July 6, 2010
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WOODSTOCK, IL — University of Iowa senior Vince India finished second at the 91st CDGA Amateur Championship at Bull Valley Golf Club. The Deerfield, IL, native won his first two matches before dropping the championship round to Illinois State graduate Tommy Bliefnick of Decatur, IL.
Sixth-seeded India defeated Tim Hamm of Chicago, IL, in the quarterfinal 4 & 3, sending him to a semifinal showdown against Bennett Blakeman of Burr Ridge, IL. Blakeman, who qualified for the U.S. Open earlier this month at Bull Valley, needed no more than 15 holes to top his first two opponents. The two went back-and-forth before India won the ninth and 10th to go 2-up. The next two holes were halved before India won the 13th to go 3-up. The 14th was halved also, but India took the 15th, sealing the 4 & 3 decision as well as a spot in the finals.
India came out hot in the two-round final match against Bliefnick, winning the second hole before taking the fourth and sixth with a pair of birdies to go 3-up. Both golfers continued to exchange pars and birdies before Bliefnick capitalized on India’s bogey at 16. Bliefnick finished the round strong and held a two-hole lead over India after 18.
Bliefnick took the first hole of the second round, but India came back on the third and sixth holes to bring his deficit within one. Bliefnick came back to win the seventh, eighth and 12th holes, going 4-up with six holes remaining. India won the 14th, but Bliefnick’s 14-foot birdie putt on the 15th sealed his 4 & 3 victory.
“It was a good close match and neither of us were giving,” India said. “I tried to play the match against par and play the course, not the opponent, but when you get down in those last nine holes, I needed to start playing Tommy (Bliefnick).”
India’s second-place finish earns him an exemption into the 2010 Illinois State Amateur Championship in Chicago IL, Aug 10-12. India is just one in a group of Iowa golfers finding success in amateur competition this summer. Junior Barrett Kelpin was recently one of eight finalists at the North & South Amateur Championship in Pinehurst, NC, while sophomore Ryan Marks placed second at the IGA Match-Play Championship in Ames, July 1.