CARMEL, Ind. — After a round of highs and lows during a rainy Indiana Senior Amateur Championship at Prairie View GC, it was only fitting that Defending Champion Bob Stephens chipped in for birdie to win in a playoff.
With a double bogey on the par-4, 17th, Stephens, Indianapolis, headed to 18 tied with Robin Rubrecht of Evansville and one shot behind leader Mike Bell, also of Indianapolis.
“After 17 I knew I still had a chance so I focused on hitting a good tee ball and giving myself a look at birdie,” Stephens said. “Mike (Bell) had been playing solid all day so I figured there was no way he would make bogey. I knew if I wanted a chance I had to make birdie.”
Bell’s second shot found thick rough bordering the fairway, forcing him to layup behind the creek in three. After a pushed approach shot, Bell made his first bogey of the tournament, opening the door for Stephens and Rubrecht. Both Stephens and Rubrecht sunk birdie putts to finish the tournament at 3-under-par, one shot ahead of Bell.
They headed to the par-4, 1st for the playoff, where Stephens missed the green left and Rubrecht put his approach shot to 4 feet.
“I took the pin out because I knew I had to make it,” Stephens said. “Robin had already made eight birdies today, so I knew he was going to make his putt. I hit a great chip and it went in.”
After Stephen’s tremendous hole-out, Rubrecht missed his short birdie attempt, and Stephens claimed his second Senior Amateur title. “I’m very proud I was able to defend my title,” said Stephens, Senior Amateur Champion in ’14. “The field is always great and you have to play really well to beat these guys.”
Stephens is also a two-time IGA Senior Player of the Year, and is currently first in the points standings for this year’s title.
“If I were able to win three out of the last four titles, it would honestly be a huge surprise,” Stephens said. “It would be really special.”
View results for Indiana Senior Amateur Golf Championship