For the majority of the Indiana PGA Professional Championship, it looked like Brett Melton, CC of Old Vincennes, was untouchable. Melton headed to the final round at Kokomo CC with a five shot lead over defending champion Craig Bowden, KBS Shafts, and Adam Marshall, Eagle View GC. As the day progressed, Melton initially widened the gap, leading by eight shots after his opening five holes.
After a double bogey on the par-3, 8th, Melton's lead shrunk to six and continued to shrink from that moment forward, while Bowden gained momentum.
“I still felt comfortable heading to the back nine, but started to feel the pressure after I made bogey on 12 and Craig made birdie,” Melton said.
Melton went on to card four total bogeys on the back nine for 39, while Bowden posted 33. This six shot swing led to a playoff for the title.
“Obviously I didn’t expect to be in a playoff after having a big lead early on,” Melton said. “But I made some mistakes and that’s the way things ended up. Getting the opportunity to still have a shot at the title in the playoff felt like a restart. If this were a basketball game, I would have burned through all my timeouts at that point.”
Melton went on to make birdie on the par-4, 1st and grabbed his first Indiana PGA Professional Championship title, the one event that was missing from his Indiana Golf resume.
“This is something I have been striving for,” Melton said. “There are some really outstanding players in the section, so to get a win at this event feels very special.”
Four other players will join Melton at the 50th PGA Professional National Championship presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA, in June of 2017 at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore. Those players include: Craig Bowden, KBS Shafts, Adam Marshall, Eagle View GC, Mike O’Toole, Riverside Golf Academy, and Jeff Marsh, Brookwood GC.
Bill Schumaker of Crooked Lake GC, finished in a tie for fifth today at Kokomo CC. Due to his win at the PGA Professional National Championship in 1984, he has a life exemption for the national event.