Month: July 2017

Bertsch leads 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur

Pretty simple day.

That’s exactly what Maddie Bertsch (pictured above) made it look like in the opening round of the 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur being contested at Hyperion Field Club, Johnston, under calm and scorable conditions.

Bertsch, from Robins, will be a senior at the University of Northern Iowa this fall. She made 14 pars on the day to go along with a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys in route to 72 (E).

Gilbert’s Britta Synder sits just a shot back at 73 (+1), while Iowa State University golfer M.J. Kamin posted 74 (+2).

In in the Open Division, Kari Manning, a Hyperion Field Club member, opened with 78 (+6) and is followed by Kelly Grimes who shot 81 (+9).

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Ullestad makes charge, wins 115th Iowa Amateur

It wasn’t the start Trevor Ullestad, trailing by three to start the day, was looking for in the final round of the 115th Iowa Amateur at Cedar Rapids Country Club, but the Jewell native kicked it in gear mid-way through his opening nine holes and held on to the lead the rest of the way.

“I topped a three wood on #2,” Ullestad said. “Not sure where that came from. Then I made a pretty bad bogey right after that. But I knew there were plenty of birdies out there. I made a lot of them this week. I tried to keep my head down and recover as best I could.”

Following an impressive, and must needed, eagle on #6, Ullestad birdied both #8-9 to turn in 34 and had erased the deficit to Broc Everett, who led after two rounds.

Three bogeys on the front nine for Everett left him chasing on the back nine holes. After a bogey on #14, Ullestad answered right back with back to back birdies on the next two holes to leave Everett and Bull will fighting for the lead.

A birdie putt on #18 by Everett slid by that would have put somewhat of pressure on Ullestad’s upcoming par putt. Needing only to two-putt from mid-range, Ullestad rolled in the par putt to claim the title.

“My eagle on #6 (was a turning point),” Ullestad said. “That really settled me down and thought I could make a few more birdies.”

Not out of the mix, opening round leader Dennis Bull put on a charge of his own, birding #9, 10 and 11 to get to -4 on the day and briefly tied for the lead. Bull (68) would par in from that point leaving him, along with Everett(74), two strokes off of Ullestad’s 206 (-10) total.

“I knew I had to get it to 10-under-par,” Ullestad said. “I love this course, it’ so important to know where to put the ball on the greens. It’s a great golf course.”

The 115th Iowa Amateur champion commented it was the big stick that was the key for him at CRCC. Ullestad, who plays college golf at Missouri and will be a senior this fall

“I hit driver really well” Ullestad said. “I hit a lot of fairways. My putting wasn’t great, but I made enough of them to make up for that.”

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

College ‘kids’ take charge at 115th Iowa Amateur, Everett leads

It was college day at the Cedar Rapids Country Club as four of the top five on the leaderboard will be buying books this fall in preparation for classes.

West Des Moines’ Broc Everett (pictured above) made the biggest statement, playing in the morning wave, of the second round of the 115th Iowa Amateur at CRCC.

Everett, who will be a senior on the golf team at Augusta University, matched Dennis Bull’s opening round 65 (-7) and leads the way at -10. His round included a total of seven birdies, an eagle and a pair of bogeys (bookends of a four birdie in a row stretch).

“I didn’t really have any expectations coming into the rounds,” Everett said. “I just tried to take it one shot at a time and early in the round I began to hit it really well. I was able to cruise my way in.”

By cruise he meant, continuing to add to his birdie count on the day.

“I had some kick-ins (on the back nine),” Everett said. “I made a couple nice putts as well. I know the course is going to play tougher tomorrow, which is great. I think we will see the Cedar Rapids Country Club we all expected tomorrow. On a Donald Ross course you have to stay below the hole and in the right spots. I hope for a carefree day tomorrow.”

Jewell’s Trevor Ullestad, who plays college golf at Missouri and will also be a senior this fall, posted another fine round of 69 (-3) to go along with his 68 yesterday and sits at -7.

Sitting at -5 and five strokes off the lead after two days is Alex Moorman (Centerville), who now plays at Iowa after transferring from Kansas this past spring.

Lurking at -4 is Frank Lindwall (Cedar Rapids), who will play for Iowa State beginning this fall. The lone ‘Mid-Am’ in the top five is opening round leader Dennis Bull (Norwalk), who is at -4 as well for the tournament.

The two-day cut was 153 (+9), which included the low 60 scores and ties.

Click here for a full recap of scores.

