LEESBURG – For 17 holes in Friday’s final round of the IGA Mid-Amateur at Tippecanoe Lake CC, it appeared as though Brett Widner was going to become only the second player in IGA history to win three Mid-Amateur Championships. After posting an opening round 71, Widner carded six birdies through the first 14 holes to pull away from what started out as a very congested final round leaderboard.
While Widner was making his first bogey of the day on the difficult 388-yard 16th hole, Greenwood’s Sean Rowen was rolling in an eagle putt on the 427-yard 13th hole to pull within two shots of the lead.
“I hit it great all day,” Rowen said. “I just really struggled to make anything until the eagle on 14.”
Widner rebounded from the bogey to par the 17th and entered the final hole with a two shot lead. After pulling his drive into the left trees, Widner attempted to punch a shot out in front of the green. It came out long and after catching a paved cart path ended up out of bounds. The result was a triple bogey, seven and an open door for Rowen.
“I played the right shot on 18 but just got a bad break,” Rowen said. “It’s always fun to be in the mix.”
The opening was all Rowen needed as he parred the final four holes to capture his second Mid-Amateur Championship title.
“I saw Brett was playing great all day,” Rowen said. “I just tried to hang around all day and sometimes good things happen when you hang around. I do feel sorry for Brett.”
Rowen and Widner will be part of the Indiana Golf Association Team that will compete in the USGA Team Championship in September. Rowen left after the awards ceremony for Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. where he will represent Indiana in the US Amateur Championship. It was Rowen’s fourth IGA Title of the year and gives him a commanding lead in his quest for a third straight John K David IGA Player of the Year Award.