Eric Steger, a senior member of the Ball State men's golf team, won the E-Z-GO Indianapolis Open at the Brickyard Crossing in Indianapolis, Ind.
Steger's initial intention heading to the Open presented by TLC was just to get in some competitive practice before competing as an individual at the NCAA Regionals at Wolf Run.
"I took a trip last week down to Florida and didn't play any golf," Steger says. "I played in this to get some golf in before Regionals. I expected to compete, but I played better than I thought I would. Now I have a good feeling going into Thursday."
He also played better - at least seven shots better - than the rest of the field. His rounds of 68-69=137 made him the only player to finish under par. Professionals Chad Ayres and Dave Pugh shared second place by finishing at even par for the tournament.
"Having a two shot cushion heading into today was nice, but these guys are good enough that two shots can be made up easily," explained Steger. "But it was colder today and played tougher."
The cold, wind and rain made it a tough day for low scores, but Steger made it happen to extend his initial lead.
Steger has won the IGA Public Links, Match Play and State Amateur, but this is his first open win with the pros. And it's good experience for him since he will be turning pro at some point this summer. He graduated from Ball State May 7th and now looks forward to his future in golf.
"It is awesome to have no more school and be able to focus just on golf," he said. "It was always fun to be around the team, but it's definitely time to focus on my own game."
He plans to compete in the Indiana Amateur to try to defend his title and qualify for the national USGA Public Links Championship both before turning professional at the Indiana Open Championship in July.
Three of Steger's Ball State teammates finished in the top 22 at the Indianapolis Open. Zac Treash placed seventh after carding a 72-75=147, Brodie Williams managed a 74-75=149 to tie for ninth and Tyler Merkel scored a 76-77=153 to tie for 22nd.