Kelpin wins pro golf tournament

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa graduate Barrett Kelpin won his first professional tournament — the Michigan Open — just 13 days after the NCAA golf championships.

Kelpin, a Kalamazoo, Mich., native didn't just win the tournament, however. He tied the all-time Michigan Open scoring record by finishing with a four-round score of -23. Kelpin's score is the lowest in the past 64 years of the tournament's history.

The record wasn't even on the former Hawkeyes' mind, however. He was just trying to make it through his first professional appearance.

"I just wanted to make par and win the tournament," he said in a release.

Kelpin finished all four rounds in the 60s, shooting under each round par: -4, -9, -6, and -4, respectively. The golfer's second-round score of 63 (-9) tied his personal best 18-hole total and bested his career low of 64 while in an Iowa uniform.

The Hawkeye grad hasn't stopped practicing since the conclusion of the NCAA tourney on June 3. His diligence played a role in his record-setting performance at the Michigan Open.

"I got back from the NCAA championships and went right to work," Kelpin said in a release. "I just kept making putts all week. The putter was really great. The hole looked pretty big during that 63 [second round]. I had the speed down and was confident."

Kelpin shot 100 rounds during his four-year career at Iowa. His low score following his freshman season in 2009 was 70, then carded low scores of 64 his sophomore year in 2010 and 67 his junior and senior years in 2011-12.

Kelpin's average also dropped from 75.20 to 71.93 during his tenure as a Hawkeye.

He isn't satisfied, however — not even after winning an $8,000 prize in his first professional appearance.

He's planning to participate in several more professional tournaments in the near future, including the eGolf tour this summer and the PGA qualifier on Monday.

"This is a great start to my professional career," Kelpin said in a release. "It's nice to get off to a great start right off the bat. I didn't know what to expect heading into my first professional tournament. This gives me great confidence moving forward."

— by Molly Irene Olmstead

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