Month: July 2018

Palmer qualifies for U.S. Senior Amateur

Joe Palmer of West Des Moines claimed the lone qualifying spot into the USGA Senior Amateur Championship on Monday, July 30th at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo.  Palmer defeated Tom Norton of Muscatine in a playoff after both finished on 1-under par 71.

Both Palmer (right) and Norton got off to rough starts but then battled back with excellent play down the stretch.  Palmer made bogey on his first two holes, birdied #3, then managed 13 pars and 2 birdies the rest of the way.  Norton, meanwhile, made bogey on the first three holes then, after pars on 4 thru 7, he started making birdies.  He birdied 8, 11, 12, 15 & 18 while making a lone bogey at 9 to storm into a tie with Palmer and force the playoff.

In the playoff, Palmer made a par on the first playoff hole (which was #15) while Norton made a bogey.

Don Peterson of Wayzata, MN earned 2nd alternate status after he and Sam Billmeyer each shot 73.



JULY 30, 2018 – WATERLOO, IA

20 golfers will be competing for a single spot into the USGA Senior Amateur Championship on Monday at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo.

In what is a bit of a sprint rather than a marathon, players will play a single round to try and earn the coveted spot.  The winner will advance to compete at the national championship at Eugene Country Club in Oregon from August 25-30.  There they will face 36-holes of stroke play qualifying to try and make the 64-person match play draw.

Iowans Mike McCoy and Gene Elliott are exempt from qualifying.  Scores from the qualifier will be updated after 9 holes.


Kinney captures 116th Iowa Amateur

POLK CITY – Golf can be exhilarating. And kick-in-the-stomach cruel.

Both sides of that emotional coin were on display Wednesday during the final round of the 116thIowa Amateur Championship at Tournament Club of Iowa.

Tripp Kinney of Waukee rolled home a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18thgreen to outlast defending champion Trevor Ullestad of Jewell on the third hole of their sudden-death playoff.

Minutes earlier, Ullestad had missed a 3-foot birdie putt at No. 17 that would have made him the 12thman to successful defend his title, and first since Bo Anderson in 2001 and 2002.

Kinney, 20, who plays collegiately at Iowa State, took advantage of his second chance a hole later. This was the first playoff he’d ever been a part of.

“You never want to see a guy to miss a putt,” Kinney said. “It’s so hard, in that pressure situation. Fortunately I was able to get another hole. But Trevor played great today. I don’t want to take anything away from him.”

Kinney hit a knock-down 7-iron, into the wind, to 5 feet on the third playoff hole. After Ullestad didn’t get up and down for par when he missed the green left, Kinney had two putts to win. He needed just one.

“I was so nervous at that point,” said Kinney, who has played for the last two Cyclone teams that reached the NCAA finals. “It was a 5-footer. That’s the stuff I practice all the time.”

Kinney and Ullestad finished regulation play at 210, 3-under par. The two had started the final round tied for the lead and both closed with 71s.

“I played pretty well coming down the stretch just to get in the playoff,” said Ullestad, 22, who completed his eligibility at Missouri this spring. “Whenever you miss a short putt to win and end up losing, it hurts pretty bad.”

Former champ Jon Brown, who won the IGA Match-Play Championship last month, tied for third with University of Iowa golfer Alex Moorman at 210. Moorman’s 69 was the lowest final-round score.

Brown closed with a 70 and made the biggest move of the day, taking the lead with a front-nine 4-under 31.

“I did hear about it,” Kinney said. “But my mentality today was not to worry about anyone else, and just worry about what I could do. I was able to focus on what I could control.”

Brown, 50, who won the Iowa Amateur in 2006, looked like he might outplay the college kids once again. Brown had defeated Iowa’s Matthew Walker in the match-paly semifinals, and beat Iowa State’s Frank Lindwall in the final.

But he couldn’t sustain his front-nine fireworks and Kinney and Ullestad passed him on the par-5 13th. Kinney made an eagle, Ullestad a birdie.

Kinney would bogey the next three holes, and his lead over Ullestad melted to a single shot.

