(Franklin, Ind.) – The Indiana Golf Association’s 113th Indiana Amateur Championship begins Monday June 17, 2013 at South Bend Country Club in South Bend, Ind. This is the oldest and most prestigious golf tournament in the state. Defending champion Tyler Merkel will not be participating this year, leaving the title open to the 156 players in the field comprised of the state’s top amateurs. Last year’s runner-up Scott Pieri, however, will return and is looking to rise above his second place finish.
Greenwood’s Sean Rowen will be a player to watch this year as well. Rowen finished 11th in last year’s State Am, but was alone in the lead heading into the third round of competition. Evansville’s Ryan Terry will also return to this year’s event, and although he did not have the finish he hoped for last year, he started off the event with a lead after day one proving he has the talent to compete against the best players in the state.
In 2009, the State Am was to be contested at South Bend CC, but heavy spring rains caused the lake bordering the course to crest the seawall causing extensive damage and requiring the State Am to relocate Rock Hollow.
"Four years later we are excited to have the opportunity to host the 2013 Indiana State Amateur,” said Justin DeFont, Head PGA Professional at South Bend CC. "Many improvements have been made to the course in the last few years, resulting in pristine conditions for this year’s event. We are looking forward to hosting the best amateur golfers in the state and watching them compete at a course we are proud to call home.”
Indiana’s senior amateurs are not backing down to the next generation. This year’s field has nine players in their 50s and seven players who are 60 and over.
Four players will attempt to put their name on the State Amateur trophy with barely a driver’s license to their name. Isaac Badry and Cameron Smith, both of Peru, Ryan Ward, Indianapolis, and Timothy Hildebrand, Carmel, are the youngest players in the field at 16 years of age.
About the Indiana Golf Association
During a meeting at the Country Club of Indianapolis in early 1900, representatives from golf clubs across the state decided a State Amateur Championship would be held to determine the best golfer in Indiana, thus creating the Indiana Golf Association (IGA). In 1967, the IGA along with all other state golf associations adopted the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) handicap system, enabling golfers of all skill levels to compete on an equitable basis. Today, the IGA continues to provide handicaps and administer championship tournaments to amateur golfers throughout Indiana.
About South Bend Country Club
Our 18-hole golf course, the site of the 1935 Western Open, is deceptively challenging, and Tommy Armour labeled South Bend Country Club as "The sweetheart golf course of the Midwest.” Meticulously cared for, it plays 6500 yards over bent grass fairways and greens complemented by water, bunkers, and rolling, tree-studded hills.
Natural lakes come into play on seven holes and are visible on several more. An acre of bent grass practice tee area, a bunkered practice green and a large practice putting green are designed as part of the course’s backdrop.