After losing in a playoff three weeks ago at the Indiana PGA Southern Open, Sean Rowen of Greenwood proved he’s more than capable of bouncing back. Rowen posted a 4-under-par, 67 today at Fox Prairie GC during the opening round of the IGA Tournament of Champions and leads by three.
“The first 13 holes today were a bit of a struggle, but I really got it in gear from 14 on,” said Rowen, a two-time IGA John K. David Player of the Year.
Rowen carded three-birdies in his last four holes, with a lip-out eagle on 15.
“I really started to get into a rhythm,” Rowen said. “Overall, I hit the ball well today and gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities.”
Rowen looks for his second win at this event, with a previous win coming in 2014. He is also hoping to defend his title at the Indiana Amateur Championship this summer, among other season goals.
“It would be a great start to my season to get a win at this event,” Rowen said. “I would also love to get another State Am win and qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Team Championship. There are so many great players in Indiana and it feels great to have put myself in position heading into tomorrow.”
Joe Hayden of Fort Wayne is currently in second after posting a 1-under-par, 70.
The IGA Senior Tournament of Champions is also being held today and tomorrow at Fox Prairie. Ted Kaperak of Terre Haute and Marty Rifkin of Fort Wayne are currently tied for first after posting even par, 71s today.
“I won this event in the regular division when I was 54,” Kaperak said. “It would be special to get another win, but this time at 64 years-old and in the senior division.”
Kaperak only missed two fairways today and carded two birdies, coming on the par-5, 6th
and the par-4, 7th
“I struggled a bit with my irons today but my lag putting was very good,” Kaperak said. “I hope to hit the ball a little bit better tomorrow and give myself a chance.”
Rifkin carded two birdies as well, coming on the par-5, 1st
and the par-5, 6th
“I played really solid today,” Rifkin said. “I had a lot of birdie chances.”
Rifkin spent the majority of the winter down in Florida and has had the chance to play quite a bit in preparation for this season.
“I got back from Florida on Monday,” Rifkin said. “I’ve played a lot of golf and it paid off today. I’m really enjoying having a senior division in this event and I hope to post an under-par round tomorrow.”
The senior leaderboard is crowded with four players just one shot back at 1-over-par.
Click here for the IGA leaderboard.
Click here for the IGA Senior leaderboard.