Month: June 2024

Semifinals set at IGA Match Play Championships

All comes down to two matches.

Talons Golf in Ankeny, home of the 36th IGA Match Play started with 130 players. After the cut 64 players into match play were left, now just four players remain. Among the players left, two of them are some of the highest seeded players.

After shooting 71 (-1) in qualifying, Trent Lindenman from New Sharon was seeded 17th. In the first wave of matches Lindenman took down Colby Creger 6&4 along with breezing past Tanner Wachtl 8&6. During yesterday’s matches Lindenman defeated defending champion Zach May 2&1 along with Cale Leonard 1 up. In the semifinals he will face Ethan Mechling.

Des Moines’ Mechling is one of the two highest seeded players still left as well. After shooting 74 (+2) during qualifying and being seeded 36th, Mechling has not looked back. In the first two matches Mechling took down Hogan Hansen 1 up and Wade Pettitt 3&1. During yesterday’s matches Mechling still showed no signs of slowing down blowing past Sam Vertanen 6&4 and Grant Smith 5&3.

Clive’s Blake Cronin, was seeded 55th after the qualifying carding 75 (+3). Along the way Cronin took down Cody Weaver 2&1 and Alec Fuhs 4&2 in the first two matches. During yesterday’s matches Jon Olson put up a fight but Cronin ultimately won in 19 holes. Cronin later took down Ben Pettitt 2 up to advance to the semifinals where he will face Owen Sawyer.

Seeded 11th after shooting 71 (-1) Cedar Falls resident Owen Sawyer has played steady and is ready for the semifinals. Along the way Sawyer defeated Josh Janeczko 3&2 along with Jack Winkel 1 up. Yesterday’s matches Sawyer still kept his foot on the gas taking down Jackson Overton 8&7 and Preston Billy 1 up.

In the 13th IGA Women’s Match Play the field started with 25 players and now four remain. Among the four players is past champion Anna Jensen (’22) who is looking for her second IGA Match Play title.

Stroke play medalist and top seed Amber Henson from Marshalltown carded a 71 (-1) in qualifying and has not looked back since. Along the way Henson has gotten a bye, taking down Chase Donald 7&5 along with Leanne Smith 5&4. Henson will face Annkia Powell in the semifinals.

Annkia Powell from Alta shot an 84 (+11) and is seeded 12th is still fighting her way to a spot in the finals. Powell has defeated Laura Leszczynski 6&5, Yoo min Archer 2&1, and Maura Peters in an exciting 20 holes.

Anna Jensen from Dubuqe was seeded 2nd after carding a 73 (+1) in qualifying. Jensen Match Play Champion in 2022 is quite familiar with the semifinals. Jensen has gotten a bye, defeated Lindsay Burry 5&4, along with Addison Berg 2&1. Jensen will face Fiona Watson in the semifinals.

Des Moines’ Fiona Watson is competing for her first IGA Match Play crown. Watson is the #6 seed after carding a 78 (+5). Along the way Watson has topped Tatum Depudyt along with Erika Holmberg 3&2.

Following the Semifinal matches the finals will be played and a champion both on the Mens’ along with the Womens’ side will be crowned.

Players battle elements at IGA Match Play Championships

Then there were sixteen.

Players have persevered through the heat and wind during the first two rounds of matches at the 36th IGA Match Play held at Talons Golf in Ankeny.

A couple familiar names still remain, but do not count the “old timers” out so soon. Ethan Mechling, who hales from Des Moines, battled it out and came out victorious over University of Iowa’s Hogan Hansen 1 up and Wade Pettitt 3 & 1.

Still standing at the top is the defending champion and current Iowa State University golfer Zach May. May breezed right through his first two matches defeating Lincoln Beckett 4 & 3, along with Jack Rogers 3 & 1. The field also includes past champions Nate McCoy (’22) Jon Olson (’11 and ’19) along with Grant Smith, who is chasing his first IGA Match Play title.

In the 13th IGA Women’s Match Play Chase Donald from Waterloo battled her way to claim the victory over Geri Huser in 21 holes. While Paige Hoffman from West Des Moines won her match against Marsha Arnes in dominating 10 & 8 fashion. 

Tatum Depuydt won over Jeanne Swenson 6 & 5,  Molly Wenthold beat Taylor Sedivic 4 & 3, Chloe Bolte beat Michelle Klein 7 & 5, Lindsay Burry came out victorious over Marley Richter 2 & 1. Annika Patton beat Laura Leszczynski 6 & 5 and Lauren Brown defeated Kelly Nelson 4 & 3.

