Month: October 2022

2022 IGA Player of the Year announced – Men’s

IGA Player of the Year – Nate McCoy

Nate McCoy has been named the IGA Men’s Player of the Year after one of the greatest seasons in the history of Iowa Golf. The now two-time IGA Player of the Year ran away with the title after compiling five victories this season.

McCoy opened the season with a win at The Classic in Marshalltown. He totaled 85 points in the stableford format to claim a three-point win. McCoy followed up his early success with a first-time win at the IGA Mid-Amateur Championship.

The next two tournaments, McCoy recorded a fourth-place finish at the Lake Creek Amateur along with a runner-up finish at the Carroll Amateur. Next on the schedule for McCoy was the Iowa Match Play Championship. 

Entering the 64-player bracket, the No. 11 seeded McCoy continued his success and dominated his early matches. Making it to the final round, McCoy had his toughest test yet against Willis Gaer. McCoy and Willis went back-and-forth, but McCoy was able to secure the win on the final hole and win his first Iowa Match Play Championship title. 

Coming off his Iowa Match Play Championship victory, McCoy traveled to the Fort Dodge Amateur and placed third overall. After recording his sixth top-five finish, McCoy was headed to a course he knew well, Veenker Memorial Golf Course. 

During the Iowa Masters, McCoy posted his lowest round of the year with a second round 64. This gave him a lead and McCoy never let it go. Winning his fourth tournament of the season gave McCoy a huge boost of confidence going into the Iowa Amateur Championship. 

After the first round, McCoy was tied for first place after carding a four-under 67. In round two, runner-up finisher, Nate Vance, crept into a tie for first alongside McCoy going into the final round. McCoy lit a switch during the final round and ran away with his first Iowa Amateur title.

Seeking a win in all four Iowa Golf Association major tournaments, McCoy wrapped up his season at the Herman Sani Tournament, where he finished tied for third place in the Amateur Division. Late in the final round, McCoy gave himself a shot at a win with a four-under 67. 

Now a two-time IGA Player of the Year, McCoy’s 2022 season was nothing short of spectacular. McCoy was able to win three of the Iowa Golf Association four major tournaments (IGA Mid-Amateur, Iowa Match Play, Iowa Amateur) and win the player of the year race by 747.5 points.

IGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year – Mike McCoy

Mike McCoy claimed his third IGA Senior Player of the Year title after a remarkable season. The 11-time IGA Player of the Year continues his dominance in the state of Iowa. McCoy took his 2022 season to the national level.

In July, McCoy joined Gene Elliott as an R&A Senior Amateur Champion. McCoy won the national championship by seven shots. His dominating performance overseas gave him 1,800 points in the IGA Senior Player of the Year race. 

Following McCoy’s national achievement, he placed inside the top-five in the Senior Division at the Herman Sani Tournament. McCoy fired a first round 71 and then back-to-back rounds of 75 to earn 155 player of the year points. 

With some positive momentum, McCoy went on to make the Round of 16 at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. With another 750 points added to his season total, McCoy started to gain a comfortable lead. 

To conclude the season, McCoy headed back to the U.S. Mid-Amateur, which he was crowned champion at in 2013. McCoy went on to make the match play portion of the championship but fell short in his first match. 

McCoy finished with a 795-point lead over the defending IGA Senior Player of the Year Champion, Joe Palmer. With 14 total player of the year titles, McCoy will only continue to make his mark in the history of Iowa Golf.

IGA Super Senior Player of the Year – Pat Ryan 

The 2021 IGA Super Senior Player of the Year does it again, but this time in a comeback fashion. Pat Ryan, of Marshalltown, earned the 2022 IGA Super Senior Player of the Year by 47.5 points over Rob Christensen. 

Ryan began his season with a seventh-place tie at the 37th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship. Following his top-10 finish, Ryan went on to make a quarterfinal round appearance at the 20th IGA Senior Match Play. 

