Month: June 2020

Buerman Captures Third Forever 39 Title

For the second straight event, Julie Buerman (pictured above right) walked away victorious.  The Cedar Rapids resident collected her third Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play Championship with a 2&1 over Nicol Jones of Ankeny after making birdie on two of her last three holes.  Last Saturday (June 6th), Buerman was the winner of the first Women’s Mid-Am series event of the year held at Irv Warren GC in Waterloo.

Buerman defeated Nancy Lorenzini 3 &1 to reach the finals while Jones defeated Creston’s Janis Owens 2 up in the morning match. An IGA ‘rookie’, Jones made the most of her championship debut as she defeated Creston’s Janis Owens 2 up to advance to the championship match.

In the first flight, Sue Harmon (pictured above second from right) defeated Kathy Fortune 3&2 in the finals to capture the bracket title. Harmon advanced to the finals via a 10-hole victory over Jesup’s Michelle Klein. Like Harmon, Fortune’s morning match featured extra holes as she secured an 11-hole victory over Nicki Clayton.

In the second flight, 2019 Forever 39 Champion, Kelly Grimes (pictured above second from left), won the bracket title after a 1 up victory over Noreen Christians. Grimes advanced to the flight finals after she defeated Urbandale’s Ardrae Parmenter 3&2. Christians posted one of the largest margins of victories in the morning matches as she posted a 5&3 decision over Laura Leszczynski.

In the third flight, Clive’s Leighann LaRocca (pictured above left) posted a 2&1 victory over Ankeny’s Becky Schwiete. LaRocca advanced to the finals following a 1 up win against Urbandale’s Cathy West. Schwiete posted a 2 up victory over Karol Hare during the morning matches.

Waterloo’s Kelly Nelson (right), who captured medalist honors during the stroke play qualifying round, defeated Ila Gilbert in her final match of the tournament.

Click here for full results

57th Women’s Forever 39 Match Play Championship underway

The 57th Women’s Forever 39 Match Play Championship began Monday at Urbandale Golf and Country Club with nine holes of stroke play qualifying followed up by first round matches. Waterloo’s Kelly Nelson earned the #1 seed in the Champions Flight after she was the only competitor to shoot below par during the qualifying round. Her -1, 36 was highlighted by birdies on two of her last three holes. Janis Owens, of Creston, earned the #2 seed after she shot +1, 38 in qualifying.

One of the biggest upsets of the day came in the first match out as Nancy Lorenzini, #8 seed, beat #1 seed Kelly Nelson 3&1 in the Championship Flight. Two former Forever 39 Champions battled it out during the first round of match play as well, as Julie Buerman defeated Rose Kubesheski 2&1 to advance to the semi-finals. Buerman closed out the match with an eagle on the par-5 8th hole. Janis Owens and Nicol Jones also advanced to the semifinals of the championship with victories of 1 up and 2&1 respectively.

In the First Flight, Rockwell City’s Kathy Fortune advanced to the semifinals with a 1 up victory over Jennifer Corkrean of Ankeny. Fortune will face Greenfield’s Nicki Clayton, who defeated Jan Sewright 1 up. The other semifinal match-up with feature Michelle Klein, of Jesup, and Sue Harmon, of Slater, who won their matches 2&1 and 3&2 respectively.

The Second Flight bracket featured three run away victories: Urbandale’s Noreen Christians (5&3), Indianola’s Kelly Grimes (4&2), and Urbandale’s Ardrea Parmenter (3&2). Christian’s will face Laura Leszczynski in the first semifinal match while Grimes, the defending Forever 39 Champion, will face Parmenter.

The Third and final bracket will feature Urbandale’s Cathy West and Clive’s Leighann Larocca. Johnston’s Karole Hare, who won her first match 3&2, will face Ankeny’s Becky Schwiete who is coming off a 2&1 victory.

Day two gets underway tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. and live results can be found by clicking here.