The par-5 17thproved to be a pivotal hole in regulation, as well as in the playoff. Kinney had a 15-footer for eagle, but settled for birdie. Ullestad had a 6-footer for eagle on the same line as Kinney’s eagle attempt, and made it to draw even with a hole remaining.

Ironically, Kinney’s eagle on the 13thhole, from 8 feet, was on the same line as the 12-footer Ullestad had attempted for eagle from the back fringe.

“I definitely got a good read off his putt (on 13), and I guess he got a good read on mine,” Kinney said.

Ullestad missed the 18thgreen long and to the right, but got up-and-down. Kinney two-putted for par and the Iowa Amateur was headed to a playoff for the first time since 2015, when Mike McCoy beat Gene Elliott on the first hole of sudden death.

The shot that ultimately won the championship for Kinney is that 7-iron into the third playoff hole.

“That’s a shot I wouldn’t have been able to hit last year,” Kinney said. “Into the wind I struggled mightly. I couldn’t control the spin, or where it was going. I worked with my coaches at Iowa State so much. I ended up hitting that shot three times, once in regulation and twice in the playoff. Luckily, my game continues to progress.”

This is the fourth Iowa Golf Association-sponsored tournament title for Kinney. He won the Iowa Junior Amateur in 2013 and 2014 and the IGA Match Play title in 2017. On Wednesday, he added his name to a tournament that has been around since 1900.

“An unbelievable feeling,” Kinney said.

Kinney hopes to ride the momentum from Wednesday’s win into his junior season with the Cyclones.

“Winning is always fun,” Kinney said. “It’s something that hasn’t come very often since I got to college. It’s something I want to continue learning how to do, learning how to compete. If I can do that, hopefully my game continues to grow and I continue to get better.”



Ullestad, Kinney take lead into final round at 116th Iowa Amateur

The defending champion isn’t going down without a fight at the 116th Iowa Amateur.

Jewell’s Trevor Ullestad, who captured the 115th Iowa Amateur title at Cedar Rapids Country Club last year, posted 69 (-2) to join Tripp Kinney, of Des Moines, atop the leaderboard at Tournament Club of Iowa. Kinney shot the low round of the day with 67 (-4). Both players sit at 139 (-3) for two days.

Sitting just two shots, off the pace, at -1, are opening round leader Andrew Huseman (Ankeny) and Matthew Walker (Ottumwa).  Ryoto Furuya (Iowa City) and Jon Brown (Adel) are both lurking at 142 (E) and are just three shots back of the lead. Brown won the 2018 IGA Match Player earlier this summer and will look to add the Iowa Amateur to the list this year.

A total of 61 players made the cut at +14 and will play in tomorrow’s final round.

Click here for a recap of scoring

Huseman leads, several within five shots at 116th Iowa Amateur

Ankeny’s Andrew Huseman leads the charge after the opening round of the 116th Iowa Amateur. Huseman, who posted 67 (-4), thanks to seven birdies, leads another Andrew. Andrew O’Brien, of Clive, put up a 69 (-2) of his own, as did Tate Arends, of Orange City.

Great weather welcomed golfers to Polk City’s Tournament Club of Iowa (pictured above), as a total of 19 golfers are within five shots of the lead. Players will be jockeying for position tomorrow, as the field will be cut to the low 60 and ties for the final round.

Click here for a summary of scoring

Follow the 2018 Waterloo Open Golf Classic

The Cedar Valley Jaycees’ Greater Waterloo Open Golf Classic is Iowa’s largest and oldest professional golf tournament. Established in 1933, the Waterloo Open (as it is commonly known) is organized and run by a volunteer committee of Cedar Valley Jaycees members, with assistance from the Waterloo Leisure Services department and the PGA Professionals at the three Waterloo public golf courses. Every year, the Waterloo Open hosts nearly 400 amateur and professional golfers from all across the world.

Click here to follow the action all weekend

Hargens wins 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship

Click here for a recap of scoring

July 21, 2018


BURLINGTON, Ia. – In the face of self-imposed adversity Saturday, Sierra Hargens finished like a champion.