Bull charges out to the lead at 115th Iowa Amateur

When the afternoon wave of the 115th Iowa Amateur arrived at Cedar Rapids Country Club and glanced at the leaderboard, some may of thought they were in Pamplona. However at CRCC, the Bull was out front and remained there throughout the day.

Playing in the morning group of tee times, Norwalk’s Dennis Bull made a run through the course in route to a sizzling 65 (-7). Bull’s round included 5 birdied, an eagle (#9) and no bogeys.

Cedar Rapids’ Jordan Even and Jewell’s Trevor Ullestad both posted fine scores, 68 (-4), to stay within striking distance of Bull. Even, an employee at CRCC, used his knowledge of the course to put six birdies of his own on the scorecard. Unfortunately he also made a pair of bogeys. Ullestad made six birdies of his own against two bogeys. A total of five players sit just four back of Bull’s lead at 69 (-3).

With the help of ideal scoring conditions, a total of 16 players broke par in the opening round. Play resumes tomorrow morning, where the field will be cut to the low 60 scores and ties after the second round.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Nate Dunn to Defend Iowa Amateur Title Against Tough Field

Follow live scoring from the 115th Iowa Amateur

ANKENY, IOWA – Nate Dunn will be defending his Iowa Amateur title on home turf this year in a field of prestigious players. In addition to his win last year, he won the Iowa Amateur Championship in 2004 and 2014. Dunn was the Player of the Year in 2007 and won the IGA Match Play Championship in 2015.

The Iowa Golf Association is excited to come back to Cedar Rapids Country Club for the 115th Iowa Amateur Championship July 24 through July 26. Cedar Rapids Country Club hosted the Iowa Amateur in 1984, 1955 and 1929. Pairings for the first round of the 115th Iowa Amateur Championship were released on Tuesday and can be found at

This year’s field is full of decorated players who are seeking to add an Iowa Amateur to their list of Championship titles. The field was extended from 144 players to 156 players to accommodate the surplus of entrants.

The current field includes 51 players who have received exemption status due to their outstanding performances in past championships. On that list you will see names like Mike McCoy, Gene Elliott, Jon Olson, J.D. Anderson, Nate Dunn, Tripp Kinney, Andrew Wood and Jon Brown.

Tripp Kinney is going into his second year at Iowa State University and plays for the Cyclone Men’s Golf team. Kinney won the IGA Match Play Championship in June. Andrew Wood won the Iowa Junior Amateur in June as well. He just graduated from Linn-Mar High School and has committed to play on the University of Northern Iowa Men’s Golf team in the fall.

J.D. Anderson won the Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship last May. He also has an Iowa Four-Ball Championship title as well as multiple wins in sanctioned point events over the years.  He is currently third in the 2017 Player of the Year point standings.

McCoy and Elliott teamed up to win the IGA Four-Ball in late May. McCoy has won five Iowa Amateur titles in addition to being Player of the Year an impressive eleven times. Elliott has won three Iowa Amateur Championships and four Player of the Year titles. Elliott has won Player of the Year for the last two years running and is currently second in this year’s standings, buoyed by a recent win at the Iowa Masters. Both McCoy and Elliott are Iowa Golf Hall of Fame members and are major competitors within and outside the state.

Brown is currently leading this year’s Player of the Year point standings by twenty points. He won Player of the Year titles in 2006 and 2004 and won the Iowa Amateur in 2006. He recently finished second to Elliott at the Iowa Masters.

Jon Olson won the Iowa Amateur Championship in 2012 and was the IGA Player of the Year in 2014. He also won the IGA Match-Play Championship in 2011 and has won the Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship three times (2011, 2014, 2015).

Play gets underway Monday at 7:30 a.m.  All players will play two rounds and then the low 60 & ties will make the cut to the final round on Wednesday.  You can follow live scoring here.

Back-To-Back Wins for Heinz, Kerrigan

Jenny Heinz and Karli Kerrigan shot a 67 in the final round at the 7th IGA Women’s Four Ball to clench yet another championship title at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville. Heinz and Kerrigan shot a 65 in the opening round for a total of 132 (-10) and won the open division by six.

The duo won the Iowa Women’s Four-Ball last year at Jester Park Golf Course, where they won in extra holes. Heinz was IGA Women’s Player of the Year for 2016 and Kerrigan has just finished her freshman year at the University of South Dakota.

Katie Hansen and Kelly Nelson beat out Janelle Carter and Julie Buerman In the second round by three strokes by posting another 69 to finish runner-up.

