Indiana Mid-Amateur: Rowen on a roll

LEESBURG, Indiana (Aug. 12, 2011) -- Opening with a birdie to start the final round of the IGA Mid Am, Sean Rowen was off to a strong start at Tippecanoe Lake CC. He began the day at 3-under after his opening round 67 and one shot behind leader David Moore. Rowen made two more birdies with one-putts at 4 and 6 before 3-putting the 9th green to make the turn at 5-under for the tournament and one ahead of eventual runner-up Sam Till.

Rowen hit a 6-iron on his approach to 11, missing by a mere three inches to record another birdie. His final birdie came at the 12th when he hit a sand wedge to 7-feet and made the putt. He maintained the top position for the rest of the day, but almost lost his lead when he chunked two shots at 15 for a double bogey. And it was a bogey at the 18th that put him 4-under total and forced a playoff with Till.

“It was an up and down day. I was in pretty good position for a while but had a rough stretch coming in,” explained Sean. “Sam played well coming in and put pressure on me to get in a playoff.”

But a repeat birdie on hole no. 1 won him his second IGA event of the week. Rowen also won the Indianapolis Amateur Aug. 6-7 with rounds of 66-69=135 at Sahm GC.

“They are two very similar courses and a lot of fun to play,” he said. “You can play them a lot of different ways.”

One similarity Sahm and Tippecanoe Lake share is their short distance and emphasis on placement, which posed a challenge for the champion who can drive the ball over 300 yards. For Rowen and other long-hitters, Tippecanoe Lake can be pretty tricky with a driver in hand.

“You can find yourself at a lot of awkward yardages. I took the driver out of my hand a lot to keep myself at full-swing yardages. I’d rather have a full sand wedge in than a half shot,” he explained.

But it was a long, down-wind drive in the playoff that put him only 163 yards out on the 483-yard, par-5 hole. Rowen selected 8-iron for his approach and stuck it to 10-feet.

Meanwhile, Till safely hit a 3-wood off the tee to the middle of the fairway and landed his approach just short left of the green. Till’s first putt was only a couple feet short, but he was unable to convert the birdie. Rowen’s two-putt birdie secured his victory.

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