Hargens, 19, opened the door with a double bogey on Spirit Hollow’s 16th hole, but rebounded with a pair of closing birdies to win the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur by four shots.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Hargens, a junior-to-be at Indiana State, said after a final-round 76 and a three-day total of 228.

Emily Snelling of Clear Lake, playing in the second-to-last group, closed with a 76 and finished second at 232. Hannah Bermel of Cedar Falls, who started the final round one shot behind Hargens, closed with an 81 to finish third at 234.

Hargens went to the par-4 16th hole with a three-shot lead over Bermel, whose 71 in the first round was the lowest score posted for the championship. But Hargens had no idea how big her lead really was.

“I knew I was playing pretty well,” Hargens said. “I thought maybe I had a one-shot lead because that’s what I started with. But I didn’t know.”

In the first two rounds, Hargens hit perfect drives but bladed her second shot over the green at No. 16 both times.

“Today I said to myself, “I’m not going to blade it this time,’ ” Sierra said.

She overcompensated, hitting her second shot fat and into a fairway bunker.

“I had a pretty gnarly lie in that bunker,” Hargens said.

Standing with one foot in the bunker and the other foot out, she hit her third shot heavy and then left her approach short of the green.

Staring disaster in the face, she got up and down for a double-bogey 6. The damage was minimal when Bermel three-putted for bogey.

“Managing to salvage a double bogey calmed me down,” Sierra said.

She took matters into her own hands over the final two holes. A pair of good drives left her with one of her favorite clubs, her 54-degree wedge, in her hands. Hargens hit it to 5 feet on No. 17 and 2 feet on No. 18 to add her name to the distinguished and time-tested Iowa Women’s Amateur trophy.

Hargens took to golf at a late age. She played softball growing up, starting at 7 years of age. She was on the varsity team at Cedar Rapids Kennedy as a freshman, seeing most of her action at third base.

A year later, she had dropped softball and was playing varsity golf at Kennedy.

“I always played softball,” Hargens said. “But I didn’t really like it anymore. My dad (Scott) had always been a golfer. He’d say, “Come out and golf.’ I’d say, “No, I hate it.’ But I finally did and I was pretty good at it. So I kept on going with it.”

Sierra said that softball still makes a mess of her golf swing on occasion.

“It’s been tough to switch from softball to golf,” said Hargens, who turns 20 next month. “I’ve always struggled with quick hips. Sometimes I miss it left, right, who knows where. But I can hit it far. That saved me a lot of times out there.”

Her short game was another savior at Spirit Hollow. Hargens has spent a lot of time in the past year at Indiana State working on that short game.

“I didn’t hit the ball very well the first or second day, but I got up-and-down from everywhere,” she said.

Hargens said that over the course of her brief golf career, she usually bounces back from adversity in a positive manner. On Saturday, that double bogey was followed by pair of birdies.

“Take it one shot at a time, and things should work out,” Sierra said.

It did on Saturday, when she responded to adversity with a pair of radar approaches to the 17th and 18th pins. Thanks to that deadly 54-degree wedge.

Robin Webb captures Open Division

In the Open Division, Robin Webb of Clive shot 78-82-79 to capture the title over runner-up Kathy Fortune of Rockwell City.  Webb came into the final round with a six shot lead and doubled that on Saturday to finish 12 shots clear of the field.  Tying for third were Kelly Grimes of Indianola and Michelle Klein of Jesup.

Click here for a recap of scoring


July 20, 2018

On day two the players at the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship were treated with difficult conditions once again, but this time it was due to a strong breeze rather than the heavy rains that left their mark on day one.

Birdies were difficult to come by as winds kicked up to 15+ mph throughout the day. The best score of the day was a 6-over par 78, shot by a quintet of players: Sierra Hargens (pictured above), Maddie Hawkins, Karli Kerrigan, Rachele Miller and Emily Snelling.

