The final round of the PGA Indianapolis Open concluded with a surprising turn of events and a bombshell finish from Eric Steger, who walked onto the first tee box today sitting at a staggering 7-under par.
“Today I tried to come in with no expectations but be aggressive and play safe, or play smart rather, and make good decisions,” Steger said.
Steger started off the second round strong with pars through the first three holes, as well as a birdie on hole 4. The momentum shifted with two bogeys on hole 6 and 8 to sit 1-over at the turn.
“It's amazing the difference a day can make. Yesterday, I really couldn't miss. I was making putts and the swing was flawless. Today I was definitely in search-mode for most of the day, which is not fun. I was lucky to have a decent lead there in the beginning but slowly as the day progressed, it dwindled down and I think it got to a one or two stroke lead. And then I made a couple lousy swings to finish up, which got me into a playoff” Steger said.
Austin Vukovits also made the turn sitting 1-over par but came through full force with five birdies on the back side including one on hole 16, which put him in second place all by himself. With Steger’s double on 18, both Vukovits and Steger finished at 3-under par and put them in a playoff.
“I tried to find the fairway on 18, so I hit hybrid and left 225 in, which is a lot but it’s a pretty big green, so I hit a 4 iron to 50 feet and made it on a similar line that I had earlier, so I kind of knew it was going to break left. But it broke 4 feet and was 50ft away, so it was kind of lucky but it went at perfect speed” Steger said.
When asked what he was thinking while lining up the 50 ft birdie putt, Steger said, “I knew what it was going to do. I just wanted to focus on good speed and get it up there relatively close to not have to worry about par, because he (Vukovits) was still off the green chipping. So halfway there, I almost started walking but I didn’t because I was like, well it has good speed so I shouldn't have to worry about the next one, and it just kind of fell in the left corner and I was shocked”.
Steger previously won the 2011 PGA Indianapolis Open as an Amateur at the Brickyard, and after today, is the first to ever win a PGA Indianapolis Open as both an Amateur and PGA Professional.
“It's awesome. As a Pro, it's one of the bigger events we have, it's a big field, on a great golf course, great set-up, and it feels great to come out on top. It took a little bit extra and it was a grind for sure” Steger said.
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