Heading south, Ryan grabbed his first victory of the season at the Southeast Iowa Amateur Championship. Ryan won by four shots after carding rounds of 75 and a final round 70 to finish with a 145 tally. 

Next, he placed inside the top-10 at the Fort Dodge Amateur and notched a round of 64 appearance at the 34th IGA Match Play Championship. Ryan’s season was off to a solid start, but there was still work to be done to catch the point leaders. 

Catching fire in early August was need for Ryan to make a run at back-to-back IGA Super Senior Player of the Year titles. Starting his late run with a win at the Iowa Open kept the door open for Ryan. 

Ryan punched in another victory at the Herman Sani Tournament, giving him the late lead in the points standings. Ryan closed out the race with a 12th place tie at the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship and a tie for sixth place finish at the Briarwood Amateur.

2022 IGA Player of the Year announced – Women’s

IGA Women’s Player of the Year – Ruby Chou

Ruby Chou earned her first IGA Women’s Player of the Year title over the defending title holder, Leanne Smith. Chou’s season included a NCAA Women’s National Championship appearance and a top-15 finish at the Big 12 Championship. 

Chou earned her NCAA Women’s National Championship bid after a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Stanford Regional. Chou joined teammate Taglao Jeeravivitaporn as the two Cyclone individuals that qualified for the NCAA Women’s National Championship. 

As the season went on, Chou earned quarterfinalist honors at the IGA Women’s Match Play Championship. She claimed the No. 4 seed but was defeated by the 2021 Junior Girls’ Player of the Year, Paige Hoffman. 

Chou concluded her season with a win at the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship at Cedar Rapids Country Club. This victory gave Chou 600 points to climb into first place in the IGA Women’s Player of the Year race. 

Now an Iowa Women’s Amateur Champion and an IGA Women’s Player of the Year, Chou has etched her name into Iowa Golf history with her impressive season. She was also able to write her name below the 2021 Iowa Women’s Amateur Champion and her sister, Joy Chou.

IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year – Laura Leszczynski

Laura Leszczynski claimed her second-straight IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year victory after another close race against Rose Kubesheski. The two competitors battled it out all season, but Leszczynski was able to make a late push and win back-to-back titles.

Leszczynski started off her year with a third-place finish in the Forever 39 Match Play Championship. She made it to the Championship Flight where she was defeated by Janis Owens. 

In the Senior Division at the 12th IGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship, Leszczynski and her partner, Cindy Morrison, finished second with rounds of 77 and 76. Following the IGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship, Leszczynski went on to make it to the Round of 16 in the IGA Women’s Match Play. This gave her another 100 points to her season total. 

Next on Leszczynski’s schedule was the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier where she finished as medalist. She went on to earn a third-place finish at the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #2. 

At the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship, Leszczynski finished as the runner-up in the Senior Division. Still trailing Kubesheski, Leszczynski needed a solid showing at the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.

With her first win of the season at the Senior Women’s Amateur, Leszczynski inched closer to a repeat performance. There were two tournaments left on her schedule. Leszczynski earned a top-10 finish at the IGA Women’s Club Team Championship, which put her five points behind Kubesheski. 

Now with one tournament remaining, Leszczynski had to make up a five-point deficit to claim the player of the year title. Alongside her partner, Kathy Fortune, Leszczynski was able to finish in fourth place at the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #3 and win the 2022 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year title.

2022 IGA Player of the Year announced – Junior

IGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year – Maxwell Tjoa

Maxwell Tjoa, of Cedar Falls, was nothing short of spectacular this season. The junior compiled six top-five finishes and one victory en route to a dominating win in the Iowa Golf Association Junior Boys’ Player of the Year standings. 

The 4A State Championship was first on the list of top-performances by Tjoa this season. He finished tied for fourth place and followed it up with a second-place tie at the Iowa PGA Spring Junior Open. 

