ELKHART — While working in the Pro Shop at the Christiana Creek Country Club this week, Brody Fischer had a chance to study the trophy given out to the winner of the Greater Elkhart Men’s Golf Championship each year.
Then on Saturday, July 6, at the rain-delayed final round of the 2013 championship, the 20-year-old Fischer shot a four-under 68 at Christiana Creek, earning his first title and the right to have his named etched in the trophy.
“I looked at that trophy a lot this week and the great golfers that have won this tournament,’’ Fischer said. “It’s still hard to put into words that I won today, but getting a chance to hold that trophy is a great thrill.’’
Fischer entered the final round two shots behind defending champion Kyle Miller, but birdies on the first two holes quickly had him tied for the lead.
The battle between Miller, Fischer and Dan Hood remained tight through the first 12 holes — with Fischer and Miller tied entering the 13th hole.
That’s where things went bad for Miller, as his tee shot went out of bounds left and he was forced to take a drop. Miller’s double bogey gave Fischer the lead for good.
“I hit my driver really well on the front nine, but on 10 I hit it left and then I didn’t use it again until 13 and I hit it way left,’’ Miller said. “I was happy with the way I played today, but I sure wish I had that one shot back. But give Brody credit, he really played well.’’
Miller and Hood finished three shots in back of Fischer’s three-round total of 213. Hood shot a 71 on Saturday, while Miller had a one-over 73. Matt Dutton moved into fourth place after shooting a 71, while Patrick Mohan shot a two-under 70 and came home fifth.
In addition to getting birdies on his first two holes, Fischer also had birdies on five, 11 and 15, while his lone bogey came on the seventh hole.
“I thought the pin placements were really tough today, so to shoot a 68 and win the tournament is still hard to believe,’’ Fischer admitted. “I really appreciate the support I got from everyone today and I enjoyed the group I played with. It’s a real honor to win this tournament.’’
Fischer helped lead his high school team — Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central — to a state title in 2010 and a runner-up finish in 2011. He plans to move to Florida later this summer and try his hand at professional golf.
“I thought I’d take a year away from school and give the professional route a chance,’’ Fischer said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of doing and if it doesn’t work out, I will have at least tried.’’
In addition to Fischer, Hood, Dutton and Mohan, the only other golfer under par on the day was Logan McBride, who shot a one-under 71 and came home eighth.
There were several good stories away from the Championship Flight, not the least was the Hole-in-One by Bobby Brewers on No. 5. Brewers shot a 94 on Saturday and finished fifth in the Sixth Flight.
Rock Mohr won the Fifth Flight by 14 strokes, but that wasn’t his lone accomplishment.
With his wedding scheduled for this weekend, it didn’t look like Mohr would be playing the final round after last Sunday’s washout. But with the blessing of his new wife, Mohr moved his reception and honeymoon back a few hours so he could play in the tournament on Saturday.
In a tournament filled with talented young golfers, recent Memorial High grad Frank Iavagnilio — with his father serving as his caddie — came from three shots back at the start of the day to win the First Flight. Iavagnilio was one stroke better than Kurt Hand and Bill Marcin.
“I really enjoyed the tournament,’’ Iavagnilio said. “The competition is obviously much better than a high school match and I think playing with older golfers helps you a lot. I hit the ball well today and got a shot of adrenalin on the back nine when things got close.’’
Other Flight winners were Chris Horoky (Second Flight), Derek Bryant (Third), Robert Stockman (Fourth) and Randy McDowell (Sixth).
Recent Concord High School graduate Tim Johnson was disappointed with his final-round 89, but was happy to receive the John Cawley Memorial Scholarship, which is presented by the EGA each year.
Johnson, who will continue is academic and athletic career at Bethel College in the fall, plans to major in Business Administration after earning a 3.86 GPA at Concord.
“The scholarship will help me to continue playing golf in college, which is something I really love,’’ Johnson said. “I really appreciate the EGA giving me that opportunity.’’
As for his first impression of the men’s tournament?
“It was a great opportunity to play with some very good golfers,’’ Johnson said. “Plus, I was able to learn a few colorful words.’’