Playing in golf tournaments for over three decades, Sean Rowen has had the opportunity to display his skills at a variety of courses.
The Greenwood resident hopes to one day add Augusta National Golf Club to the list.
“My goals at this point kind of lie in the U.S. Mid-Amateur,” said Rowen, 43, of the USGA event taking place at two Atlanta golf courses from Oct. 7-12. “If you win that, you get an invitation to The Masters.
“I feel like at my age I’m still able to compete. The harder part is qualifying for it. But these (summer) tournaments provide great practice and a chance to remain competitive.”
Rowen has participated in five tournaments this summer, finishing first twice and fourth on another occasion. He takes part in the U.S. Amateur Qualifier today at Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton.
Rowen recognizes time is eventually going to run out on his chance to realize his dream of qualifying for the Masters, but he remains hopeful.
“I think it’s still realistic. Obviously, the window is narrowing for me,” Rowen said. “But I keep in good shape. I work out quite a bit, and feel like I still have the power and the mind to go through that grind. It’s a long week.”
Rowen is an established force when it comes to events put on by the Indiana Golf Association and United States Golf Association. Among his many triumphs are two State Mid-Amateurs and the 2015 Indiana Amateur championship.
Whether this year or in the near future, earning the right to play at Augusta National requires Rowen being at the absolute top of his game.
He finds approximately 10 hours each week to devote to practicing golf at Dye’s Walk Country Club. This is not an easy task for Rowen, a married father of four children who is employed as a salesperson at Regeneron, a biotechnology company.
“That’s the hard part. You’ve got family, you’ve got work. You have to have a pretty regimented schedule of how you’re going to spend your time,” Rowen said. “I don’t have the athletic ability or the explosiveness that I used to have.
“I still hit it a pretty long way, but I’m a lot smarter. I know how to get around a golf course better. What you’ve lost here, you’ve gained here.”
Rowen, a 1992 graduate of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, redshirted his freshman season at the University of Iowa before competing for the Hawkeyes from 1993-97.
Prior to winning the Indiana Amateur two years ago at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Rowen placed third on three occasions and fourth once. He’s been honored as the Indiana Golf Association’s John K. David Player of the Year the past three years.
The long road of making it to Augusta National first requires a top-three finish on Aug. 28. That would give Rowen one of 312 spots in the national event, where the top 64 players will engage in match-play competition.
The winner qualifies for The Masters, which will take place April 5 to 8, 2018.
“That’s probably the top level for me, though I don’t know that I’ll ever stop competing,” Rowen said. “That’s something I love to do. It gets to be part of who you are.”
Born: Birmingham, Alabama
Family: Wife Lori; sons Luke, 21, Logan, 16, Drew, 13; daughter Megan, 15
High school: Cathedral (1992)
College: University of Iowa (1997)