From the Indiana Golf Association
COLUMBUS, Ind. (July 8, 2014) -- With an ace on day one and a course record today, Austin Winings grabbed a three shot lead at Otter Creek GC heading into the final two days of the 99th Indiana Open Championship. Winings paired his 8-under-par 64 to yesterday's 67 for a two day total of 13-under-par, 131.
"When I had a wedge in my hands today, I hit it really close," said Winings, a University of Kentucky graduate and former Web.com player. "When I gave myself those opportunities I converted the putts. I had an eagle on the par-5, 1st today and that definitely got me off to a good start."
Playing under pressure at Otter Creek the next couple of days will feel familiar for Winings after his victory here in '07 at the Indiana Amateur Championship.
"I plan on treating the next couple of rounds no differently than I did today," Winings said. "I do my best not to focus too much on score and just play the best golf I possibly can. I am very happy with the position I am in, but there are still 36 holes left."
Playing in his first Indiana Open Championship in 19 years, Bloomington's Craig Bowden finds himself in the hunt after posting a two day total of 10-under-par, 134. Bowden fired back-to-back 67s during rounds one and two and looks for his third Open win.
"My distance control has been very good this week," said Bowden, a past PGA Tour player. "I have given myself chances and putted nicely. I don't get the opportunity to play very much anymore and I honestly decided to sign up this week to see if I still had it in me."
Bowden won back-to-back State Opens in '94 and '95, and at 46 years-old finds himself amongst a crowded leaderboard comprised of mostly college players.
Bluffton's McCormick Clouser is also off to a tremendous start this week at Otter Creek. Clouser added a 4-under-par 68 to his 67 yesterday for a two day total of 9-under-par, 135.
"I was all over the place off the tee today, but I still managed to hit several greens," said Clouser, a rising senior at Ball State University. "I don't think a lot of people expected me to be in this position after two days and I kind of like that I may have surprised them. Being in contention definitely takes some of the pressure off. I just plan on having fun the next two days and we'll see what happens."
Tyler Duncan and Michael Vandeventer both of Columbus, Ind. and playing at their home course this week, also find themselves right in the mix. Duncan fired a 3-under-par, 69 today to get to 8-under-par for the tournament and is five shots back.
"I got off to a slow start today and was 3-over through four holes," Duncan said. "I turned it around on the north side and was able to get myself back in contention. I feel pretty good with how I am playing and a win here in front of my friends and family would mean a lot to me."
Like Winings, Duncan has also won an Indiana Amateur Championship here at Otter Creek in 2011.
Vandeventer of the 2014 Columbus North State Championship Team, posted a 4-under-par, 68 today to get to 7-under-par for the tournament, and also has the home course advantage heading into the final two rounds.
"Ever since our post season started, I have been playing pretty solid," said Vandeventer, a soon-to-be freshman at Ball State University. "I feel great about the position I am in. 7-under-par is my best two-day total ever and I hope to continue to hit fairways and greens. I have been in similar positions before and I feel comfortable playing under pressure. I treat it like any other round of golf."
2013 Indiana PGA Player of the Year Brett Melton also posted a two day total of 7-under-par, 137. Melton looks for his second Indiana Open title this week, with his first win coming in '08 at Prairie View GC.
"In my opinion, it is easier to chase than to lead," Melton said. "I need to go out there and try to make a lot of birdies and continue to play my own game. It would mean a lot to me to win this event for a second time."
Madison's Justin Tereshko, Carmel's Brad Gehl, and Greenwood's Sean Rowen are currently tied for 7th at 4-under-par.
After today's round, the field was cut to the low 70 players including ties at 6-over-par, 150.
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