A birdie-bogey swing on the short par-4, 15th propelled Noah Gillard of Greenwood to his first Indiana Amateur Championship title. The oldest and most prestigious amateur golf event in the state was contested at the Country Club of Indianapolis for its 120th Anniversary.
The University of Illinois junior found himself in second place after round two, carding 68, 67 for a 36-hole total of 5-under-par, 135. Just one shot back to Austin Vukovits, of Noblesville, heading to the final round, Gillard began gaining momentum after early birdies on holes three and four and grabbed a share of the lead.
It wasn’t until the par-4, 9th
that the lead group made their first bogey of the day, carded by Vukovits, giving Gillard a one shot lead heading to the back nine.
On the par-4, 10th
Gillard carded his first and only bogey of the round, and once again saw himself tied for the lead. Vukovits went on to make bogey on 11, and Gillard grabbed a lead again - which he never relinquished.
On the drivable par-4, 15th
, Vukovits' tee shot found the green, but he went on to three-putt for par. Meanwhile, Gillard hit his drive short left of the green, but chipped it up to eight feet and made his birdie putt to grab a two shot lead with only three holes to play.
“I hit a good chip to eight feet and right from the get go I was really confident that I was going to make it,” said Gillard.
Vukovits went on to make bogey on the par-3, 16th
and Gillard grabbed a three shot lead with only two holes to play.
“I never really felt like I had won until the very end,” said Gillard. “Golf is the craziest sport and anything can happen. I kept sticking to my game plan of staying patient and playing conservatively and was pretty fortunate.”
Gillard finished the event with tremendous back-to-back birdies on holes 17 and 18 to win the event by a remarkable five shots over Vukovits. He posted a 4-under-par, 66 today, for a 54-hole total of 9-under-par, 201.
“The adrenaline was going and I was definitely nervous today, but that’s what you want out here,” said Gillard. “I remember growing up as a kid and hearing about people who had won the Indiana Am and wondering how that was possible. I’m really thankful to have won today and feel super blessed.”
Gillard adds an Indiana Amateur Championship title to his list of accomplishments, which also includes an IHSAA individual and team championship title in 2017 with Center Grove High School.
Ty Gingerich of Russiaville finished third at 2-under-par, 208. Thank you to the Country Club of Indianapolis for hosting this year's event!
for full field results.