Shelbyville’s John Browder won his first-ever IGA event today at the Senior Amateur Championship at Delaware CC. Heading to the final round, Browder was tied with former champions, Terry Werner, Dyer, and Sam Till Jr., Fort Wayne, at even par.
“My goal was to hit my driver well today,” Browder said. “I tried to keep my head steady and hit solid shots.”
On his opening nine holes, Browder grabbed an early lead carding five birdies and four pars, for a tremendous front nine, 30.
After an opening bogey on the par-4, 1st
, Till proved it was too early to count him out, carding back-to-back birdies on holes two and three and maintaining his share of the lead. With a front nine, 32, Till trailed by two shots heading to 10.
We were back-and-forth on the back nine,” Browder said. “I had a great front nine, so I just tried not to worry or get in my head about score or going low. I continued to focus on hitting good shots.”
After a birdie on the par-5, 15th
to Browder’s par, and a par to Browder’s bogey on 16, Till saw himself tied for the lead with two holes to play.
On the par-4, 17th
, Browder and Till both found themselves with tree trouble, Browder on the right and Till left of the fairway. Both players hit the green – Browder with a realistic birdie putt. Till was left with forty feet uphill. A three-putt bogey set Till back by one shot, as Browder missed his birdie but converted his par.
Trailing by one heading to 18, Till hit his drive right down the middle, while Browder missed his tee shot right of the fairway behind a tree.
Till played first, hitting his approach shot to 25 feet above the hole. Browder hit a high 56-degree wedge over the tree, coming up just short of the green in the fringe.
Both players went on to two-putt, giving Browder his first-ever IGA win.
“Coming into this event, my goal was to finish in the top five,” Browder said. “I haven’t played very well this year, so a win wasn’t on my mind. But it feels good.”
Till finished runner-up today at 2-under-par, followed by Werner who finished third at 1-over-par.
In the Super Senior Division, Michael Stephens captured his first IGA title with a tournament total of 1-over-par, 141. Skip Runnels turned in the round of the day with a 1-under-par, 69, to capture solo second at +4. Stephens led wire-to-wire after an even par round of 70 in round 1.
Apart from a tough break on the par 5, 4th
hole, which led to a double bogey, Stephens played the other 17 holes in 1-under-par and closed with a birdie on 18.
“I played with Ron Carter last year and he beat me, I learned a lot from him watching how he was playing. I tried to go for the middle of the green and not go for pins and it paid off.”
Carter cut Stephens’ lead to just one with a birdie on 14, but Stephens held him off playing the final four holes in 1-under.
Tough up and downs on the sixth and 13th
holes kept Stephens from dropping multiple shots throughout the round and allowed him to maintain his advantage throughout the day.
Stephens was a runner-up to Carter last year but got his redemption on a course he is very comfortable on. Growing up in Muncie, Stephens won club championships at Delaware CC and competed in other amateur events at the course growing up.
“I love this golf course so for me this is like home for me.”
Find final results from the Senior and Super Senior Amateur Championships here:
Super Senior: https://iga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/iga19/event/iga1972/contest/1/leaderboard.htm