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Cole Bradley Takes Home First State Am Title

June 21st, 2018

Cole Bradley, a sophomore at Purdue University, tapped in for birdie this afternoon to win the 118th Indiana Amateur Championship at Otter Creek GC in Columbus.  The day began with inclement weather, forcing tee times to be delayed an hour and a half.

Bradley and playing partners, Sean Rowen of Greenwood, and Baylor Payne of Martinsville, teed of this morning at 10:50 a.m. – but their time on the course was short-lived.  After two holes, all players were called back in to the clubhouse due to heavy rain – for another delay that would last more than two hours.

Heading to the par-3, 3rd, Bradley was two shots ahead of Rowen after making birdie on hole one, but an errant tee shot after the rain delay cost him two shots and his solo lead. 

From that point forward, Bradley and Rowen continued to battle back-and-forth, as they did all week.  Through five holes, Bradley led by one shot – but Rowen grabbed it back by hole 7.

The unfortunate turning point of the day took place on the par-4, 12th where a mental lapse cost Rowen a one shot penalty, incurred by violating the local lift, clean and place rules policy.

“I made the mistake and the rules committee did the right thing and notified me right then and there,” said Rowen.  “I knew I had to keep playing if I wanted to keep up with Cole.”

Rowen went on to make three birdies in his next five holes, but the one shot came back to haunt him as he headed to 16.

The rules committee deliberated and reached out to PGA National to confirm the ruling.  Rowen and his playing partners were notified in 16 fairway that he had, in fact, incurred a one shot penalty.  Due to this, his two shot lead shrunk to one.

“I wanted to know as soon as possible what the penalty would be for the good of the field,” said Rowen.  “Cole was out here trying to win a golf tournament and it was only fair for him to know how he stood with just three holes left play.”

Rowen went on to make bogey on the par-4, 17th after failing to get up-and-down from the bunker.  With two holes the play, the battling duo once again shared the lead at 11-under-par.

With two stellar approach shots on the par-4, 17th, Bradley and Rowen both put themselves in birdie range.  Rowen’s putt missed an inch outside the cup, and Bradley converted his putt to take a one shot lead heading to 18.

With two solid shots for both Rowen and Bradley, it would come down to their approach shots on the long par-5, 18th.  Bradley had about 100 yards and almost holed out, leaving himself with a tap-in birdie for the win.

“I was just trying to start the ball just right of the pin and not overdraw it,” said Bradley.  “I ended up hitting it perfect."

Rowen went on to make bogey after finding the bunker just short of the green.  Bradley would tap in for birdie and a three shot victory.

“Winning this event was definitely my goal and it feels great to accomplish that,” said Bradley.  “It gives me a lot of confidence heading into the Open in July.”

Jack Musgrave of Chesterton finished third with a four-day total of 7-under-par, 281.

Click here for full field results.