The leaderboard was crowded heading to the final round of the IGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Ackerman-Allen Course in West Lafayette. Adam Mallory, Noblesville, led the field at -6, followed by Greg Chalas, Carmel, and Brett Widner, Avon, at -3, and several players in contention.
As the day progressed, there wasn’t a clear front-runner as Mallory and Chalas continued to play steady, and Sean Rowen, Greenwood, who began the day at -2, made early birdies to give himself a shot at the title.
Making the turn, Rowen had a one-shot lead at -7 over-par over Mallory. With errant tee shots on holes 10 and 11, Rowen fell to -4 and Chalas began to work his way towards the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on 10.
Thru 12, Chalas and Mallory shared the lead at -5, and the duo continued to battle until the very end. But the rest of the field didn’t give up.
Playing five groups ahead and posting 1-over-par yesterday, Eric Gessner, Avon, carded 66 today to finish the tournament at 5-under-par - also giving himself a realistic look at a victory.
Thru 15, Chalas and Mallory were also tied at 5-under-par and Gessner was the current leader in the clubhouse.
With an eagle on 16, Rowen proved his round wasn’t over yet - jumping to the top of the leaderboard once again at 6-under-par. Chalas, Mallory, and Gessner trailed by one.
"That was huge," Rowen said. "I was 4-under and I knew Chalas and Mallory were at 5-under, so I knew I needed to at the very least make birdie to have a chance."
On 16, Mallory hit his second shot in the penalty area and went on to make double bogey, falling to 3-over-par for the tournament. Chalas made par to remain 5-under-par and trailed Rowen by one shot with two holes to play.
Both Rowen and Chalas went on to make pars on holes 17 and 18, giving Rowen a one-shot victory.
"It means a lot to win today," Rowen said. "I played really well both days, but I had a couple of stretches where I lost attention. It's nice to know I can play with this good of competition."
This is Rowen’s third Mid-Amateur Championship title, with previous wins coming in ‘11 and ‘16. Chalas and Gessner finished runner-up today at 5-under-par.