Hargens’ 78 vaulted her into the lead heading into the final round, as first round leader Hannah Bermel struggled to an 82 on Friday. But, thanks to her first round 71, Bermel sits just one shot back. Kerrigan will join Hargens and Bermel in the final group, as she is just two off the pace.

Making up the penultimate group will be Snelling, who is four back, Miller, who sits six behind and 2018 Women’s Match Play champion Sydney Eaton, who will start the final round seven shots off the lead.

Robin Webb is still in control of the Open Division. Firing an 82 today, with two birdies, brings her combined score total to 160. The closet competitor to her is Rockwell City’s Kathy Fortune who sits 6 strokes back.   She’s been consistent with an 83 both days for a 166.

With the third and final round starting at 7:30 a.m., tomorrow morning, everyone will be using the knowledge they’ve gained over the past two days. Stay tuned to see who will be named Champion of the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur.


July 19, 2018

Spirit Hollow Golf Course hosts the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur in Burlington.

Day one of the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship proved to be difficult. Not only did the players face the stern test of Spirit Hollow Golf Course, Mother Nature threw them a curveball.

A two-hour rain delay early in the round made a difficult course play even more so. When all was said and done, only one player broke par.

Hannah Bermel, of Cedar Falls, was that player. She converted four birdies on the way to a 1-under par 71. Just three strokes behind is Sierra Hargens. She mixed four birdies against six bogeys to post a 74 for the day.

After day 1, Robin Webb leads the Open Division with a 78, including three birdies (+6). Kathy Fortune tails in second with an 83. Current Senior Player of the Year leader Janece Schwartzkopf finishes tied for seventh at 89.

Day 2 begins at 8:00am with the Championship Division teeing off first followed by the Open Division.

Click here for a recap of scoring


July 18, 2018

The 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship will be played at Spirit Hollow Golf Course (pictured above) in Burlington on July 19-21. This marks the second Iowa Women’s Amateur held at Spirit Hollow, the last taking place in 2007.

The terrain at Spirit Hollow is diverse with frequent elevation changes. The 18-hole track is carved into rolling bluffs and lined with over 15,000 native trees. Natural streams meander throughout the course impacting 11 of the 18 holes. These dramatic features have earned Spirit Hollow the rating of #1 Best Course You Can Play in Iowa by Golf Week and also a Golf Digest ranking as one of the Best Places to Play.

“We created Spirit Hollow to allow golfers the opportunity to use every club in the bag,” said Rick Jacobson (course architect).  “Throughout the course, you have options to execute different shots. It’s about Risk/Reward; after a bogey hole, you want the option to make par and get back on track.”

A strong group of amateurs from across the state will take on the 5,900 yard layout next week. The current leader of the IGA Women’s Player of the Year race Sydney Eaton, of Mason City, will look to add to her 2018 IGA Match Play win. Eaton recently completed her freshman year at the University of Northern Iowa this spring and where she tallied six tournament starts.

The UNI Panthers are well represented in the Championship Division with five current members of the university’s squad. Hailey and Hannah Bermel (So.), who are twins, have proven their ability to “go low” with their runner-up finish at the IGA Women’s Four-Ball where they had 10 combined birdies and one eagle. Emily Snelling (So.) and Sarah McMichael (Sr.) have a strong history of top finishes in IGA championships and will look to string three solid rounds together at Spirit Hollow.

Other experienced IGA players include Julie Buerman (2017 Women’s Player of the Year), Maddie Hawkins (2016 Junior Girls’ POY) and Karli Kerrigan (2013 Junior Girls’ POY). All are expected to be in the hunt coming down the stretch on Saturday afternoon.

The Open Division has several decorated players as well, including four-time Senior Women’s Player of the Year winner Rose Kubesheski of Dubuque and two-time Open Division champion Janece Schwartzkopf. Both have had success in 2018 with top finishes in IGA championships. Schwartzkopf captured the Forever 39 Match Play at Mason City CC while Kubesheski topped the Senior Division of the Women’s Four-Ball with partner Margene Grady at Otter Creek GC.

