CHESTERTON, IN (July 22, 2016) -- Ian Holt came from three shots behind on the final day and won the Northern Amateur at Sand Creek Country Club. Holt finished 10-under and four-strokes in front of Hayden Springer and the leader after each of the first two rounds, Luigi Botta.
"I'm really pumped," Holt told the Chicago Tribune. "This is the first big tournament I've won."
Playing together, both Botta and Holt got off to quick starts with birdies on the opening hole. In fact during the first nine holes of the day Holt, a junior at Kent State, only picked up one shot on Botta. At the turn Botta was 9-under and Holt was 7-under.
However, on the closing nine Holt made a quick move with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 to tie for the lead at 9-under. Holt did bogey the ensuing hole, but so did Botta, a junior at Missouri, and the two remained tied with six holes to go.
With the holes dwindling Botta began to leak oil as he followed up his 12th hole bogey with two more on holes 14 and 16 to drop to 6-under. While this was happening, Holt continued to be play steady golf with mostly pars and then a tournament sealing birdie on the 15th.
The win at the Northern Amateur is Holt's second win of the summer after previously winning the Northeast Ohio Amateur in wire-to-wire fashion. Holt, who didn't miss a green all day, was also an All-MAC first teamer at Kent State this past season.
"It was nice, I just plodded along and made a couple of putts along the way," said Holt.
Holt's victory marks the second straight year that a Kent State product has won the Northern Amateur. Last year it was Chase Johnson, who finished his title defense tied for 45th.
Texas Tech sophomore Hayden Springer finished tied with Botta at 6-under following 54-hole scores of 71-68-71. Springer was in the hunt until a costly double-bogey on the 16th hole.
Reed Hrynewich (Michigan) and Australian Dale Williamson shared fourth at 5-under.
-The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story