Men’s Bracket Results

Women’s Bracket Results

Featuring 100 Women: Unmatched Victors

Triumphant Women Making Waves in Iowa’s Golf Scene

Iowa Golf history is rich with the remarkable achievements of women who have reached the pinnacle of success. From dominating state championships to earning national recognition, these trailblazing golfers have set new standards of excellence. Their dedication, skill, and perseverance have not only earned them titles but also inspired future generations of female athletes. Delve into the stories of these extraordinary women, celebrating their contributions to the sport and their lasting legacy in Iowa Golf.

Leanne Smith

Leanne Smith is no stranger to IGA events. She grew up playing in the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur and even represented Iowa at the 1999 Junior Girls’ Four-State tournament. Her success within the state in the last six years has been nothing short of remarkable. The Indianola resident has a knack for the match play format as she has captured five different match play event titles since 2019.

Kicking off her flurry of match play championships was the 2019 IGA Women’s Match Play at Tournament Club of Iowa. En route to her maiden victory, the mid-amateur took down a slew of collegiate players, including future Iowa Women’s Amateur champion Joy Chou of Iowa State. The following year, she once again dismantled the collegiate players in the field to capture her second straight title. Her third consecutive title came in similar fashion, capturing the title 3 & 2 over UNI Panther Anna Jensen. During both the 2020 and 2021 Smith was named the IGA Women’s Player of the Year, a nod to her consistent play all year long.

The same year, 2021, marked the first year Smith was eligible for the Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play Championship. The nine hole format is a great fit for Smith who is known to jump out to early leads. After claiming the first three holes in the championship match, a par on the sixth was all that was left for Smith to claim the title. She would go on to claim her second title at the championship to kick off the 2024 season.

Perhaps the pinnacle of Smith’s career has been qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, a feat she has accomplished each of the of the last three seasons. During both the 2021 and 2022 Smith was able to reach the match play portion of the championship before bowing out.

Rose Kubesheski

Once the game of golf came into Rose Kubesheski’s life, it did not leave. Kubesheski did not start playing golf until she was older, but her successful resume makes people feel otherwise. The Dubuque resident has won the Forever 39 Match Play twice, the Senior Division of the IGA Women’s Four-Ball six times, and the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur an outstanding seven times. From 2010 to 2017, there were only two years where she did not win the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur. Additionally, Kubesheski has taken her game to the national level. Rose qualified for 1995, 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, 2010 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in 2017, 2022, and 2023. Her consistent play over the whole season has earned her the Iowa Senior Women’s Player of the Year title five times and a Leahy Medal nine times. However, one of the most impressive feats of her game may be her passion for walking the links. No matter the weather or the course, Rose loves to walk which is a rare trait to find today.

Kubesheski’s contribution to Iowa golf is not limited to her playing ability. She served as Dubuque Senior High School’s head girls’ golf coach for several years. In this role, Kubesheski was able to grow the women’s game in Iowa and show young girls how special the game of golf is. Additionally, she is a committed IGA volunteer. She currently serves on the IGA Board of Directors and three committees: the Women’s Rules and Competitions Committee, the Ann Griffel Scholarship Committee, and the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. Her competitive spirit, heart for the game, and service make Iowa golf better each year. 

Anita Harsch

With the last name of Harsh, it only made sense that Burlington’s Anita Harsh toppled the field at the 1975 Iowa Women’s Amateur. Her 72-hole total of 229 was a staggering 11 shots better than runner-up Linda Frisch. Opening with rounds of 75 and 73, Harsch left little doubt that she was the player to beat. At the halfway point of the championship, Mason City Country Club had yielded just eight rounds under 80.

Round three brought Harsch closer to her competitors as she turned in her highest score of the championship with an 81. Even with her struggles, she still led by seven strokes going into the final 18 holes. There was little doubt that she would surrender her lead and those who thought she might were quickly silenced as she birdied the first two holes. She kept her foot on the pedal and birdied the fifth, seventh, and eighth, turning in an impressive four-under-par 33.

