Noblesville's Eric Steger watches Seth Fair hit his approach shot at No. 13/HC Sports Daily photos: Mark Morrow.

Noblesville’s Eric Steger watches Seth Fair hit his approach shot in No. 13 fairway. The two professionals shared a cart for the final round/HC Sports Daily photos: Mark Morrow.

Brownsburg’s Seth Fair set the tone early and never relinquished his lead en route to winning the 98th Indiana State Open on Thursday at the Hawthorns Golf & Country Club.

Fair, a National Golf Association Tour (NGA) member who has won $13,000 this season, ended the 72-hole championship winning by 4 strokes, the same margin he held entering the final 18-hole round against Noblesville’s Eric Steger.

Fair and Steger, the State Amateur titlist in 2010, both carded par-72s on Thursday.

Fair finished at minus-11 (177) and Steger minus-7 (281).

Fair’s 4-round scores were 67-71-67-72; Steger shot 72-68-69-72.

98th INDIANA OPEN: Final County scores posted

Tyler Duncan (Columbus) finished third at minus-5; Purdue golfer Adam Schenk (Vincennes), an amateur, was 2-under, while Bridgewater Golf Club’s Ivan Foster and Greenwood’s Andrew Fogg were the only other golfers under par. They were minus-1.

Carmel’s Brad Gehl and Muncie’s Chase Wright, whose final year at IU was 2012, were even par. Wright won the state Open in 2010.

Duncan (69) and Foster (70) had the lowest rounds among the top-15 finishers on Thursday.

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Steger was trying to match what his dad Scott, former Pebble Brook club pro who’s now the golf professional at the Anderson Country Club, did in winning the State Open in 1980. Scott Steger followed his son during the final round.

But winning the State Open wasn’t in the cards for the former Ball State standout.

Mike David, executive  director of the Indiana Golf Association, checks the summary board.

Mike David, executive director of the Indiana Golf Association, checks the summary board.

Steger was a tad unlucky on the back-9 after being only 1 down going to the 10th tee.

Trailing Fair by 2 shots going to No. 11, Steger’s birdie attempt clipped the cup and slid away, while Fair just missed eagle, had a tap-in bird, and went to the No. 12 tee leading by 3.

Fair missed his approach shot on 12 and had a bad lie in the rough, right of the green. He chipped over a sand trap to within 9 feet and made his par putt. The lead went to 4, when Steger bogeyed the hole from the same distance. Steger nearly chipping in out of the sand on par-3 No. 15. The ball rolled inches by the hole.

Fair also had a little bad luck. Two of his birdie putts died on the lip of the cups.

Fair, who came close to finding the hazard on par-4 No. 14 and had a deep lie in the rough, missed a downhill parr putt, losing 1 stroke.

Fair pretty much stamped his name on the championship plaque at No. 16. He landed his third shot 3 feet below the hole on the par-5 hole, made his birdie, and went up 4 shots after Steger’s 7-footer slid past the hole on the right side.

How Hamilton County participants fared:

Eric Steger checks his lie in a bunker side trap at No. 15.  He came within inches of holing his shot from there.

Eric Steger checks his lie in a bunker side lie at No. 15. He came within inches of holing his shot from there.

Eric Steger (Noblesville) 72-68-69-72—281

Ivan Foster (Bridgewater GC) 73-70-72-70—287

Brad Gehl (Carmel) 71-74-71-72—288

Tony Lazzara (Carmel) 75-70-69-75—289

Rob Johnson (Fishers) 73-70-71-75—289

Alan Schulte (Fishers) 77-73-72-71—293

Ben Davidson (Carmel) 76-71-75-71—293

Andrew Rhodes (Noblesville) 75-75-69-76—295

Jeff Cook (Carmel) 75-75-74-71—295

Kyle Cox (Fishers) 68-78-76-79—301

Chris Goodyear (Carmel) 72-78-74-78—302

Jon Hoover (Wood Wind Academy) 79-70-75-79—303

Johnny Watts (Fishers) 78-74-76-76—304

Mark Weghorst (Westfield) 79-73-76-77—305

Jon Stutz (Purgatory GC) 75-76-59-82—312

Johnny Deck (Carmel) 72-76-84-82—314

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