Beth Duenow of St. Ansgar, the 1995 Iowa Women’s Amateur champion, will also make the trek to Burlington in search of another victory. Two-time Senior Women’s POY, Carroll Dethrow of Nevada and Robin Webb of Clive (2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur qualifier) are in the field too and look to finish high on the leaderboard.

Click here for opening round pairings

Click here for a recap of scoring once rounds are complete


26th Annual Joe August Four-Ball Match Play Championship results

Ames Golf and Country Club
July 14-15, 2018

Championship Flight
Dave Gaer & Willis Gaer, DM def. Jason Thronbrough & Bill Matzdorff, Ankeny 2&1
Chris Hinz, Iowa Falls & Dave Akers, Eldora def. Bill Tank, Bettendorf & Andrew Tank, Ames 2 up

Gaer & Gaer def. Hinz & Akers 2 up

Senior Championship Flight
Mike McCoy, Norwalk & Tom Tillinghast, DM def. Gary Youngberg & Rick Sanders, Ames 1 up
Gary Ellis & Jay Goeser, Norwalk def. Rick Thompson & Bob Hartzler, Ames 6&5

McCoy & Tillinghast def. Ellis & Goeser 20 holes


Championship Consolation
Parker Davidson, Pleasant Hill & Cam Arkema, Pella def. Chad Wood, Norwalk & Matt Ross, Boone 4&3

Senior Consolation
Jim Brousard, Ames & Kurt Mathewson, Madrid def. John Brown, Urbandale & Tim McKnight, Indianola 2&1


First Flight
Kyle Pieper, Urbandale & Dave Henery, WDM def. Luke Jensen, Ames & John West, Ceder Falls 2&1

116th Iowa Amateur Pairings Released


The groupings and starting times for the first two rounds of the 116th Iowa Amateur Championship have been released.  You can view them under the “Tee Times” link in the blue menu above.

The Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City will be the host for the 116th playing of Iowa’s most prestigious amatuer championship.  It is the only Arnold Palmer Signature Designed course in the state.

Players will compete over the first two rounds to try and make the top 60 and ties, which will play a final round on Wednesday, July 25th.  Trevor Ullestad is back to defend the championship he won last year at Cedar Rapids Country Club.



We are excited to announce a tremendous gift and challenge from Jim Carney, who won the Iowa Amateur 50 years ago as a 19-year old.  Jim has pledge to make a gift of $5,000 to the IGA Foundation in honor of the 50-year anniversary of his win.

In addition to that, he will match any donation made by an Iowa Amateur contestant up to two weeks following the championship, up to an additional $5,000 gift.  So if you give $100, Jim will match with another $100.  If you give $20, Jim will match with another $20. If we meet Jim’s challenge, it will mean a total gift of $15,000 to the IGA Foundation!

Click here to see a flyer on the Fundraising Challenge

Everett completes whirlwind first month as a pro

Iowa Golf Association

Broc Everett committed himself to golf by accident.

He played baseball and golf at West Des Moines Valley High School, but was unsure which sport he wanted to pursue in college.

“I was waffling back and forth between the two,” said Everett, a left-handed pitcher. “And then I was in a car accident and separated my shoulder.”

A high school junior at the time, Everett was leaving Hickory Park Restaurant in Ames after playing in the Iowa Masters.

“My foot slipped off the brake, and I hit the accelerator,” Everett said. “It was unfortunate.”

The accident ended his baseball season, and pushed him to golf.

“It wasn’t a moment where I thought this is destiny, or anything like that,” Everett said.

Lightly recruited, Everett got some interest  from Augusta University . He headed to Georgia as a walk-on, redshirted his first year and poured his heart and soul into golf.  Five years later, he introduced himself to the nation.

Everett, 23, won the individual NCAA Championship in May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. He beat Brandon Mancheno of Auburn on the first hole of their sudden-death playoff, rolling home a 15-foot birdie putt.

When he looks at a list of NCAA champions, Everett will forever see his name alongside the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Ben Crenshaw, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

“Kind of a nice reward for all the hard work,” Everett said. “It’s cool to see my name there for sure.”