Her lone blemishes were on the 9th and 12th as she recorded bogey, but she quickly bounced back stringing together five pars and a birdie on the 17th. Shooting even par on the closing nine allowed her to shave ten strokes off her third round, concluding the championship with a three-under-par 71. Harsch’s victory at Iowa’s premier women’s championship would be her lone victory. Still, she had to fight off a stacked leaderboard that featured three previous champions in Corkey Nydle, Linda Frisch, and defending champion Susan Shinn.

Jean Mowry

Golf is meant to be played for a lifetime. For some, success is experienced early whether it be as a junior, collegiate player, or into their early mid-amateur days. For others, success is found and sustained in the latter half of their career. Jean Mowry is the latter.

Hailing from Webster City, Mowry found success in the late 1990s and rode the momentum for half a dozen years, collecting numerous titles along the way. Between 1999 and 2005, Mowry won seven straight Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur titles and was named the Senior Medalist, awarded after the first round, a remarkable four times. During that stretch, Mowry proved that she was lethal not only in stroke play competition but in match play as well. She captured the Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play Championship three consecutive years between 2002 and 2004.

Even more remarkable than her ten victories was that all but two were hosted at various venues. Her ability to play well under pressure at a slew of different courses and playing styles cemented her as a senior legend in the history of Iowa Women’s Golf.

Barbara Berkmeyer

Barbara (Bubany) Berkmeyer’s golf career spans over six decades. Born in Fort Madison, she started playing golf at age four under her father Frank’s guidance. After moving to Ottumwa in 1952, she participated in the 1954 Southeast Iowa Women’s Championship at age 10, later winning it in 1965. Berkmeyer made a name for herself in Missouri after winning the 1962 St. Louis Women’s District Golf Association Junior Girls’ Championship, earning the first women’s athletic scholarship at the University of Missouri.

She won her first Missouri Women’s Golf Association State Championship at 21 and went on to win four more titles. Competing in 11 USGA Championships, she was runner-up in the 2002 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and the 2002 Canadian Ladies National Senior Championship and won the Missouri Senior Women’s Amateur title 13 times. Berkmeyer also had a 25-year career as a middle school teacher and has been inducted into the St. Louis, Missouri, and University of Missouri Sports Halls of Fame.

Next Week on Women’s Wednesday…

Hoisting the Fladoos trophy in consecutive seasons is easier said than done. But for a select few, they did so with ease.

Henson leads the way, 13th IGA Women’s Match Play bracket set

Hot weather and unrelenting pressure wasn’t too much for Marshalltown’s Amber Henson during stroke play qualifying of the 13th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship hosted by Talons Golf.

Henson, who shot 72 (-1), made a trio of birdies against only a pair of bogeys. Anna Jensen, of Dubuque, and Erika Holmberg, of Bettendorf, also posted respectful round of 74 (+1) during qualifying. All three women, including an additional four – as the top seven seeds, earned first round byes and will tee it up in the Round of 16 following morning matches.

Click here for full results

Defending champ earns fires 67, matches set for 36th IGA Match Play Championship

Zach May, defending champion of the IGA Match Play, didn’t waste any time continuing his success around Talons Golf, site of the 36th IGA Match Play Championship, during stroke play qualifying.

May posted 67 (-5) to earn medalist honors and the #1 seed into match play. May’s round was clean – three birdies, one eagle and not a single bogey. May will face Lincoln Beckett in his opening round match.

A total of seven players posted 69 (-3) during the stroke play portion of the event, while 76 (+4) played off for the final spots into the 64-man bracket.

Click here for full results


McCoy wins rain-shortened Fort Dodge Amateur

Nate McCoy (right) stands with FDCC pro Steve Fuller after winning the Fort Dodge Amateur Open Division.

In the 2024 Fort Dodge Amateur, the field was ready for play. Despite the first round being canceled due to weather, the players were eager to compete, and that’s exactly what they did. Nate McCoy (right), of Ankeny, posted an impressive 63 (-8), maintaining consistent performance throughout the round with eight birdies on the day to win the Open Division. Runner-up at tie at -5 included Spencer Clatt, of Gilbert, and Luke Pany, of Ames, both delivering strong performances at Fort Dodge Country Club.

In the Senior Division, Ron Peterson from Urbandale led the way, carding a 67 (-4). This was Peterson’s second win in the last two weeks. In solo second was Norwalk’s Terry Cook, who shot 72 (+1) and coming in third one stroke behind Cook was Tony Malizia of Palm City. 

