In a day that saw the Pete Dye Course at French Lick take a toll on much of the field due to windy conditions, two-time defending champion, Noah Gillard, fired a back nine 32 to pull into the lead.
After posting a 3 over par, 39, over his first nine holes, Gillard, from Greenwood, rallied with 4 birdies on the back nine to finish the day at 1 under par (71). He takes a 3 shot lead into the final 18 holes Wednesday.
“I knew today was going to play a lot tougher, so I just stayed patient and tried not to make any big numbers. My couple Bogeys on the front were mostly par fives, so I was playing well all day” says Gillard.
The scoring average for Round 2 over the 7,100 layout increased by over a half a stroke from Monday’s round.
Gillard says his mental approach will be the same going into the final round of the Indiana State Amateur Championship.
“It’s the same game plan, whether I am up or down five. I’m not going to change anything off the tee. My game plan is just to stay patient and try to play smart” says Gillard.
A win would make Gillard one of just 5 to have won the State Amateur 3 times. He would become one of only 3 players to win three State Amateurs in a row.
Danville’s Taylor Gardner currently sits in second place with a two-day total of 1-under par 143 (73,70). One stroke behind Gardner in a tie for third is Avon’s Brett Widner and Carmels Luke Prall.
One of the more impressive rounds of the day came from 75 year old Indiana Golf Hall of Famer, Mike Bell, who posted a 2 under par, 70, tying for the low round of the day.. Bell posted a back-nine 33.
“Yesterday I didn’t really hit it that badly, but the problem was yesterday I kept knicking myself by just missing the green, or just missing the fairway”, said Bell. “Today I hit most of the fairways and when I didn’t hit a fairway, it was in a decent enough place where I could hit it.”
He added, “I just feel so blessed that at 75 years old, I can go out there and play with twenty year olds. What other sport in the world could you do that? So, I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. If I play good, terrific. If I don’t, I don’t worry about it. I was just thrilled, today I was lucky and everything worked well. You know how golf is.”
66 players made the final round cut which was +12, the highest in recent history. The final round will begin tomorrow at 8:00 am.
For full results after the second round of the IGA Indiana State Amateur, click here.