During the American Junior Golf Association’s WestRock Coffee Junior Championship, Tjoa carded his lowest round of the year with a 66 on day one of the tournament. Tjoa went on to win the tournament by four shots and finished with a nine-under tally. 

Tjoa earned his fourth-straight top-five finish with a fourth-place finish at the John Deere Junior Classic Open. The top-five streak came to an end after a strong sixth-place finish at the Midwest Junior Championship. 

The Iowa Boys’ Junior PGA Championship was next on Tjoa’s schedule. He placed in a tie for second and went on to earn a sixth-place finish at the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at The Highlands. 

At Tjoa’s final AJGA event of the season, he carded rounds of 74, 69 and 71 to finish fourth at the Stan Utley and Mid-America Youth Golf Foundation Junior Championship. 

In Tjoa’s penultimate tournament, he earned second alternate honors at the Watertown, Wisconsin U.S. Amateur Qualifier. The conclusion to his season came with a made cut at the Junior PGA Championship. 

Tjoa’s accomplishments and strong play this season gave him an astounding 540.5-point lead in the Iowa Golf Association Junior Boys’ Player of the Year race at year’s end.

IGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year – Bella Pettersen

After an impressive season in 2022, North Liberty’s, Isabella Pettersen, made a name for herself, earning her first Iowa Golf Association Junior Girls’ Player of the Year title. 

Pettersen opened her year up with a third-place finish at the IGHSAU 4A State Tournament, firing rounds of 77 and 72 for a 149 total. She followed up her state tournament performance with a victory at the 12th IGA Women’s Four-Ball alongside partner, Addison Berg. 

Succeeding her victory at Veenker Memorial Golf Course for the IGA Women’s Four-Ball, Pettersen dominated the field at the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship. She claimed the title by 11 shots over Lauren Briggs and Maura Peters. 

Up next for Pettersen was Iowa Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, where she finished inside the top-three for the fourth consecutive time this season. Pettersen went on to place 7th at the Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship.

Pettersen wrapped up the season with a fourth-place finish at the American Junior Golf Association’s Bass Pro Shops / Payne Stewart Junior Championship. Her impressive performances gave her a 320-point victory in the Iowa Golf Association Junior Girls’ Player of the Year race. 

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – Kinney adjusts to life on tour

Kinney Packages Vigilance, Hard Work in Pursuit of PGA Tour Career

Whether he’s competed at junior golf, high school, amateur or Division I collegiate levels, Tripp Kinney (above left with Chris Baker) has always put full effort into strengthening his golf game. Such dedication and determination have paid dividends as Kinney has continued a pattern of advancing forward at all of golf’s various stages. 

Now playing golf professionally, the 25-year-old Iowa State graduate and Waukee native just completed his rookie season as a full-fledged member of the Korn Ferry Tour. Kinney recently sat down with Up and Down the Iowa Golf Scene to share his experiences and future ultimate goal of playing golf on  the PGA Tour.

Tens of thousands share this dream, only hundreds achieve it, and the list includes just a handful of Iowans over the years. Kinney’s dream was ignited in 2007 when as a nine-year old he watched fellow Iowan Zach Johnson outduel Tiger Woods to win The Masters. It was bolstered during his freshman year at Iowa State as teammate and friend Nick Voke was preparing to launch his professional career. 

“I’ve always held the belief that I could play golf at the highest levels,” Kinney said. “I know my game is good enough, but you have to put everything together for four days, and then keep it going week in and week out.”

Kinney earned playing privileges on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour by virtue of advancing through the first and second stage qualifying tournaments, then finishing in a tie for 14th in the Q-School finals. The top 40 finishers earn initial status and then earn additional starts throughout the season based on performance. The top finishers on the Korn Ferry money list then advance to the PGA Tour for the following season. 