The Super Senior and Legends Divisions also saw solid performances. Dave Gear clinched first place in the Super Seniors with an even-par 71. In the Legends Division, Fort Dodge’s own Terry Miller took the win, shooting 74 (+3).

Click here for full results

Click here to read coverage from the Fort Dodge Messenger

Champions crowned at 2024 Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior Amateur

The heat, wind, rain, delays and cooler temperatures throughout the week did not dampen from crowning two new champions at the Iowa Junior and Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship held at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. This year was not only Des Moines’ Owen Howe’s (right) first Junior Amateur win, but also was Ames’ native Eden Lohrbach revenge for ending runner-up in in 2023.

“It has really just been a grind the last couple of days,” Howe said. “I struck the ball pretty well for the most part, honestly the first day I did not hit it the greatest, but I putted pretty dang well so that helped a lot.”

After shooting a pair of 72s (+1) the first two rounds. Howe later found his groove in the third round which led him to make three crucial birdies on the back nine and shoot 69 (-2).

“I made a nice putt from the fringe that hit the back of the cup and went in,” Howe said. “The next was a nice two putt after reaching a par five in two, and the final was a six to seven footer,”

Howe would end up even par for the tournament leaving Garrett Nurre, from Cedar Rapids, runner-up shooting rounds of 74 (+3), 72 (+1), and 69 (-2). There was a three-way tie for third at +3 for three rounds between Luke Harwick, Tomas Rascon and Jack Rogers.

Ames native Eden Lorbach (left) stuck to her routine, stood patient and it paid off.

“I knew I needed to take it one shot at a time, it is something I have really been really been working on is the mental side of my golf game and how I approach each shot,” Lorbach said after the round.

After carding a 70 (-1) par in the first round Lorbach would pick a target and hit it there.

“I also tried to be very strategic with where I wanted the ball to be, it was more so what can I do to put myself in the fairway along with the center of the green,” Lorbach said.

Lorbach would do just that and would card a pair of 72s in the second and third round leaving her +1 for the tournament. There was a two-way tie for second at +3 for three rounds between Morgan Rupp and Ainsely Wilson.  

With the victory at Coldwater GL, Lorbach earns an exemption into the 2024 U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur to be played at El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana, Calif.

“I am looking forward to that,” Lorbach said. “I really wanted to qualify. I haven’t qualified in the past.”

Click here for full results

10th place – Runner-up from left – Hannah Pettit, Emersen Motl, Bella Pettersen (Not Pictured), Rylee Brockhouse, Jane Petersen, Natalie Henson, Chloe Bolte, Ainsley Wilson, Morgan Rupp.


10th place – Runner-up from left – Easton Korell, Kolby Stanton, Cody Weaver, Drew Hensen, Axton Miller, Tomas Rascon, Jack Rogers, Luke Harwick (Not Pictured), Garrett Nurre

Featuring 100 Women: The Enduring Legacy of Ann Casey Johnstone

The Enduring Legacy of Ann Casey Johnstone

In the 100-year history of the Iowa Women’s Amateur, few have left as permanent of a mark as Ann Casey Johnstone. The Mason City native is one of only two females to capture the championship six times, and her final title came at none other than Mason City Country Club. The 18-hole track, which she called home, helped her hone her skills and shape her into a household name not only in Iowa but on the national level.

Members of the 1960 U.S. Curtis Cup team which included Judy Bell, Judy Eller, Joanne Goodwin, JoAnne Gunerson, Ann Casey Johnstone, Barbara McIntire, Anne Quast and Mildred Prunaret, Captain.

Johnstone commenced her amateur career with a significant victory at the 1941 Iowa Women’s Amateur, marking the onset of a remarkable two-decade tenure in amateur golf. Accumulating an impressive total of six Iowa Women’s Amateur championships, alongside national recognition and multiple appearances at the Curtis Cup, Johnstone emerged as one of the state’s most distinguished players. Capturing the pinnacle title of Iowa Women’s Golf in 1941 was just the beginning as she went on to claim the 1951, 1954, 1955, and 1957 championships before her sixth and final.

Notably, Johnstone’s national prominence soared in 1956 with victories at the Palm Beach Invitational and a semifinal finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, leading to her acknowledgment as the nation’s top female golfer in 1957, albeit humorously dubbed her “Bridesmaid Year” due to several runner-up finishes.

