Jocelyn Bruch came to the Hoosier Amateur three weeks removed from a sweet 16 appearance at the Women’s Western Amateur. In that setting, a player must focus on her opponent. Bruch doesn’t mind, though she still prefers to focus her energy on the golf course.
“I’ve always kind of tried to not look at scoreboards,” Bruch said. “I prefer to just play my own game and play against the course instead of trying to play against other people … It’s different with match play because you’re playing against one person, but I’m still trying to just play against the course in those situations.”
Bruch, who is about to enter her third season of eligibility at Purdue, found her place at the top of the Hoosier Am leaderboard in the first round and never left. Finally, she has her victory at the Pfau Course after playing this track roughly a dozen times since it opened in the summer of 2020. Broch, from Carmel, Indiana, has played in three of the four editions of this tournament. Last year, she finished runner-up.
Pfau is a worthy opponent, and with each visit, Bruch has figured out a little more about how to get around a difficult golf course with demanding greens. You have to drive the ball well and your ballstriking has to be on too, she said.
“It’s really hard to match those two up, I would say. The first couple times I played it, I knew I needed to do those things well, but saying it and doing it is obviously two different things. I’ve just been playing pretty solid the last couple weeks and I do know the course well since I’ve played it many times.
“I just felt pretty confident with where I needed to put the ball and then luckily I was actually able to do that this week.”
Bruch scored rounds of 73-72-73 to reach 5 over for the week at the Hoosier Amateur, which was four shots better than runner-up Madison Reemsnyder, who plays for Xavier.
For all its difficulty, Bruch certainly does seem to have figured something out around the Pfau Course. Among her best finishes as a Boilermaker was a top 30 at the Indiana Invitational hosted there in the spring of 2022. A stout playing resume also includes the 2020 Indiana Women’s Golf Association Match Play title, runner-up at the 2019 Women’s Western junior and an Indiana state high school title in 2018. She was runner-up at the 2020 Golfweek Midwest Collegiate at Purdue.
Bruch was a freshman at Purdue in the fall of 2020 when the pandemic canceled the fall college golf season. Rather than use a year of eligibility only to play in the spring, she decided to redshirt that year.
“It was a very hard decision for me, but I knew some other people going through it as well and ultimately decided to redshirt that year,” she said. “And really glad I made the decision because it’s nice to have another year on the back end where I’ve learned a lot and playing better than I did when I was a freshman.”
Bruch came into the fold during the Devon Brouse era, the longtime Boilermaker coach who built the program into national prominence, and now plays for second-year head coach Zach Byrd. Purdue advanced to the NCAA Women’s Championship in 2022, but missed returning this spring by four shots.
Bruch doesn’t usually set goals that are results-specific, but for the national championship, she makes an exception.
“Would love to have an individual win,” she said when asked what remains on her college wishlist. “Would love to make it to nationals again with my team. So those are two pretty lengthy goals.”