Kinney played in 23 Korn Ferry events in 2022, made eight cuts and earned $33,237 to rank 148th on the money list. His top finish was a tie for 21st at the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS in Springfield, IL, where he fired a 17-under par 267 total for 72 holes. His statistics were rock solid but underscore the challenge of playing professionally. Kinney’s stroke average was 70.73 to rank 115th, putts per round 30.16 to rank 141st, greens in regulation 70.22 to rank 61st. Kinney averaged 305.0 yards off the tee, and that ranked him 85th in driving distance. His driving accuracy was 67.63 percent to rank 12th, helping him to an overall ranking of 19th in total driving, one of his game’s strengths. 

“All things considered, I think it was a successful year,” Kinney said. “Yes, I wanted to finish higher up on the money list, but it was a great learning and growing experience and there are so other aspects of playing professional golf that don’t always have a numerical value attached to it – how to travel, what to do Monday through Wednesday, and who to hang out with.”

He credited fellow Cyclone golfers Chris Baker and Nick Voke for helping with the adjustments and to get ready for the competitive nature of the tour.

 “Every course is a bomber’s course,” Kinney remarked about how far he and his fellow competitors hit a golf ball. “People hit it far, extremely far out here. I don’t know if there’s a course we play where it’s a disadvantage for hitting it too far.”

There are also many other adjustments necessary to navigate life on a professional golf tour, mentally and physically. Kinney has worked exceptionally hard on his putting and noticed dramatic improvement over the course of the season. He has also been willing to make some minor swing adjustments in an effort to get better, as well as having sessions with a sports psychologist to get in the best frame of mind possible. 

“I’m not sure most amateur golfers understand just how hard this is, and that it is just like having a job,” Kinney said. “I spend eight to nine hours a day, playing, practicing, and working out. You also have to be willing to come out of your shell over the course of a long season and make the effort to strengthen your game or so many other players will pass you by.”

Sessions with a sports psychologist help with the mental aspect of the game and dealing with adversity.

“You can shoot five or six under for 36 holes and still miss the cut by a shot,” Kinney said. “You have to remember that you did not play bad golf and get ready for the next week. It’s crazy how small the margins are out here. With the way they set up the courses and tuck the pins, one foot on an approach shot can be the difference of having a 30-foot putt for birdie or a five-footer. These guys can hit a 210 yard 6-iron that lands softly to a corner pin. What separates the 10th ranked player on the money list and the 200th ranked player is much smaller than you might think.”

Kinney prepared for life as a golf professional by distinguishing himself at the junior, prep, collegiate and amateur levels. He is a two-time Iowa Junior Amateur champion, charted several high finishes at AJGA events and was a key factor in Waukee High School’s state tournament titles in 2014 ad 2015 by finishing second and third in the medalist. He qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Amateur and captured the 2018 Iowa Amateur title. At Iowa State, Kinney was a four-time academic All-Big 12 selection and participated in four NCAA Regional tournaments. He had 12 top ten finishes at ISU and his 72.65 career stroke average is fifth best in school history. 

For now, Kinney is back on the Korn Ferry qualifying school track for 2023, having just advanced through the first stage in Naperville, IL. The second stage is set for the second week in October and the finals are set for early November at The Landings Club in Savannah, GA.

“In the short-term, I will do my best to get back on the Korn Ferry Tour,” Kinney said. “My longer-range goal is to get a PGA Tour card. And to keep getting better every day and master a game that is impossible to master.” 

“Up and Down” the Iowa Golf Scene

A regular feature column written by IGA Foundation board member Mark Gambaiana, Up and Down the Iowa Golf Scene is designed to take the reader beyond the headlines and scoreboards to share stories of those who help make Iowa golf so rich and rewarding. Profiles will spotlight those who advance the game through volunteerism, service, extraordinary achievement, competition, human interest and the many other dimensions of golf in Iowa.

