Indianapolis’ Mike Bell made a routine two-putt par on the first sudden death playoff hole to defeat Dave Carich and capture the 2013 Indiana PGA Senior Open held at The Legends GC in Franklin. Both players finished the tournament with totals of 143, 1-under-par for the two day event.
Bell, the co-leader heading into the final round, did not get off to the start he had hoped for carding three bogeys on his first five holes.
“I three-putted the first hole which is never how you hope to start,” Bell said. “After making three bogeys I knew I couldn’t give up and figured if I could finish well enough to shoot 74 then I might have a chance.”
During the middle stretch of his round Bell, the 2006 US Senior Amateur Champion, was able to turn things around making birdies on the par 3, 7th hole, the par 4, 9th hole, the par 5, 10th hole, and the par 4, 12th hole.
On the par 5, 15th hole, Bell saved bogey after finding the water on his tee shot, which he said was absolutely necessary to keep himself in contention. He followed up this bogey save with a birdie on 16 to get himself back to 1-under-par and tied for the lead with Carich, a pro at The Bridgewater Club.
“The highlight of my round definitely came on the 17th hole,” Bell said. “I pulled my second shot left of the green and hit a lousy chip shot. I mentally prepared myself for the 35 footer I had left and was able to make it.”
Bell got-up-and-down from the sand on 18 to save par and force the playoff with Carich.
“I feel blessed to be quite honest,” Bell said. “At 65 you don’t expect to be able to compete with 50 year-olds. I am very fortunate to be in good health and still be able to play competitively at my age. It is an honor to win and something I didn’t expect.”
This is Bell’s second Senior Open title, with a previous win coming in ’99,
Quinn Griffing of Donald Ross GC finished alone in third place with a two day total of 144, even par for the tournament.Click here for full field results.