Overton First, Peters Third at State Amateur
June 30, 2004
Indianapolis, Ind. -- Defending champion and Indiana University all-American Jeff Overton of Evansville fired a 6-under-par 66 in round two of the 104th Indiana Amateur Championship at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and takes a one-shot lead into Wednesday's third round.
He leads first round co-leader, Brand Knutson of South Bend, by one shot after Knutson's round of 3-under-par 69. Heath Peters of Auburn, a teammate of Overton's at Indiana, is in third place at 6-under-par 138 after a 67 in round two.
The Big Ten Player of the Year is at 10-under-par 134 after 36 holes and Knutson is at 135.
Overton, who won last year's championship by 12 shots after a final round record 64, made six birdies and no bogies in his round Tuesday.
"I didn't hit the driver well, today," Overton said. "But I was able to scramble out there today."
He entered the second round trailing by two shots, but after making birdie at the first two par-5s of the day, he was in control for the first time in 2004.
At the par-5 second, he hit his second shot just short of the green, but chipped to about five feet from the hole and made the putt for birdie.
After getting up and down for par at the fifth from 70 yards out, he was over the green in two at the par-5 sixth and again was able to get up and down for birdie and get to minus-8 for the tournament.
With the lead now in hand, Overton made what he called his "only legitimate birdie" of the day at the par-4 eighth. He hit a nine-iron to eight feet and rolled the putt in for his third birdie of the day. It was the first putt he made of more than five-feet in two days.
After making the turn with a 3-under 33, Overton birdied the par-5 12th to get to 5-under on his round and 9-under for the tournament.
He added a birdie at the 311-yard, par-4 14th before making his fourth par-5 birdie of the day at 15. He hit his drive in a bunker on 15 and laid up to about 75 yards. He hit his third to within three feet for another easy birdie.
Overton had two good opportunities for birdie on his final two holes. He had it six-feet for birdie at the par-3 seventeenth and about eight feet for birdie at 18, but he missed both.
"I played solid; I got everything out of my round that I could except for 17 and 18," Overton said.
Overton is not getting ahead of himself as it relates to the final two days despite being the prohibitive favorite to win his second straight title.
"There is a lot of gold still to be played," he said. "I need to get the tee shot in the fairway the next two days."
Overton did point out that his driver was not at its best in the second round. When asked if he is a perfectionist on the golf course, he replied, "I am just really competitive; I like to see how good my game can be."
His game has been as good as any college-aged player in the country over the past 12 months. After winning last year's State Amateur by 12 shots, he was the medalist at the United States Public Links Championship and he won five college tournaments last fall and spring at IU.
Overton's 66 in round two is his record sixth consecutive sub-par round in the State Amateur. Kent Frandsen, a three-time champion, had five straight sub-par rounds in 1974 and 1975. Frandsen won the 1974 title by 16 shots, the only margin of victory larger than Overton's last year.
Knutson added, "I am very pleased, elated with where I stand." He also said he is looking forward to playing head-to-head with the defending champion. "(Jeff) is a great player," he said.
There have been more sub-par rounds so far this year than in any other State Amateur since the championship switched to stroke play in 1973. The previous record was 36 at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis in 1997. This year there have been 48 through two rounds, including 26 in Tuesday's second round.
Wednesday's third round will begin at 7:30 in the morning with all players starting on the first hole. The lead group of Overton, Knutson and Peters will start at 10:57.
(Indiana Golf Association contributed to this story)
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