Hunter Johnson, of Ankeny, rose to the occasion to win the Boys’ 16-18 Division of the 2020 Iowa Junior Amateur Championship, held at Spirit Hollow Golf Club in Burlington.
First-round leader Clayton Phillips held the early lead through 15 holes, and then a few late bogies opened the door for Johnson, who sealed the deal in dramatic fashion with an eagle on the par-5 eighteenth. Johnson posted consistent rounds to the tune of 73-73 for a tally of 146 (+2). Matthew Briggs, of Burlington, was in contention all afternoon, and birdied the last for a two-day total of 75-73-148 (+4) to finish Runner-up. Phillips finished in third with a score of 149 (+5) for the week.
Newton’s Rylee Heryford outlasted the field to secure her victory in the Girls’ 16-18 Division. The day began with a crowded leaderboard, with Paige Hoffman, of West Des Moines, and Allison Nuss, of New Hampton, and Heryford all beginning the day within one stroke of another. Heryford birdied the last, finishing four ahead of the field with a 75-77-152 (+8) total. Hoffman and Nuss played tough, but a few setbacks on the back nine led them to shooting rounds of 81 & 80 respectively, settling into a tie for second at 156 (+12).
The action came down to the final hole in the Boys’ 14-15 Division, with Indianola’s Jackson Overton hanging on to win with a bogey on the eighteenth, finishing with rounds of 81 & 90 for a 36-hole total of 171 (+27). Finishing one behind was Calen Bishop, of Johnston, who posted rounds of 82 and 90 for a total of 172 (+28). Rounding out the podium was Knoxville’s Evan Smith, who finished up with a tally of 177 (+33).
The Girls’ 14-15 Division was a footrace on Thursday morning, with Meghan Delong, of Clear Lake, surviving a strong comeback bid from Katelyn Vaassen, of Dubuque, to win by one stroke. Delong managed to maintain her grip on the lead, posting rounds of 90 & 89 for a two-day total of 179 (+35). Vaassen rallied on Thursday, improving 14 strokes from her opening round, firing a round of 83 for a 36-hole total of 180 (+36). Burlington’s Lauren Briggs finished in third place after posting 89-98 for a tally of 187 (+43).
See photos below of 16-18, 14-15 Divisions
2020 Iowa Junior Girls’ Champion Meghan Delong in the 14-15 Division.
2020 Iowa Junior Champion Jackson Overton (left) and runner-up Caleb Bishop (right) in the 14-15 Division.
2020 Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur (16-18 Division) champion was Rylee Heryford. Tied for runner-up were Allison Nuss & Paige Hoffman. Pictured (from left to right) are Hoffman, Nuss and Heryford.
2020 Iowa Junior (16-18 Division) champion Hunter Johnson (right) and runner-up Matthew Briggs (left).