BUCKHANNON - For Mike Rogers, walking down the final fairway on the last day of the West Virginia Open and playing in the same group as his son Jeremy would be a dream come true.
Jeremy, a junior-to-be at Marshall University, isn't so sure about that, though he does admit it would be a special moment that not many families will ever share.
"It would be special because he's the reason I started playing golf," Jeremy Rogers said. "But I'm not sure how much I would like it because we're both pretty competitive.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Mike Rogers, left, watches his son Jeremy tee off during a day of practice at the Riverbend Golf Course in Buckhannon. The father-son duo will both be playing in this week's West Virginia Open at the Edgewood course in Sissonville.
"If I started beating him, it may be an awkward car ride home."
The two had a taste of how things might be a few weeks ago when Mike Rogers struggled at a tournament in Pennsylvania, while Jeremy made the cut for the final day.
The two have an on-going bet that whoever does not make the cut for the final day has to carry the other's bag.
"It's a family feud thing," Mike Rogers said. "I tell him, 'I hope you know you're playing for second.' But I would love nothing more than to play in the last group with him. It would be a treat for me. I would be up there trying to him. Afterward, I would shake his hand and say, 'You still can't beat the old man.' But if he did beat me, I would give him a big hug after we got done."
The pair will have a chance to see if that dream comes true when the West Virginia Open gets under way Wednesday at the Edgewood Country Club in Sissonville. Mike Rogers, a PGA Professional who owns and operates the Riverbend Golf Club, was exempt from qualifying after his finish last year. Jeremy had to go through the qualifying wringer again this spring, and he finished third at a qualifying event at Lakeview Resort when he fired a 74.
Jeremy Rogers will be playing in his fourth state championship tournament, and he has had to play his way in each year.
"I have gone through so many of these that it has become an everyday tournament for me," Jeremy Rogers said.
While Jeremy Rogers has missed the cut in each of his previous three tournaments, Mike Rogers goes out each year hoping to win.
"I haven't and probably never will," Mike Rogers says with a laugh. "There are so many guys in the state that talent-wise are better than me. I've shown flashes of brilliance, and I've had rounds where it looks like I've never played golf before.
"There is always that possibility for me to win," he continued. "I go every year playing to win. But you have to play near flawless golf for three straight days."
Both said they like the challenge the Edgewood layout provides, saying the obstacles scattered throughout the 18 holes make the course play longer than it actually is.
"Edgewood is a pretty good course for my game," Jeremy Rogers said. "It's a long course, but there are some holes you need to lay back so you can keep out of trouble."
Mike Rogers said that trouble forces golfers to think about their shots instead of just trying to rip it down the fairway.
"Some holes, you're not hitting a driver off the tee," he said. "You have to hit it shorter to keep the ball out of trouble."
David Bradshaw is the defending West Virginia Open champion, and he has won the tournament since 2004.