LEESBURG, Indiana (Aug. 10, 2012) -- Kokomo’s Brian Harris captured his second Indiana Golf Association title in a 2-hole play-off over Valparaiso’s Dave Vlasic. Harris posted the only under par round of the day to erase a four shot deficit.
Harris fired an opening round 73 over the 6,400 yard Delaware Country Club layout and was in a tie for 16th place entering Friday’s final round. He found himself seven groups away from the leaders and out of the spotlight.
“It’s the only way I could have won,” said Harris of his position in the field. “If I was in the last (lead) group I would have shot 80,” Harris added.
Harris opened the day with a birdie on the difficult 444 yard par 4 first. He added a bogey on the 426 yard par 4, 5th hole to post an even par 35 on the front nine. Meanwhile, virtually everyone ahead of Harris was struggling.
Vlasic, the 2004 Mid-Amateur Champion, was one of only two players in the field to break par on the front nine, firing a 1-under par 34 to pull into a tie for the lead with Aaron Walters at even par. Harris was just 2 back at 2-over par. Harris opened the back nine with four straight pars before making a birdie 2 on the 115 yard, par 3, 14th. He added four more pars for his 1-under par total.
“I thought I needed to be 4-under to have a chance,” said Harris. “But, it was windy and the course played long. I played pretty steady,” said Harris. “I had five bogeys and three birdies in the two rounds,” he added.
Walters started the back nine with a string of 2 bogeys and a double bogey and eventually finished in a tie for 3rd one shot off the pace. Vlasic meanwhile, followed up his birdie 3 on the par 4, ninth hole, with birdies on 10 and 11to go to 3-under for the day and take the tournament lead at 2-under par. He would struggle down the stretch with bogeys at 12, 16, 17 and 18.
In spite of the finish, Vlasic was pleased with his performance. “I played really good,” he said. “I didn’t want to know where I stood on the back nine and it helped me not knowing. I still bogeyed the last 3 holes. You still have to hit good shots and I just made some mistakes.”
Both players pared the opening playoff hole. Harris drove the ball into the fairway on the par 4, 439 yard, 2nd hole while Vlasic found trouble off the tee in the trees to the left. Vlasic was forced to play his second shot to the right of the green and ended up with a bogey 5. Harris meanwhile played his approach to within 20 feet of the hole and two-putted for the victory.
It was Harris’ second IGA title to go with his 2010 victory in the IGA Tournament of Champions.
The IGA Mid-Amateur is open to Indiana amateur players who are 30 years of age and over.