Everett became the third player with Iowa roots to win an NCAA title. James Hubbell of Des Moines, playing for Harvard, won the 1916 championship at Oakmont. And Clark Burroughs of Ohio State, who grew up in Waterloo before moving to Overland Park, Kan., when he was in high school, was the 1985 champion.

Everett never won a major amateur title in the state of Iowa. His Augusta bio lists a third-place finish at the Ottumwa Amateur and a runner-up finish in the Des Moines City as his best showings. But Everett said he grew through the competition.

“We’ve got great players in the state of Iowa,” Everett said. “You’ve got guys like Gene Elliott and Mike McCoy. There’s always good competition, even though it’s a short season. People think that if you’re from Iowa, you can’t compete with guys from Florida, or Georgia, or Texas. It’s not true. If you take care of the details, you can compete at the next level.”

Everett’s first career victory came in his last college event. To those who don’t know his story, the NCAA title made him an overnight sensation.

But it took a lot of hard work and Midwestern work ethic for Everett to get there.

He said he was 3 or 4 years old when he was introduced to golf, tagging along with his dad, Larry, at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, or swinging a club in his own back yard.

A lefty, Everett said the family contemplated switching him to the other side of the ball because it would be easier to find clubs.

“But my mom (Mary) said that she liked my swing too much left-handed,” Everett said.

He headed to Augusta with no promises, only an opportunity. And he made the most of it. The secret, as Ben Hogan always said, was in the dirt.

Everett, who was never the No. 1 man on the golf team at Valley, became a range rat at Augusta. He became a fixture at the program’s first-class practice facility.

That’s where he crossed paths with PGA Tour player Wesley Bryan, who won the 2017 RBC Heritage. Bryan’s wife went to medical school at Augusta, and he used the practice facilities as well.

“We were both out there all the time,” Everett said. “He would say, “Hey, do you want to go out and play?’ We’d have chipping contests for three hours some days, especially once I started getting better. That’s when I really started honing in on my game.  He’s always pushing you, and he’s not afraid to get on you if he thinks you’re not doing what you’re supposed to.”

Asked if he was surprised at Everett’s NCAA success, Bryan said, “Surprise isn’t the right word. I knew he had been playing really well leading up to (the NCAAs). But all the best golfers in the entire country are there in one tournament. It’s a surprise when anyone wins. But there’s no doubt he has the game. He’s one of the toughest golfers I’ve ever played with. He gets a lot out of his round. He’s a grinder. Any time he gets in contention, you’ve got to like his chances.”

Less than a week after the NCAAs, Everett made his pro debut at the Freedom 55 Financial Open on the MacKenzie Tour-Canada.  He played in four events, and missed every cut.

“I wish I would have taken that first week off,” said Everett, who was the No. 1 man on the Augusta team the past two seasons. “There were so many things happening all at once. I kind of forgot, “Hey, I still need to go out there and compete.’ I was going through the motions the first two weeks.”

The day after winning his NCAA title, Everett got a phone call from John Deere Classic director Clair Peterson offering a sponsor’s exemption.

“I didn’t even realize it would be on the table that quickly,” Everett said. “But I’m thankful he got me into the event so fast.”

Everett shot a bogey-free 4-under-par 67 in the opening round. That included a birdie on the first hole of his PGA Tour career.

“One of the caddies came up and said, “Welcome to the PGA Tour,’ ” Everett said.

A second-round 74 left him on the wrong side of the cut line, but Everett showed some encouraging flashes during his major-league debut.

He plans to stay in West Des Moines and practice at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club this summer. He’s unsure of his schedule. He’ll return to Augusta this fall, where he’s still got an apartment and the use of those practice facilities.

“He rolls the ball about as good as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Bryan said. “And there’s no doubt in my mind that mentally and strategically he’ll pick apart a golf course as good as anybody. And his short game is really good. I’d say he’s got some work to do in the full swing department. But there’s no doubt there’s potential there. Because his short game is definitely deadly.”

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