Troy Farris may have been a few strokes off last year's white hot round at Brazil's Forest Park, but the Brazil native still brought home the hardware with a final round of 65 and with it, his third consecutive Brazil Open championship.
The Assistant Superintendent at Forest Park was coming off a 40th-place finish at the Indiana Amateur and was understandably excited about winning another Open title.
"Well I live right off the sixth tee and work here so I kind of feel like it's my home turf," Farris said. "I feel like I'm kind of supposed to win, but it's great to be able to defend the title.
"We just had our second child so we have a two-month old and a two-year old so that has kind of taken up a lot of my practice time," Farris quipped.
Lack of practice or not, Farris got rolling early in the tourney.
Farris opened play with a 67 on Saturday and matched former Terre Haute North golfer, Jon Royer's round of 65 in the final round to win by two strokes with his 132.
In Sunday's second round, Royer set the tone by shooting his six-under 65 early so Farris knew where he stood compared to his competition when he began his round.
"I knew that there was a 65 shot earlier in the day so I knew when I teed off (on Sunday) that I was two-down because (Royer) was eight-under par," Farris said. "I made the turn at four-under so my goal was basically just to play as smart as I could, but I think I won the tourney on the front nine."
Royer's 134 remained good enough to claim second in the Open Division's Championship Flight.
In the Pro Division, Stu Johnson went 68-69 for a total of 137 to edge past Country Club of Terre Haute pro Mike Nakai by one stroke.
Farris, shot a blazing 129 to win last year's tourney by three strokes over Nakai.
Johnson and Royer won the bonus for the best pro-amateur score in the tourney.
Other winners in the tourney included Ben Kiburis, who won a playoff in the Super Senior Division over Jim Gormong. Both golfers shot a 145 in regulation play.
In the Senior Division's Championship Flight, Steve Paquin carded a 138 to best Dave Williamson's runner-up score of 141.
In the Junior Division, Terre Haute South golfer Zach Hosking was the winner in the 16-18 year old division, shooting a 139 to best Northview golfer Kade Baker's 144. Thomas Goss shot a 139 to win the 14-15-year-old division, Sam Pollock won the 13-year-old group with a 164 and nine-year-old Cam Llewellyn won the 12-and-under group with a 194.
Reflecting on the Brazil Open's growth, Farris believes that the tourney's success lies in its amateur roots.
"I really hope that amateurs will continue to play in the tourney and that word of mouth will continue to spread and they'll keep playing," Farris said. "Hopefully the Junior Division keeps growing and that we can add more players from the four or five surrounding counties."
When looking ahead at the upcoming tourney schedule, Farris plans on competing in the Mini-City Tourney contested at Rea Park and Hulman Links as well as the Forest Park Club Championship before the Terre Haute City Tournament.
The upcoming schedule at Forest Park includes the beginning of the Junior Golf League today. The league is open to younger golfers who must be able to walk and play 18 holes without assistance. Play begins at 4 p.m.
Also coming up is the Junior Golf Camp with Forest Park Pro Mark Rogers for boys and girls ages 10-16 on July 9-11 from 1-4 p.m. Cost is $40.
The Optimist Junior Brazil Open is July 14 for boys and girls. Divisions include: Boys 10-13, 14-15, 16-18 and girls 14-15 and 16-18 with a $20 entry fee.