stegers

FAMILY AFFAIR — Eric Steger (left) poses with father Scott Steger (right) at Wildcat Golf Course.

When Eric Steger won the Indiana Open last month, his victory wasn’t the only aspect that made the day special.

Forty years earlier, his father Scott Steger also won the Indiana Open. In the 105 years the tournament has been held in Indiana, there has not been a father and son to share the titles.

“It’s a cool record to have. We’ve got a ton of support from his friends. Everybody from all of his friends and my friends. It’s been a neat deal,” Steger said.

Steger scored 13-under par for three rounds of 71, 65, and 67, totaling to 203 strokes at Rock Hollow in Peru. In 1980, Scott’s winning score was 285 (69, 74, 73, 69), three-under par, at Golf Club of Indiana in Lebanon.

“My wins were so long ago. So many things have happened … For it to come back full circle 40 years later is neat to see,” Scott said.

In addition to winning the Indiana Open, Steger and Scott both have won the Indiana Amateur tournament. Steger took the title in 2010 at the Country Club of Indianapolis (CCI) with a score of 277. Scott won in 1975 at 290, which was two-over par. At the time, Scott’s score was the highest-winning score for the state amateur division.

Although Scott won by five shots that year, organizers decided to make the course more challenging for him and the other 1975 tournament participants.

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“The year before there was a guy that set the all-time state amateur record at 16-under par for four rounds. They decided to let the rough grow up to make it more difficult, so the next year when I won, the winning score was two-over par,” Scott said.

Scott earned six second-place finishes in his lifetime during the PGA Tour open and amateur tournaments. Since Steger is only 30 years old, he will have many more opportunities to win again, said Scott.

With his professional golf career currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Steger works as a golf pro at Wildcat Golf Course and plays in the Indiana PGA section events. In the fall, he plans to go back on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica as restrictions allow.

Scott works as a full-time golf instructor at Wildcat Golf Course in Kokomo and Pebble Brook Golf Club in Noblesville, mostly giving lessons to women and children. Wildcat recently finished two junior camps with nearly 50 kids. Scott said he has been trying to “keep golf going up here in the Kokomo-area.”

When asked what the two men liked about the game, they both said they enjoyed the outdoors, solitude, and the personal responsibility golf provides.

“Mentally it’s rewarding when you play well because there’s nobody else to tell good job to except for yourself, mentally, nobody else is helping you hit a shot. You’re doing all the work, but on the other side of that, if you don’t play well, it’s on you too,” Steger said.

Both Steger and Scott got their starts at golf at young ages after playing baseball and deciding they’d rather swing golf clubs than baseball bats. Steger attended Noblesville High School before following in his father’s footsteps as a Ball State Cardinal from 2007 to 2011. Scott attended Anderson High School before attending Ball State University from 1974 to 1978.