O’Brien birdies final hole, wins 2020 Carroll Amateur

Andrew O’Brien, of Clive, and Nate McCoy, of Ankeny, were neck-and-neck down the stretch of the 2020 Carroll Amateur, with McCoy looking to defend his title after a 9-stroke victory in 2019. After navigating the wind all afternoon, the pair stood tied at 7-under heading into the final hole, where O’Brien seized victory with a birdie. O’Brien posted rounds of 67-69-69 for a three-round tally of 205 (-8).

Rounding out the podium was Iowa Golf Hall of Fame Member Jon Brown, who finished with a three-round total of 208 (-5) and posted the low-round of the weekend with a 64 (-7) during the opening round.

In the Senior Division, Jeff Panek, of Johnston, ousted Gary Ellis, of Norwalk, in a playoff to capture the title after both posted 36-hole totals of 142 (E). Joe Palmer, of Norwalk, finished in third place after rounds of 70-74 for a total of 144 (+2).

In the Super Senior Division, Richard Gorbell, of Cedar Falls, edged out James Blackburn, of Des Moines, for his second Super Senior victory of the summer after winning two short weeks ago at the IGA Senior Match Play. Gorbell rallied after an opening round of 80 to shoot a 75 on Sunday, which set him one shot clear atop the leaderboard at a total of 155 (+13). Blackburn posted rounds of 77-79 for a tally of 156 (+14).

Click here for full results

Snyder scaling the leaderboard at professional event

2017 Iowa Women’s Amateur Champion Britta Snyder is one of five amateurs competing in the international field of professionals at the Hurricane Creek Open in Anna, Texas, an event on the WAPT (Women’s All Pro Tour). Snyder, 18 year old Ames Resident, is a recent graduate of Gilbert High School and Baylor University commit.

The event features 81 professionals including 2016 U.S. Women’s Open Champion Brittany Lang, 2-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion Kristen Gillman, 2019 NCAA Individual National Champion Maria Fassi, and other highly decorated professionals.  Snyder has done more than hold her own in the world class field, as she made the cut and sits T-7 heading into today’s final round after rounds of 75, 73, and 71.

Snyder  is set to tee off Friday morning at 9:10 a.m. (CST). Click here to follow the leaderboard during Friday’s final round.

Ruthey wins 2020 Southeast Iowa Amateur; McCoy, Gorbell capture victory

Anthony Ruthey (above right), of Port Byron, IL, put together a pair of consistent rounds and survived a playoff with Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member and first round leader Jon Brown, of Adel, to win the 2020 Southeast Iowa Amateur. Ruthey, who made four birdies on  both Saturday and Sunday at The Preserve on Rathbun Lake, shot rounds of 72-70 (-2) for the weekend.

Ottumwa’s Cale Leonard (73-70) made a Sunday charge to come within a shot of the playoff, but a lipped out birdie putt on his last hole left him just shy of joining Ruthey and Brown.

In the Senior Division, Norwalk’s Mike McCoy (right) pulled away from the field on Sunday to win by 10 shots over Dave Gaer, of Des Moines. McCoy, who posted rounds of 69-68 (-7) made only two bogeys on the weekend but was offset by a total of nine birdies.

Cedar Falls’ Richard Gorbell won the Super Senior Division with rounds of 73-74 (+3) to outdistance Randy Studer, of West Des Moines, who posted rounds of 85-84.

HOLE IN ONE – Evan Johnson made a Hole in One Saturday on #9 using a 9 iron.

Click here to view a recap of scoring


Buerman wins IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #1

For the second consecutive year, Julie Buerman (above left) started out her season with a victory. The Cedar Rapids resident successfully defended her title at the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #1 with a final score of 54 points. The stableford scoring event was played at Irv Warren Golf Course in Waterloo and featured 34 players from around the state.

Buerman’s round featured two birdies, worth four points each, to counterbalance two bogeys. She played flawless on the final nine holes, as she recorded eight pars and a lone birdie coming on the par 4 11th hole.

