The Journal Gazette
Monday, June 22, 2020 1:00 am

Local golfers eyeing state am differently

Injuries, limited time on atypical course change expectations

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

According to some of the players who will be playing there this week, the Country Club of Indianapolis, which will be hosting the Indiana Amateur Championship today through Wednesday, is not a typical championship course. 

“I just played a practice round earlier this week, and it's a different type of golf course, it's very tight, there's a lot of smaller greens,” said Logan Ryan, who won the IHSAA state championship as a Bishop Dwenger senior and just completed his sophomore year at Emory. “It's going to require a lot of percentage plays. You can't really hit a whole lot of drivers and try to beat the course with power.

“It's not my favorite course, but it's got to be for the week.”

Ryan shot a 5-under 67 to win the qualifier at Brookwood this month. 

Luke Miller, another Bishop Dwenger graduate who plays at Purdue Fort Wayne, said that he had never been to the course until he and a few teammates played a practice round last week. 

“I know it's an older country club, so it's the typical short, tight idea,” Miller said. “So we went down there and played a practice round. It was what I was expecting there: You have to be straight off the tee and making the right selection off the tee. It's not necessarily hitting the driver and trying to bomb it all day. There's going to be some strategy that goes into the tee shots, and really the second shots into the green will be really important, because the greens are really undulated out there.”

Miller is just getting back into playing shape after redshirting due to a back injury this past year, his second at PFW.

“I'm going down there with a little bit different expectations than I have in past years, just because it's been so long since I've played,” Miller said. “I played in the Northern Open, and that was a humbling experience. 

“A number isn't necessarily the end-all for me. I could go out there and shoot under par every round and play great and I would be ecstatic, but I think more important for me right now is that I have some goals that I've set in my mind, and just certain goals with course management. More getting back in the swing of how to think your way through a tournament and how to play smart.”

Miller said he was disappointed with his qualifying round at Brookwood and squeaked through to the state tournament with a 72. 

“It was a small field, but it was a pretty strong field, so 72 was the number that made it out without a playoff,” Miller said, noting that it was just his second competitive round since August. “(Brookwood) is a scoreable course, and I definitely could have played a little bit better. But it doesn't really matter, I was just happy to get out.”

While Miller has been limited in the number of rounds he could play because of his back injury, Corey Ryan, Logan Ryan's younger brother, hadn't played a real tournament since December, when he played in Las Vegas. He will be attending Butler in the fall and hopes to walk on to the golf team.

“The qualifier was definitely a roller coaster round, I only had four pars. I ended up seven birdies, an eagle,” said Corey Ryan, who shot 69 and finished second. “Typically I keep a pretty clean scorecard, not many bogeys, not many birdies. But that's just how the qualifier went I keep a clean scorecard, for the most part, and hopefully I can keep those birdies rolling in like I did.” 

if you go

What: Indiana Amateur Championship

Where: Country Club of Indianapolis 

When: Today-Wednesday

Local qualifiers include: Zach Borntreger (Berne, Huntington University women's golf assistant); Callahan Elzey (Bishop Dwenger and PFW golf); Jonny Filler (Bishop Dwenger and Cleveland State); Brad Hardin; Nick Holder (Bishop Dwenger); Spencer Kilmek (Columbia City and University of Indianapolis); Luke Miller (Bishop Dwenger and PFW); Josh Neal; Corey Ryan (Bishop Dwenger); Logan Ryan (Bishop Dwenger and Emory); Garrett Willis (Homestead and Valparaiso)

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