By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — Playing for the Indiana Golf Association Match Play title on Friday, Lapel's Brodie Williams was down three holes with four to play.
It turns out he had Fishers' Todd Palmer exactly where he wanted him.
Williams, who graduated this spring from a four-year stint on the Ball State golf team, had been three holes down in Thursday's semifinal with four to go and used a chip-in on the 19th hole to advance to the finals.
In those finals, Williams notched a trio of consecutive birdies after getting pars on the first 14 holes of the day. That tied him with Palmer with one hole to play. On No. 18, both Williams and Palmer had birdie putts from about 10 feet.
Williams played first. "I just wanted to give my putt a good roll," said Williams in a phone interview after the match. "I thought I knew what it was going to do."
He did as the putt hit the hole dead center. Palmer failed to convert his birdie putt and the match was over with Williams winning the title.
"It feels really good to win this," said Williams. "I was down the two previous matches. When you're down like that, there's a sense of urgency. You kind of have to throw caution to the wind. There's a certain freedom to it."
Williams needed to win five matches along the way. In stroke play he was seeded in the No. 5 slot to open match play. In an odd way the matches played out, Williams didn't have to face any golfers seeded higher than him on his path to the title.
He found the Hillview Country Club course much to his liking.
"The greens were fairly soft, but they firmed up a bit as the day went on," said Williams. "It is a fairly short course, but it is tight. You can't go sideways. There are a lot of mature trees. The wind wasn't much of an issue all week."
When making the shift from stroke play to the match play format, the strategy changed.
"Match play is all about momentum," said Williams. "You just want to find yourself on the right side of it. There's a little cat and mouse out there. You can play some head games with your opponent."
Williams' final action of the summer will come in the IGA-PGA Senior Challenge Cup on Aug. 1 at the Brickyard Crossing course.
"I've played there before," said Williams. "In fact, I played there once on Memorial Day weekend. There's nothing like having guys out there on the track going by at 220 miles per hour when you're in your backswing."