Rose Kubesheski, of Dubuque, and Janece Schwartzkopf, of Stuart, tied for second with 48 points each. Kelly Nelson, of Waterloo, and Kathy Fortune, of Rockwell City, rounded out the top-five as they tied for fourth with 46 points each.

In the net division, Janece Schwartzkopf (above right) captured first place with 59 points to finish four points ahead of Buermann, while Kathy Fortune finished in third place with 53 total points. Noreen Christians, of Urbandale, Sharon Delgado, of Urbandale, Soni Hansen, of Grimes, and Janis Owens, of Creston, finished in a four-way tie for fourth place at 52 points.

Click here for full results

Sudden-death birdie secures Lake Creek Amateur title

Jack Evans, of Brainerd, Minn., pumps his fist as his winning putt falls into the cup, giving the University of Sioux Falls junior the title in the 2020 Lake Creek Amateur held at Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek in Storm Lake over the weekend. Evans birdied the par 4 No. 18 hole to win a sudden death playoff victory over John Spellerberg, of Nebraska, and Jonny Douglas, of England. (photo courtesy of Tim Gallagher)

Storm Lake – Jack Evans sank a 13-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to claim the 2020 Lake Creek Amateur title played at Buena Vista University Golf Creek at Lake Creek on Sunday. Evans, who returned to the 18th tee after finishing the 2-day tournament at even par and knotted in a tie with competitors John Spellerberg and Jonny Douglas, drove a 4-iron to the center of the fairway. He then knocked a 50-degree wedge to the middle of the green from 167 yards out, setting up a winning putt he read with his caddie for the day, Steve Berry.

“I think I knew the putt was in about halfway to the cup,” said Evans, who will be a junior this fall at the University of Sioux Falls. “We had read the putt one cup out to the right. I knew I didn’t have to hit it real hard because it was downwind.”

The wind was the story of the day for “The Am,” a decades-old golf tradition in Northwest Iowa that returned after a 7-year hiatus, welcoming 97 golfers from a host of Midwest states and England. Gusts from the southeast around 25 miles per hour proved to be tricky for most of the field and contributed to scores that, according to BVU Golf Course at Lake Creek Manager Joe Powell climbed five or so strokes on average from Saturday to Sunday.

“THIS is Lake Creek,” said Andrew Zinn, the assistant men’s golf coach at Buena Vista University as he surveyed gusts whipping across the No. 7 tee box.

Evans entered the day tied for the lead after posting a 3-under par 69 in benign conditions on Saturday. Spellerberg, a former Creighton University linkster from Bennington, Neb., shared the first-day lead. Douglas, a native of England who plays for Morningside College, was one stroke back to start the day.

The event would, for all intents and purposes, remain a three-way race throughout the final round. All three golfers had their issues down the stretch, the threesome combining to play the Par 5 No. 16 in four-over-par. Spellerberg had the misfortune of getting caught in some long grass at the end of the greenside bunker. He would take a double-bogey on the hole. Douglas, meantime, three-putted, while Evans’ approach sailed long and left.

“It was a lot of fun,” Spellerberg said. “We had a great, friendly competition today and Jack made a great putt at the end.”

Evans, whose highest finish during his sophomore season at Sioux Falls, was a tie for third place, said he hopes the Lake Creek Amateur title provides a springboard for his competitive season.

“Finishing rounds hasn’t been my strong suit,” said Evans, who hails from Brainerd, Minn. “Today, I tried to keep composed and it paid off. I couldn’t be happier.”

Evans joined Spellerberg in heaping praise on Powell and officials and volunteers at Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek who worked to resurrect “The Amateur” and plant the event on the radar for golfers across the Midwest and beyond. When the tournament idea was hatched in late March, Powell envisioned welcoming an abbreviated field of 40 or so golfers. The timing of the event, occurring as Iowa businesses begin to open in the throes of a pandemic, found a sweet spot for golfers seeking to compete while observing social-distancing behavior.

