugh said Wednesday. “There is nothing better when you have people out there pulling for you, and I’ve never had that because every time I’ve played these events it’s somewhere else in the country. So that part will be different.”
Rohrbaugh, 56, is a teaching professional at the Snowmass Club and has called the Roaring Fork Valley home since 1991. The Oregon native and former Idaho State University golfer is well known in the Colorado golf scene and has multiple PGA of America wins and was the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame’s person of the year in 2014. His son, Tristan, was the Class 3A individual state champion in 2013 as a senior at Basalt High School.
For the elder Rohrbaugh, his major breakthroughs have only come in recent years when he made it onto the Champions Tour, the highest level offered for golfers 50 and above. Since his rookie campaign, Doug Rohrbaugh has competed in a dozen Champions Tour events, most of which have been majors.
This week’s U.S. Senior Open, played at Broadmoor Golf Club’s East Course in Colorado Springs, will be his fourth senior open in six years.
“It feels pretty good to make it,” Rohrbaugh said. “It feels very good. When you get a taste of something like this, boy, you just want more. I’ve been fortunate.”
Rohrbaugh has twice missed the cut by a single stroke in this tournament, but he’s feeling more confident this year. He knows Broadmoor well, having played it no less than a dozen times, and was fortunate enough to have played his May 28 qualifying round on the very course, where he shot 69 to make this week’s field in Colorado Springs.
That qualifying round was played on a Monday, only a couple of days after he had been cut from the 2018 Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Rohrbaugh said the intensity of playing in that tournament — he shot a pair of 76s before bowing out — made his qualifying round back in Colorado that much more manageable.
“In some ways I think I had a bit of an advantage,” he said. “I had just come from playing in an event that was also tough conditions, tough competition, tough environment, and in some ways I think it made this a little easier.”
Beginning Thursday at Broadmoor, Rohrbaugh will be battling it out alongside some big names, such as Hale Irwin, former MLB pitcher John Smoltz, Tom Kite, Rocco Mediate, Davis Love III and Mark O’Meara, among others. Rohrbaugh is actually in the first group to tee off (7 a.m.) from hole No. 1 in the first round, and will play alongside California’s Scott McGihon and Canada’s Kendal Yonomoto.
He’s hoping his roots here in the Roaring Fork Valley pay off, as does his knowledge of the Broadmoor course.
“I know I can play it well. I know I’m capable of shooting a good score,” Rohrbaugh said. “Yeah, I want to say make the cut, but I want to do more than make the cut. I know the golf course. Obviously, playing at altitude is comfortable for me because that’s what I do.”
On top of online streaming through USGA.org and Fox Sports Go, each round of the U.S. Senior Open will be televised live on FS1.
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