Rose Kubesheski continued to show her great play along with her teammate Margene Grady to win the Senior Division by eight strokes. Kathy Fortune and Mary Sauter were only two strokes back going into the second round, but Kubesheski and Grady shot an impressive 69 to clench the title.

Kubesheski won the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur at Clarinda Country Club last weekend. She also won the senior division of the Iowa Women’s Four Ball last year with teammate Robin Webb. Kubesheski was the Senior Play of the Year last year and is currently leading the senior women’s point standings for this year.

The next IGA event for women will be the Iowa Women’s Amateur that will be held at Hyperion Field Club in Johnston from July 31 – August 2. Registration deadline for that event is July 24.

Sutton, Moorman take spots at U.S. Amateur Qualifying

A pair of college golfers advanced to the U.S. Amateur on Monday at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.

Alex Moorman of Centerville, who plays collegiately at Iowa, and Daniel Sutton, who is from England but plays at Kansas, each posted 36-hole totals of 6-under 138 to claim co-medalist honors and the only two spots into the field at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles in mid-August.  Sutton shot identical rounds of 69 while Moorman posted 71 in the morning 18 and then fired 5-under 67 in the afternoon.

Garrett May (Rock Island, IL) shot 4-under 140 (68-72) to earn 1st alternate status while Luke Miller of Clive (71-71) was at 2-under 142 and is the 2nd alternate.  May plays collegiately at Baylor while Miller is a mid-amateur.


Heinz, Kerrigan Set Sights On A Second Victory

Jenny Heinz and Karli Kerrigan fired a 65 in the first round of the Iowa Women’s Four-Ball at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville. Heinz and Kerrigan hold a four stroke lead in theC hampionship Division going into the second round tomorrow morning

The Heinz/Kerrigan side won the Iowa Women’s Four-Ball last year after tying for first in regulation and then winning after play was forced to extra holes. Though a back-to- back win by Heinz and Kerrigan may be in sight, with two teams hot on their heels in second, their work is not done yet.

Julie Buerman and Janelle Carter shot a 69 this afternoon, putting them in a second place tie with Kelly Nelson and Katie Hansen going into round two tomorrow. Buerman and Nelson went head-to- head in the final match at the Forever 39 Match-Play just last month. Buerman went five and three in her final match against Nelson to clench her Forever 39 champion title.

Rose Kubesheski and Margene Grady shot a 72 giving them a four stroke lead in the Senior Division. Behind them is Janis Owens and Ila Gilbert with a 76. Kubesheski won the Senior Women’s Amateur last weekend at Clarinda Country Club in Clarinda.

Round two tee times begin Monday at 7:30 a.m.

Click here for a recap of scores.

Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Member Betty Thye passes away

By Matt Levins
The Hawk Eye

Respect. Integrity. Sportsmanship. Those are three words that describe Betty Thye, well, to a ‘T.’

BGC member and BGC Men’s Championship and City Championship winner John O’Neill III described Thye best, calling her “Burlington’s First Lady of Golf.”

Thye is one of the biggest reasons why southeast Iowa churned out junior golfers who went on to play and excel at the game the rest of their lives.

Thye, who was inducted into the Iowa Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2009, died on Tuesday morning. She was 99. She would have turned 100 on July 22.

Thye leaves a legacy that dates back to the 1950s. Her influence on the game was felt from the Missouri River to the Mississippi, from the Minnesota border to the Missouri border.

But nowhere was her gentle touch and soft words of encouragement more felt than in Burlington and at Burlington Golf Club, where she was a longtime member and spent much of her time.

Thye’s passing leaves a void that will be impossible to fill.

“She was one of the most influential people on juniors, as well as Joe (BGC PGA professional Butler) and Jock (former BGC professional Olson),” said Jill Blackwood, longtime member at BGC and one of Thye’s closest friends. “She didn’t teach me how to swing the golf club, but I would never be the player I was able to become if not for her. She taught me how to play the game.”

In her letter nominating Thye, Blackwood, a former Iowa Women’s Golf Association President, stated that “Every woman golfer in Iowa has benefited from her efforts and they will continue to benefit in the years ahead.”

“It’s a sad day in Burlington,” Butler said. “She hadn’t missed a single day of junior golf in my first 24 years here until this year. She loved golf and she helped teach the rules of golf. She was a rules stickler, for sure. She leaves a tough void to fill, without a doubt.”

