After 18-holes of the Indiana Golf Association Four Ball Championship, former Butler University teammates Matthew Vitale and Colin Reenan were not sure they would be able to shoot a low enough score to win. But on a day where most of the field struggled to make pars, the duo made timely birdies and played steady enough golf to outlast the rest of the field.
With two holes to play at Heartland Crossing Golf Links, Vitale and Reenan had a one shot lead over last year’s runners-up Brian Harris and Derek Moore in the best ball format. With a bogey on 17, Vitale and Reenan saw themselves tied with only one hole to play.
Both teams went on to par 18, forcing a playoff between Vitale and Reenan, Harris and Moore, and Marty Rifkin and Bill Miller, who finished one group ahead and posted a 9-under-par as well.
"We played aggressively both days,” Reenan said. "We assumed we would have to play better today than we did, but it just so happened that we ended up in a playoff and seized the opportunity.”
All six players teed on the par 4, 16th hole, and it was Vitale and Reenan who had the only looks at birdie. Harris and Moore made par and Rifkin had a four foot putt left to make par as well. Reenan was left with a downhill fifteen footer for birdie, which he was able to convert for the win, for he and partner Vitale.
"This is our first IGA event,” Vitale said. "We weren’t sure how the winner would be determined, but were excited when we had the opportunity to play off. We enjoyed this format because playing over the years together we have learned each other’s games and were able to aggressively fire at pins knowing our partner had safely hit the green.”
Vitale and Reenan’s round consisted of four birdies coming on the par 4, 4th hole, the par 3, 5th hole, the par 5, 13th hole, and the par 4, 16th hole. They also carded two bogeys on holes 6 and 17, which was good for a 2-under-par 70 today.
"We both agreed that we had the most fun in this tournament than we have in any tournament we have played in the past,” Reenan said. "We balanced out each other well and that showed in the playoff. We are really excited and hope to play in more events in the future.”
Former Butler teammates Kyle Thomas and Kevin Swanson tied for 4th place along with 2012 champions Bob Stephens and Joe Hillman.