Where are they now?: Bill Rogers

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The Independent Online
IN 1981 Bill Rogers became the Open champion at Royal St George's, was a member of the United States' greatest Ryder Cup team and won a succession of tournaments in America, Australia and Japan.

Rogers' success made him a millionaire, but the pressure of playing in numerous events around the world took its toll and he began to lose his desire to compete. It was the start of one of the worst slumps in golf history.

His fall was as rapid as his rise had been. And this was a player who had been deemed too poor to be included in the University of Houston's team yet went on to win the game's most important title at the age of 28.

Rogers struggled on for several years. He played the US Tour with almost no success and gave up after the 1988 season, during which he made three cuts and little more than dollars 5,000, ( pounds 3,375).

'Starting in '86 I hardly ever played a round of golf that I didn't wish I was doing something else. That's a miserable existence,' Rogers said.

Some blamed the management group, IMG, for over-extending his schedule and allowing Rogers to burn out. However, Rogers does not and he is still one of the company's clients.

Even so, from the top of his profession Rogers had been reduced to selling sweaters and giving lessons. However, he insists that his story has had a happy ending.

Today, Rogers is content once more. He has time to spend with his family as he earns his living as the director of golf at the San Antonio Golf Club in Texas.