Throughout her illustrious career, she clinched notable titles including the Trans-Mississippi and North and South championships in 1959, alongside representing the United States in the prestigious Curtis Cup in 1958, 1960, and 1962. Transitioning to coaching at Stephens College in 1964, Johnstone’s legacy continued to thrive, earning accolades such as LPGA Coach of the Year and induction into multiple golfing halls of fame, cementing her status as a revered figure in the world of golf.

Ann Casey Johnstone with the 1957 U.S. Women’s Amateur trophy.

Her sixth and final state title, secured in 1959 at Mason City Country Club, held special significance for her, being her hometown course where she was honored as a lifetime member two years prior. While Ann Casey Johnstone passed away in 2014, her legacy continues to live on not only in Mason City, but for the next generation of Iowa’s young golf stars.

Beginning in 2024, the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur and Iowa Women’s Amateur champion will receive an exemption into the respective USGA National Championship (U.S. Junior Girls & U.S. Women’s Amateur). With the generosity of Johnstone’s children (Jean Ann & Joseph Grabias) and nephew (Casey Martin), the winner of each championship will receive the Ann Casey Johnstone sponsorship. Thus far, her family has raised $5,000 in Ann’s honor to help alleviate the unexpected costs surrounding travel and lodging at these national championships.

Ann Casey Johnstone’s legacy endures through this honorary donation and her distinguished tenure at Mason City Country Club. Interestingly, a fresh “Legacy” is emerging at MCCC.

In late 2022, the Pritchard Companies acquired Mason City Country Club, renaming it “Legacy Golf Course” in honor of the owner’s father, Joe Pritchard, who had a deep connection to the club. A comprehensive renovation project commenced, beginning with drainage improvements led by a team of engineers, including the installation of over a mile of main tile and three holding ponds to address persiste

nt drainage issues. Subsequently, Kevin Norby developed a master plan based on the original 1915 Thomas Bendelow design, featuring new greens, holes, bunkering, irrigation

system, maintenance facility, and tee boxes. Construction is currently underway, with Dunnick overseeing bunker and green shaping on the front nine, while play continues on the back nine. Additionally, a 5,000 square foot Pavilion overlooking the course has been constructed, serving as an interim clubhouse and future public multipurpose facility.

To learn more about the course restoration, Tom Bendelow’s vision, and Ann Casey Johnstone’s life & career, click here.

Next Week on Women’s Wednesday…

Commending the impressive golf achievements of Iowa’s past players.

Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior sets up for a race to the finish

Mother nature did not slow down during round two of the Iowa Junior and Girls’ Junior Amateur at Coldwater Golf Links, in Ames. Windy conditions proved to be a challenge for some players, while others embarked on the challenge. 

After carding a 72 (+1) in round one, Luke Harwick, from Dyersville, played consistent all day. Harwick shot a respectable even par of 71. In solo second from Des Moines after shooting 72 (+1) in round one, Owen Howe did it again in tough conditions and shot another 72 (+1). There are three tied for third at +4 for two rounds, including Thomas Rascon, from Burlington, shooting 70 (-1) and 76 (+5), from Cedar Rapids Garrett Nurre firing 74 (+3) and 72 (+1), along with Jack Rogers, of Iowa City, going 71 (E) and 75 (+4).

In the Girls’ Division Ames native Eden Lohrbach, played solid all day despite the windy conditions. After carding a 70 (-1) in the opening round, Lohrbach followed it up with a 72 (+1). Following the 73 (+2) Morgan Rupp, from Marion, shot in round one, Rupp stands in solo second after shooting an impressive even par round of 71. Ainsely Wilson, from Iowa City, is playing slow and steady golf. After opening up with an even par 71 in round one, Wilson stands in solo third after carding a 75 (+4) in round two.

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Leaderboard packed at Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior Amateur

Coldwater Golf Links, located in Ames, is home of the 2024 Iowa Junior Amateur; and day one was one for the books. Yet the heat and wind did not hinder some of the players’ scores.

In the Boys’ Division, Axten Miller, from Arthur, fought through the conditions and carded an opening round of 69 (-2). There are three tied for second shooting 70 (-1) players that include Cade Sunde, West Des Moines, Leo Fiscus, Davenport and Burlington’s Tomas Rascon.

In the Girls’ Division both carding a 70 (-1), were Eden Lohrbach, of Ames and Jane Peterson, of Cedar Rapids, stand in a tie for first. Ainsley Wilson, of Iowa City, stands in solo third carding an even par 71.

Click here for full results

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