Midwest natives Tommy Kuhl, Erica Shepherd lead Golfweek Hoosier Amateur
Tommy Kuhl was careful to take note of the wind as he played a late nine at the Pfau Course at Indiana University the day before the (...)
Tommy Kuhl was careful to take note of the wind as he played a late nine at the Pfau Course at Indiana University the day before the Golfweek Hoosier Amateur. Kuhl played the front, but only got to walk the back nine at the new course in Bloomington, Indiana.
“It’s a beautiful course, it’s a big course. A championship-style course,” said Kuhl, an Illinois junior who is leading the tournament after a double-round Saturday. “The thing I notice that’s unique about it is it flows with the wind really well. That’s one thing I really examined when I got there.”
In a prevailing southwest wind, Kuhl managed to leave himself in good positions around firm new greens and get to 1 under for 36 holes. He’s the only player on the men’s leaderboard who managed to get under par.
Short game has been something Kuhl has devoted time to recently. He didn’t need to be creative with his shots on Saturday because he was smart with his approaches.
Leaderboard: Men | Women
“Especially with how new and firm the course is, I think it’s just about being patient, especially on a 36-hole day,” Kuhl said of the key to his good play. “I knew coming into today it would be a brutal long day with how hilly the course is and how cold and windy it was.”
Kuhl leads a group of three players by two shots, including Connor Glynn, Varun Chopra and Nick Tenuta.
Kuhl got in the double-round-day mindset when he competed in a two-day Golf Coaches Association of America event at the University of Illinois Golf Club in Champaign, Illinois, last month. He also kept it sharp over the summer, competing in local Midwest events but also traveling to Arizona for the Saguaro Amateur and to South Carolina for the Palmetto Amateur.
As a Big 10 player, it will be up to Kuhl to keep his season alive this fall. There won’t be team events, so Kuhl is testing himself this way.
“At Illinois, we always try and keep it competitive,” he said. “Coach (Mike Small) kind of keeps it up to us of what we want to do to get our game better. For me, personally, that was playing in tournaments.”
Erica Shepherd, a Duke sophomore, is in the same boat in the ACC. Shepherd fired rounds of 75-71 to finish the day at 4 over and take the lead in the girls division. Last month, Shepherd, an Indiana native, finished third at the Golfweek Caledonia Amateur.
Ashley Kozlowski trails by two shots and Emma Carpenter is in third another shot back.