“I just went and saw her on Saturday and we had a good chat,” said Randy Trine, former golf coach at Burlington High School and a winner of the City Championship multiple times. “She was a great lady. She was really important to all of our young people. We had some really good people (at BHS) for a long time and she influenced a lot of them. Any time I needed help, she was always there to help. Sometimes we don’t appreciate someone until they aren’t there any more. She will be sorely missed.”

Thye served on the Iowa Women’s Golf Association Board of Directors for 25 years beginning in the 1960’s. During that time, she served as IWGA Vice-President from 1984-85 and President from 1985-1988. She was also the Chair of the Course Rating Committee (1970-77) and helped the USGA establish women’s course ratings throughout the state.

Thye was the director of the Iowa Wife-Husband Championship 1978-1985 when it was held in Okoboji and was the largest tournament of its kind played on one golf course — more than 500 players.

Her service to the game of golf didn’t stop with the IWGA. As a member at Burlington Golf Club, she contributed her time and talents to help the junior golf program. She has mentored several generations of junior golfers on the rules of golf and the values of the game.

Thye’s service to youth went far beyond the golf course. She spent countless days at Sunnyside Elementary School, where she would listen to first-graders read every week in Julie Swanson’s class. The last three years she spent time with the kindergartners in Christine Larkins’ and Nina Zaiser’s classes.

“Sometimes the kids wouldn’t read to her. They would just talk to her. She had quite a listening ear,” Swanson said. “Most of the time she would walk to Sunnyside from her house. When the weather was bad, she would still get in her car and drive over. We’ve lost a gem.”

In a letter supporting Thye’s nomination Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Olson said, “I first met Betty in 1976 when I became the head golf professional at Burlington Golf Club. Thirty-two years later, she is still one of the biggest promoters of the game that I have ever known. She is the greatest volunteer that I have ever known, as well as a very good player in her own right.”

“Forty-two years ago on my first day of junior golf she was there. She was very dedicated,” O’Neill said. “She mentored countless kids in golf. She was an advocate of golf all over, not just in Burlington. Many of the tournaments I played in she was out there helping to run it. That is so important. You have to know the rules. You’ve got to honor the rules and etiquette of golf. Even during her off time, she would be there to take kids out golfing. She just loved kids and she loved golf.”

“The kids all called her Miss Betty. But her nickname was B.T. That’s how everybody knew her,” said Stacey Stevens, whose sons, Mateo and Tomas Rascon, and daughter, Sela Rascon, were influenced by Thye, as was Stacey’s father. “She used to watch my dad play golf and she was always interested in how my kids were doing. She was always a stickler for the rules. If I ever had a question about the rules, I knew I could always ask Betty and she would know. She will be greatly missed.”

One of the final people Thye touched was Charles Jahn, who won the BGC Men’s Championship two weeks ago. Thye was in the hospital, but she made sure her PGA visor, with the signatures of numerous BGC champions on it, was delivered to BGC for Jahn to sign. That act of kindness did not go unnoticed by Jahn.

“I grew up at the Club with Betty running the junior program. Betty was always very interested in how I was doing in my golf tournaments and very encouraging, as well,” Jahn said. “She would send me cutouts of articles about me in The Hawk Eye. In fact, she sent me the cutout about a week ago on me winning the Club Championship, as well as a note, which says a lot about her, considering the shape she was in when she sent it. The name Betty Thye will always be synonymous with Burlington Golf Club.”

“She had such a true love for the game. She was such a big supporter of girls golf and women’s golf,” said Marianne Briggs, who took lessons from Thye when she was younger and whose children, Matt and Lauren, have been influenced by Thye. “Whenever I would see her at Sunnyside she would always ask about the kids. Golf was her life and the Burlington Golf Club. The people there were her family. They always took care of her.

“Betty was one of those people who had always been around and you just assumed she would be around forever. She was a great asset. She will be greatly missed.”

“She was a true inspiration for me,” said former Notre Dame-West Burlington high school and Luther College golfer Katie Gaudian. “She was always the first face you would see at junior golf. She was always very determined and she never let anything get in her way. She was always at the golf course ready to go.

“I think the thing about her was that her life was so full of love and adventure. I try to model my life after her’s. I always care about people and try to keep golf in my life. I am always looking for what next adventure I can take. She was always interested in us kids and what we were doing and where we were going. Just her personality is something I took away from her. She was always in a good mood. She saw life and had fun every day. She helps me remember when I am having a bad day on the course that we are out there to have fun, to enjoy nature, enjoy the sunshine and just have fun. She will definitely never be forgotten.”

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