In early 2018, Doug Rohrbaugh made it a goal this year to win the Dow Finsterwald OMEGA Player of the Year and the OMEGA Senior Play of the Year Awards. He did just that as the Basalt, Colo. Professional claimed both honors following the 2018 West Chapter Championship.
“I had never won the regular Player of the Year before,” Rohrbaugh noted. “I feel like it was the only thing missing from my Colorado PGA playing resume. I came close a few times but could never play enough events to keep up in the points. After getting off to a good start this year, I told my wife that I had to go for it!” He followed that up by stating “nothing is more gratifying than achieving your goals in anything you do in life.”
Rohrbaugh’s year included not one but two Senior Majors as he competed in the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Michigan and in the 2018 US Senior Open at The Broadmoor.
“A few years back when the Broadmoor was announced to host the US Senior Open, I immediately made it a goal to qualify for it,” noted Rohrbaugh. “Nothing could be much better than playing a tour major in your back yard so to actually make it in was amazing. On top of that, to also have my good friend Chris Johnson make it was icing on the cake. We got to experience it together.”
If competing in a major championship in his own backyard wasn’t enough, Rohrbaugh had a special guest join him as he hit the opening tee-shot at the championship on Thursday morning. “When I saw that I would be the first tee shot to start the Open, I got goose bumps. But the biggest moment was when I was standing on the tee and I see my father (81 years old) sitting right next to the tee marker. I got very emotional and had to go sit next to him and gather myself. (I’ve) never had that happen to me before; it was priceless.”
Rohrbaugh, who took a position teaching at the Snowmass Club and serving as a Sales Rep for AndersonOrd Apparel, was able to compete in Section events more this year than ever before. “I put over 20,000 miles on the car since April,” he said of the distance he had to travel. “I’m not sure if I will do it again.”
Known as one of the most consistent golfers in the state, Rohrbaugh relied on those skills throughout the year, rarely recording a bad round. “I just relied on overall consistency,” Doug noted. “For the most part, I never got into big trouble this year. (I) shot even-par or a couple under a lot with few good low rounds. Twenty-two of twenty-nine rounds were at even-par or better.”
Rohrbaugh distanced himself from the rest of the members in the Section by finishing in a tie for first at six individual events in 2018; a Stroke Play event at Boulder Country Club, the Blackstone Country Club Pro Am, the Lakewood Country Club Pro Am, the Pro-Lady at Red Rocks Country Club, the Eisenhower Golf Club Pro Am and the season-long Match Play Championship. Additionally, he partnered with John Lynch to win the Myran Craig Pro-Pro Championship at Colorado Golf Club. He capped off the year by finishing tied for second place at the Colorado PGA Professional Championship at TPC Colorado after posting rounds of 75-70-74-219.
Not only did Rohrbaugh claim the Dow Finsterwald OMEGA Player of the Year, he also ran away with the OMEGA Senior Player of the Year title. In addition to the other events previously noted, he claimed top honors at the US Senior Open Sectional Qualifier and tied for tenth at the CoBank Colorado Senior Open. He also posted a T5 finish in the Colorado Senior PGA Professional Championship at Black Bear Golf Club.
“It is certainly a big honor to win both,” noted Rohrbaugh. “Whenever you are the first to do something it usually means it was very difficult; this was no exception. I have been asked many times why I have played so well since turning 50. I really cannot give a good answer to that. The obvious might be experience/maturity. The only thing I can say is I thought of turning 50 as my fountain of youth rather than “you’re over the hill”.”