Click the links below to read previous Up and Down features
– IGA Rules Official Sean Flanders
– R&A, USGA Champion Gene Elliott
– Nervig Reflects on Decades of Service to The Iowa Masters
Arseneault Finds Fulfillment in Life’s Next Chapter After Competitive Golf
Ivan Miller remembers the days of the Minnows

Geneva Golf & CC, Willow Run CC take home IGA Club Team titles

The 16th IGA Club Team Championship title went to the team of Geneva Golf & Country Club (pictured above). The team carded a three-under round of 213 to win the tournament by eight shots over Urbandale Country Club.

Geneva Golf & Country Club was led by Sam Herrmann, who also tied for first in the individual standings. Herrmann fired a three-under round of 69 that included five birdies. Tied for second on the team was Bryan Lemkau and Dillon Cooney with rounds of 72.

Placing second, as mentioned, was Urbandale Country Club with a team score of 221. Blake Dabney joined Herrmann at the top of the individual standings and led the Urbandale Country Club team. Jeff Weisenborn carded a 73 to place second on the team and Reid Turner rounded out the team’s top-three with a round of 79. 

Winning the Net Division was Willow Run Country Club (right) with a score of 200. The team defeated Monticello Golf Club by six shots and was led with rounds of 69 from Nicholas Hildebrandt and Brian DeUries. Clayton Liddle was the third counting score for the squad, posting a net round of 74 to give Willow Run Country Club a dominating victory. 

Monticello Golf Club tallied a 206 in the Net Division and was led by Dustin Hall. He carded a net round of 70, but also finished in third place in the gross individual standings with a 71. Kevin Goedken and Kevin Bergman were Monticello Golf Club’s final two scorers with a 71 from Goedken and a 74 posted by Bergman. 

Gross Scores
1. Geneva Golf & Country Club -3
2. Urbandale Country Club +5
3. Waveland Country Club +14
4. Monticello Golf Club +17
5. Dyersville Country Club +20

Net Scores
1. Willow Run Country Club -16
2. Monticello Golf Club -10
T3. Geneva Golf & Country Club -5
T3. Waveland Golf Course -5
Urbandale Country Club -3

Individual Results
T1. Blake Dabney 69
T1. Sam Herrmann 69
3. Dustin Hall 71
T4. Bryan Lemkau 72
T4. Dillon Cooney 72

IPGA claims 55th Iowa Cup, Amateurs go down swinging

The Iowa PGA Section claimed the 55th edition of the Iowa Cup Matches over the Iowa Golf Association (pictured above), but the amateur didn’t do down without a fight.

The championship came down to the last hole where Sean McCarty topped the amateur, Nate McCoy, to secure the victory for the Iowa PGA. 

To begin this historical tournament, the Iowa PGA grabbed an early one-point lead with a 5.5-4.5 win in the Four-Ball portion. McCarty and Ryan McClintock gave the Iowa PGA the first point to start off with an early lead. 

The IGA stormed back in the Foursome portion, finishing day one with a four-point lead. With seven wins out of the 10 possible matches, the IGA went into the singles matches with their confidence levels at an all-time high. 

After the first five matches, the Iowa PGA closed the four-point gap and they were only down one-point. The IGA’s one-point victory did not last long, as the Iowa PGA claimed four wins out of the following five matches. 

Now holding a two-point lead, the Iowa PGA could see the Iowa Cup Matches title in the distance. However, the IGA did not quit. Three-straight wins came from Dusty Stewart, Aaron O’Brien and Ethan Mechling gave the IGA a one-point lead. 

Coming down the stretch, the Iowa PGA Section tied it back up with three of five matches. With one match remaining, it came down to McCoy and McCarty. After battling back-and-forth, the match that decided it all came down to the last hole where McCarty was able to gain the advantage and seal the deal for the Iowa PGA. 

Overall Standings:
IGA – 19.5
Iowa PGA – 20.5

IGA – 7.5
Iowa PGA – 12.5 

IGA – 7.5
Iowa PGA – 2.5

IGA – 4.5
Iowa PGA – 5.5


Scroll to top