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Hildebrand Makes History at State Open

Jul 9, 2015

At just 18 years-old, Timothy Hildebrand of Westfield becomes the second youngest player to ever win the State Open.  In 1970, Billy Krazert III won the Open after just turning 18. Forty five years later, Hildebrand posts a tremendous four day total of 16-under-par, 272 making history at Brickyard Crossing GC for the Indiana Open Championship's centennial year.

Due to inclement weather on Tuesday afternoon, most of the second round was postponed until Wednesday.  On Wednesday evening, the field was cut to the low 70 players and ties at 7-over-par, 151, making for a 36-hole finale today. 

Playing in the lead group with Hildebrand was Adam Schenk, the 2013 Indiana Amateur Champion and Eric Steger, the 2010 Indiana Amateur Champion.  Both are members of the PGA Tour Latin America. Needless to say, Schenk and Steger put the pressure on today, but Hildebrand proved unwavering.

“I was really looking forward to playing with Adam and Eric today,” Hildebrand said.  “The chance to play with two professionals golfers that I have looked up to for a really long time was a humbling experience.  I definitely felt the nerves and am so relieved I was able to stay composed.”

After round three was competed this morning, Hildebrand headed to the final round with a five shot lead over Schenk and Steger at 14-under-par. As the day progressed, the professionals attempted to close the gap.

Schenk made five birdies in his opening six holes and after Hildebrand’s three-putt bogey on the par-4, 8th Schenk saw himself within one shot of the lead.

“After I made bogey on 8 I knew I needed to stay focused,” Hildebrand said.  “We made the turn and I tried to mentally switch to match play.  I convinced myself that Adam and I were all square with nine to play, and I knew I needed to go up on the back nine to win.”

Hildebrand made birdies on holes 10 and 12 and his lead grew to three.  Schenk responded with a birdie on the short par-4, 14th, to close the gap to two with four holes to play.  At that time, Steger was at 10-under-par and would not be able to catch the leaders.

On the par-5, 15th Hildebrand and Schenk both struggled off the tee, Schenk up against the out of bounds fence and Hildebrand on the opposite side of the creek, with the only option of laying up.  Both Schenk and Hildebrand saved par and headed to 16 two shots apart. 

On the par-4, 16th Hildebrand’s drive found the center of the fairway and Schenk’s found the right tree line.  With hardly any backswing due to a tree branch, Schenk punched out, but failed to get up-and-down for par.  Hildebrand saw his lead grow to three.  Although he ended his day with a bogey on 18, he was able to grab a two shot victory and his first Indiana Golf win.

“It feels pretty incredible,” Hildebrand said.  “I knew my game was in good shape, but I didn’t know that I had the potential to win this event.  My goal was to post two under-par rounds this week, and to be able to post four in a row with this outcome, I definitely feel like I’ve gained some confidence.”

By his side this week was his 13 year-old brother Danny, a member of Westfield's Middle School Golf team. 

“Danny really stuck with me and kept my head in the game,” Hildebrand said.  “He knows how to make me laugh and he is a great golfer himself, so it was an awesome experience having him by my side."

Danny walked alongside Timmy for 36-holes today and says he really looks up to his brother.

“Everyone kept coming up to me and asking me if I was going to make it,” Danny said.  “It was pretty tough out there and mentally exhausting.  I loved it though.  I have always looked up to Timmy and it was very special to be a part of this win with him.”

Hildebrand was a member of Westfield High school's 2015 State Championship Team and will attend Purdue University this fall. 

“This win makes me feel like I do have the game to compete at a higher level,” Hildebrand said.  “I didn’t know what to expect coming into this event, but I feel so grateful for the outcome.  Walking off 18 a champion was an incredible moment.”

Although Schenk did not have the outcome he had hoped for, he played tremendously this week, posting a four day total of 14-under-par, 274.  Steger finished third at 10-under-par.

Click here for full field results.