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Sean Rowen extends lead to three at Indiana Amateur
36-hole leader Sean Rowen (IGA photo)
36-hole leader Sean Rowen (IGA photo)
COLUMBUS, Ind. — After 36 holes, the lead is three at the 115th Indiana Amateur Championship. Sean Rowen of Greenwood maintained his first round lead today at Otter Creek GC in Columbus after adding a 3-under- par, 69 to yesterday’s 68. The 2014 IGA John K. David Player of the Year looks for his first ever State Am title, with the possibility to win in wire-to-wire fashion.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to win a State Am and for one reason or another it has yet to work out,” Rowen said. “If I were able to finish it off, that would be very special and to win wire-to-wire would be an added bonus.”

Rowen’s 7-under-par 36-hole total is a tremendous start for the State Am. He attributes his success so far this week to the visually appealing course.

“Otter Creek just sets up really well for my game,” Rowen said. “For the most part, I’m a straight hitter and with the rough being so thick, keeping the ball in the fairway is very important. Hole six can be a nemesis of mine and I am yet to figure out the best way to play it. Other than that I feel very confident out here.”

Finishing in a close second on day two was Andrew Havill of Carmel who put the pressure on with an ace on the 146 yard, par-3, 8th and a round two score of 5-under-par, 67.

“It was into the wind, blowing a little left to right and I hit a choke down 9-iron,” Havill said. “It hovered in the air for a second and then the wind grabbed it and it rolled right towards the cup. I yelled ‘go in’ and it did!”

Havill is a rising junior at Indiana University and looks for his first win in an Indiana Golf event. His best finish to-date came at the Indiana PGA Northern Open, where he finished runner-up at Kampen GC in West Lafayette.

“My round was bogey free today and I hit the ball really well,” Havill said. “At this point I’m right where I want to be. Coming into this event, I felt like I had the game to put myself in contention, but the competition is great and I know it will take tremendous golf the next couple of days to win it.”

Rylan Porter of Mooresville has also proved to be a player to watch this week. Porter posted a 3-under-par, 69 this morning and stands alone in third at 3-under-par.

“The position I’m in is right where I want to be,” Porter said. “Every year my goal is to finish high enough to be exempt for the following year, but this year I felt like I actually had a chance to contend and I hope to be in a similar position heading to the final round.”

Playing on their home course, 2014 IHSAA State Co-Champions and former high school teammates Christian Fairbanks and Michael VanDeventer find themselves once again tied and near the top of the leaderboard. Fairbanks and VanDeventer posted 36-hole totals of 2- under-par, 142.

“Thinking ahead hurt me a little bit today, but I’m still excited to be in this position,” said Fairbanks, a rising sophomore at Indiana University. “I’ve aimed at the same trees, signs and landmarks for years, so it is important to be specific when choosing targets and to continue to go through the process, despite knowing the course so well.”

Fairbanks has his dad on the bag and will have his former teammate by his side for tomorrow’s round.

“There will definitely be some friendly competition tomorrow between me and Fairbanks,” VanDeventer said. “It might work in our advantage to be paired together because it will feel like a casual round on our home course.”

VanDeventer, a rising sophomore at Ball State University, added a 3-under-par to yesterday’s 73 to put himself in this position and says a win at Otter Creek would be very special.

“If I were able to win this event it would really mean a lot to me. It’s a big tournament with some great players. It would be an honor to be deemed the state’s top amateur.”

Jeffrey Mayer of Garret also posted a two day total of 2-under-par, 142 and is tied for fourth.

After today’s round the field was cut to the low 60 players and ties at 8-over-par, 152.

Tee times will begin tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.

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