“We’re thrilled we could bring back ‘The Amateur,’ which has such a long history here in Storm Lake,” said Powell, who doubles as men’s golf coach at Buena Vista University. “The staff put everything in place, Mother Nature cooperated, and we had nearly 100 golfers and probably that many fans who got to enjoy a weekend of being out on the course and competing. We’re thankful for all the golfers who came back to ‘The Amateur’ and we can’t wait to start making plans for the tournament in 2021.”

Place-winners were as follows in each flight:
– First flight: Steve Campbell, 78-74—152; Chase Hough, 80-73—153; Ryan Feauto, 76-78—154.
– Second flight: Ken Slater, 81-79—160; Tom James, 83-78—161; Shane Hess, 81-81—162.
– Third flight: Adam Mickelson, 85-81—166; Matt Stauter, 86-84—170; Mark Eddie, 88-87—175.
– Seniors: Mark Gambaiana, 80-78—158; Tom Bohnenkamp, 81-80—161; Mark Henningsen, 76-86—162.

2020 Ann Griffel Scholarship Award recipients named

The Iowa Golf Association (IGA) is delighted to announce the 2020 recipients of the Ann Griffel Scholarship Award (Griffel is pictured above in sport coat). Ellie Braksiek, Taylor Garvin, Anna Jensen, Allison Nuss and Morgan Nuss will receive a one-year scholarship of $2,000. These girls will join the group of 237 other students to have received this award since 1963.

Ellie Braksiek is the daughter of Rob and Heidi Braksiek. She is a graduate of Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, and will be attending Iowa State University in the fall to study business. She will compete for the Cyclones Women’s Golf Team. She is eagerly awaiting the opportunities ahead of her in Ames.

“I look forward to competing in the game I love while challenging myself in the classroom as well,” Braksiek said.


Taylor Garvin is the daughter of Gregg and Kelly Garvin. She is a graduate of Wilton High School and will be attending St. Ambrose University in Davenport in the fall to study biochemistry on a Pre-Dental/Medicine Track. She will play on the Fighting Bees Women’s Golf Team.

“I am honored to be selected for the Ann Griffel Scholarship and will continue to apply the same diligence to my collegiate studies and activities. I will represent her legacy well during my years in college and beyond,” Garvin said.


Anna Jensen is the daughter of Leon & Mary Jensen. She is a graduate of Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque, and will be attending the University of Northern Iowa in the fall. She will be a member of the Panthers Women’s Golf Team.

“I am forever grateful for the opportunities that golf has given me and I honestly do not know what my life would be like without it,” Jensen said.


Allison Nuss is the daughter of Marty & Carolyn Nuss. She is a graduate of New Hampton High School and will be attending the University of Northern Iowa in the fall, where she plans to study biology or exercise science. She will play on the Panthers Women’s Golf Team. Allison has aspirations to become a college coach or a teaching professional.

“Golf has been a really big part of my life, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities it has presented and for the exciting new adventures it will bring in this next part of my life,” Nuss said.


Morgan Nuss is the daughter of Marty & Carolyn Nuss. She is a graduate of New Hampton High School and will be attending the University of Northern Iowa in the fall, where she plans to study Mathematics Teaching. She will join her sister to play on the Panthers Women’s Golf Team. She has expressed an interest in giving back to golf through coaching.

“I have experienced hundreds of memories from competing as a player, and I believe the coaching side would be just as rewarding,” Nuss said.

The Ann Griffel Scholarship was established in 1963. It originated as just one $350 scholarship awarded by the Iowa Women’s Golf Association (IWGA) and has evolved into a $2,000 scholarship awarded to multiple high school senior girls who intend to further their education at an Iowa institution of higher learning, whether a college, university or trade school.

The Iowa Golf Association Foundation (IGAF) was established to preserve the game and develop more programs to promote the future of golf in Iowa. The IGAF awards the Ann Griffel scholarship each year. This scholarship was named after the long time IWGA President, Ann Griffel, who during her 23 year term started the Girls’ State Junior, Forever 39, State Wife-Husband and Senior Women’s Championships.

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