Four-under-par was the score to beat today at Prairie View Golf Club during the opening round of the 103rd
Indiana Open Championship. Chris Smith (Peru), Jake Brown (Carmel), Ryan Ford (Sarah Shank Golf Course), and Andy Winings (Fishers) share the lead after firing 68s across the difficult Prairie View layout.
“My first time playing here was Friday,” said Smith. “I played okay today, but I’m definitely still trying to figure it out.”
Smith, a former PGA Tour Player and Indiana Golf Hall of Fame Member, last participated in an Indiana Open in 1987 and says a win this week would be special.
“For the last 31 years this tournament has been in the back of my head,” Smith said. “I’m probably more proud of my Indiana Golf accomplishments than anything else and I’m really excited to be out here this week. A win would be very special – that’s for sure.”
Jake Brown, a senior at Indiana University, finished in a tie for seventh along with co-leader, Ryan Ford, at last year’s Indiana Open, and finds himself in contention this year right out of the gate.
“This was my home course in high school, so it’s fun to be back out here,” Brown said. “And I hit the ball further – so that’s making the course a little bit different than I remember. If I can keep hitting the ball solid and keep bogeys out of play, it should be a really good week.”
Ryan Ford, who also finished in the top-ten in last year’s event, finds himself in a solid position heading into tomorrow after carding eight birdies during today’s round.
“I saw a couple of difficult putts go in early and that definitely gave me some confidence,” Ford said. “The hole seemed twice as big today, so that’s always a great feeling.”
Andy Winings, 2010 Indiana Open Runner-up, also sits at the top of the leaderboard. Winings has played professionally for the last nine years and says this was his first competitive round since last September.
“I played well today and am especially happy with it considering the circumstances,” Winings said. “I haven’t played much golf at all lately – and to win this week would definitely be special.”
Cole Bradley, 2018 Indiana Amateur Champion, Graham McAree, Fishers, and Patrick Allgeier, West Lafayette, are currently tied for fourth at 3-under-par.
Click here for full field results.