Month: August 2018

Johnston’s solid play leads to Iowa Junior Amateur win, Burr wins 14-15 Division

A packed leaderboard was the story at Iowa Junior Amateur (16-18 Division) this year. Coming out on top was Ian Johnston (above right), who put together rounds of 68-69 (-1) to edge Burke Pitz (above left) by a single stroke. Conner Neighbors and Brock Snyder tied for third place, just three back of Johnston. Griffin Parker, who ultimately finished 5th, shot the low round of the tournament with 67 (-2) in the final round at Coldwater Golf Links.


Dillon Burr (above right) put together a pair of solid rounds at Coldwater Golf Links to capture the title in the Boy’s 14-15 Division. Burr, after opening with 70 (+1) on Tuesday, never trailed and won by three shots over Hogan Hansen (above left), who put together a 71 (+2) of his own in the final round.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Patton wins Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur, Sayre captures 14-15 Division

With the most dramatic finish of the day at Coldwater Golf Links, Annika Patton (above right) won the Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur (16-18 Division) on the second hole of a sudden death playoff against Bailee Frayne (above left). Patton, who opened with 73 (+4), shot 79 (+10), while Frayne posted consistent rounds of 76-76. Allison Nuss finished third, six shot back of the Patton and Frayne.


Overnight leader Saffire Sayre (above left) cruised to a nine stroke victory in the Girls’ 14-15 Division. Sayre posted rounds of 75-79 (+16) to outdistance Grace Butler (above right), who posted 83-90 (+25).

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Iowa Junior Amateurs underway at Coldwater GL, Champions crowned

A trio of players are tied for the lead in the Iowa Junior Amateur at Goldwater Golf Links. Connor Neighbors, Ian Johnston and Mitchell Rice all posted 68 (-1). Due to some recent flooding on #2 and #15, those holes were played as a par three. Burke Pitz sits just a shot off the lead entering the final round.

Annika Patton, who opened with 73 (+4), leads by three strokes over Bailee Frayne in the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur. Lauren Sease is in third place, six shots off the lead, going into Wednesday’s final round.

In the Boy’s 14 & 15 Division Dillon Burr leads by five over Hogan Hansen, while Saffire Sayre leads Grace Butler by eight in the Girls’ 14 & 15 Division. Both division will play a second round to determine the champion.

In competition that concluded on Tuesday, Jett Loveanh outdistanced Mason Gatchel by six (Boy’s 11 & Under) and Maicy Baker won by six strokes over Lauren Nuss in the Girls’ 11 & Under Division. Meghan DeLong won by a single stroke over her sister Rebecca in the Girls’ 12 & 13 Division and Reid Hall was a winner by two over Joseph Currans in the Boy’s 12 & 13 Division.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Jett Loveanh (left) & Mason Gatchel (right)

Maicy Baker (left) & Lauren Nuss (right)

Joseph Currans (left) & Reid Hall (right)

Rebecca DeLong (left) & Meghan DeLong (right)

Woltman birdies last two, wins 85th Iowa Open

Dan Woltman (above) of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin won the 85th Iowa Open after carding a 6-under-par 66 in the final round. Woltman beat out amateur, Tripp Kinney by two-strokes.

“You can get a lot of birdies on this golf course,” said Woltman. “There was no wind today and the greens were soft and rolling so well. I knew someone was going to have a low round in front of me. I just tried to stay patient and continued to hit fairways and greens. Luckily it was enough to win.”

Woltman started the final round in second place, one stroke off the lead, after carding a 2-under-par 70 in round one and an 8-under-par 64 in round two. Woltman carded a bogey-free final round with six birdies, including three-in-a-row on Nos. 2-4. He also tallied back-to-back birdies on Nos. 17-18 to secure the victory.

Click here to read more courtesy of the Iowa PGA Section.

Click here for a recap of scoring

Kalz wins weather shortened Northwest Am

After South Africa’s Ian Snyman became the first international player to claim the Northwest Amateur Tournament crown a year ago, Jackson Kalz (right) continued the trend during a water logged, 96th edition of the tournament, finishing at 12-under par to take the title by three strokes.

The 18-year-old Adelaide, Australia native entered Sunday’s championship flight in a tie for the lead with 50-year-old Jon Brown, of Adel, at 7-under par after both players shot identical first and second rounds of 69 and 68.

Click here to read more courtesy of the Spencer Daily Reporter.

Click here for a recap of scoring

Special Report on Golf Course Playing Surfaces

Have you noticed your home course’s turf suffering a bit more in 2018 than in previous years?  If you haven’t, you are one of the lucky ones.  Dr. Adam Thoms of Iowa State explains why this has been an especially difficult year for our playing surfaces in Iowa.


What a year for turfgrass in Iowa.

Has the turfgrass on your local golf course been on your mind this summer? We have had one of the hardest growing seasons for turfgrass so far this season. As the Turfgrass Extension Specialist for Iowa, I have had more calls and emails about turfgrass this year than in my previous time combined.

This spring we had one of the coldest April’s on record. In parts of the state we had snow cover for the majority of the month. The low temperature’s also slowed the creeping bentgrass from breaking winter dormancy. The delayed start for the creeping bentgrass allowed annual bluegrass to get an early competitive advantage in growth. Less than 30 days after the last snow melt we had 90 degree temperatures with high humidity. Typically in the spring turfgrass will spend a lot of energy both growing above ground tissue and below ground roots. Due to the low April temperatures the roots did not develop as well as they have should have, making the early high temperatures extra hard on the golf course.

Moisture was also very prevalent in May and early June for parts of the state. The regular soaking of the golf courses also kept the roots more shallow than traditionally we like to see them. During a dry spring a superintendent can push the roots deeper by watering deeply and infrequently, however when it rains regularly the roots do not need to go deep into the soil in search of water. Many courses saw large rains, which added to the monthly totals but had much of the rain run off rather than infiltrate into the soil. Those golf courses that saw flooding also saw 90 degree temperatures, which caused a loss of oxygen in the rootzone killing the turfgrass and leaving a layer of silt in the soil. The excessive amount of water in May and June also has created perfect conditions for crabgrass, and in many cases it has caused preemergent herbicides for crabgrass to fail. Due to wet conditions some superintendents have also missed fertility applications, leaving weak turf until those applications could be made.

July so far has been very dry for much of the state, with many of the days above average. With the shallow turfgrass roots drought showed up very quickly. The annual bluegrass (Poa annua) also had more shallow roots than normal, and the low moisture and high temperature stress of early July caused much damage to these plants as well. High humidity was also present for much of June and July, this added disease pressure for extended periods adding to the already stressed turfgrass, which we typically only see for a few days at a time.

This also shows the importance of having sound resources for golf course superintendent’s to utilize during growing seasons like this one. Iowa State University Extension is a great resource, which provides a Turfgrass Specialist to help with diagnosing and troubleshooting problems. Another very helpful resource is the Iowa Golf Course Superintendents Association, this network of superintendents can provide resources and support to help during stressful growing seasons and continuing education for the superintendents. The good news is that cooler temperatures were here for a few days, and fall is on its way with recovery for most cool-season turfgrasses. Finally, keep in mind that damage is done, and it will take some time and better growing conditions to recover.




Adam Thoms, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Commercial Turfgrass
Iowa State University

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