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Stephens Defends and Crouch Grabs First Win

Sep 11, 2015

After a round of highs and lows during a rainy Senior Amateur Championship at Prairie View GC, it was only fitting that Defending Champion Bob Stephens chipped in for birdie to win in a playoff. 

With a double bogey on the par-4, 17th, Stephens, Indianapolis, headed to 18 tied with Robin Rubrecht of Evansville and one shot behind leader Mike Bell, also of Indianapolis.

“After 17 I knew I still had a chance so I focused on hitting a good tee ball and giving myself a look at birdie,” Stephens said.  “Mike (Bell) had been playing solid all day so I figured there was no way he would make bogey.  I knew if I wanted a chance I had to make birdie.”

Bell’s second shot found thick rough bordering the fairway, forcing him to layup behind the creek in three.  After a pushed approach shot, Bell made his first bogey of the tournament, opening the door for Stephens and Rubrecht.  Both Stephens and Rubrecht sunk birdie putts to finish the tournament at 3-under-par, one shot ahead of Bell.

They headed to the par-4, 1st for the playoff, where Stephens missed the green left and Rubrecht put his approach shot to 4 feet.

“I took the pin out because I knew I had to make it,” Stephens said.  “Robin had already made eight birdies today, so I knew he was going to make his putt.  I hit a great chip and it went in.”

After Stephen’s tremendous hole-out, Rubrecht missed his short birdie attempt, and Stephens claimed his second Senior Amateur title.

“I’m very proud I was able to defend my title,” said Stephens, Senior Amateur Champion in ’14.  “The field is always great and you have to play really well to beat these guys.”

Stephens is also a two-time IGA Senior Player of the Year, and is currently first in the points standings for this year’s title.

“If I were able to win three out of the last four titles, it would honestly be a huge surprise,” Stephens said.  “It would be really special.”

Indianapolis’ Jerry Crouch was our Super-Senior Champion this afternoon after posting a 36-hole total of even par, 144.  This is his first individual IGA title.

Crouch’s only hiccup of the day came on the par-4, 5th where he bladed a bunker shot into a bush and was forced to take an unplayable lie.  Two holes later, he too, proved that golf is a game of ups-and-downs making an eagle on the par-5, 7th and following it up with a birdie on 8.

“After holes 7 and 8 I felt great,” Crouch said.  “I knew I was back in it and that scores would be a bit higher today with the rain.  I tried not to let the weather affect me, but instead accepted bogeys and tried to continue to play steady.”

At 65 years-old, Crouch just became eligible for Super-Senior events and said he enjoys competing as much as ever.

“If you can’t compete anymore, what can you do?  It’s a great feeling to still be able to play competitively at 65.  I’ll be doing it for as long as I possibly can.”

Click here for Senior Results.

Click here for Super-Senior Results.