Author: iowagolf

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.

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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).

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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.”

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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.

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Smith’s win Father-Son title, Peters’ dominate once again

No tournament compares to the Father-Son and Parent-Child tournament held at Jester Park Golf Course in Granger.

Individuals may recognize the last name Smith, this time the father-son duo got it done. In the Father-Son Open Division Steve and Grant Smith shot an impressive 69 (-3) to stay clear of the rest of the runners-up by two. There was a three way tie of runner-up all shooting 71 (-1) consisting of Brian and Burke Pitz, Brian and Isaac Rodenberg, and Luke and Monte Meyer.

West Des Moines’ Ben and Tate Pettitt claim the victory of Father-Son Young Adult Division shooting a 75 (+3). Runner up was Jackson and Scott Anderson from Ottumwa shooting a 77 (+5). Followed by Jameson and Sean Honts of West Des Moines shooting 78 (+6).

Ben and Maura Peters, from Bettendorf, closed out a four-peat and fifth title overall, winning the Parent-Child Open Division shooting an impressive 68 (-4). Not too far behind were runner-ups Hannah and Nate Pettitt from Urbandale shooting 70 (-2). There was a tie for third at 76 (+4) between James and Roni Hook from Griswold and Mike and Taylor Phillips from New London. 

Jester Parks Par 3 Course saw a lot of action on Saturday. In the Father-Son Junior Division of eight and under David and Emmett Combs from West Des Moines claimed the title shooting 63 (+9). Runner-ups also out of West Des Moines were Oiliver and Hayden Zeidler shooting 67 (+13). From Cedar Falls Stacey and Luka Dunbar claimed third shooting 72 (+18).

In the Father-Son 9 & 10 Division Aaron and Beckham O’Brien from Ottumwa claimed the victory by one shot, shooting 65 (+11). Runner-ups were David and Carter Combs from West Des Moines shooting 66 (+12). In third was Griffin and Jason Sparks from Waukee shooting 67 (+13). 

From Urbandale Eric and Reese Buntenbach shot an even 70 (+16) to claim the title for the Parent-Child 8 & Under Division. In Runner-Up was Brookly and Wade Pettitt from Waukee. From Clive Ben and Blythe Hall claimed third shooting 79 (+25).

Sweeping the competition from West Des Moines, Ben and Hayden Pettitt claimed the title of the Parent-Child 9 & 10 Division shooting 59 (+5). Runner-Ups out of Cedar Rapids shooting 66 (+12). Coming in third from Ames was Sarah and Jack Van Hauen shooting 76 (+22).

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Honner blitzes field at Carroll Amateur

In the 2024 Carroll Amateur there never was a dull moment.

Coming off from just being medalist in the U.S. Amateur local qualifying at Glen Oaks earlier in the week, Luke Honner did it again. From Sioux Fall, Honner posted all three rounds under par carding two 68s (-2) and an impressive 64 (-6) in the final round. Honner never took his foot off the gas, he even carded an ace on the par 3 10th hole.

There was a tie for runner up at +3 between Spencer Clatt of Gilbert and Bennett Burger from Lake Mills. Clatt carded rounds of 71 (+1), 75 (+5), and an impressive 67 (-3); meanwhile Burger carded rounds of 69 (-1), 70 (even par), and 74 (+4).

In the Senior Division after the first day there was a tie for first between Ron Perterson out of Urbandale and Jeff Panek from Johnston at 74 (+4). In solo third was Jay Gregory from Lineville just one shot back shooting 75 (+5). The second day Peterson played steady all day shooting 72 (+2), claiming the title for Seniors, leaving a tie for runner-up between Panek carding a 75 (+5) and Gregory shooting a 74 (+4).

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Seven advance from U.S. Amateur Local Qualifier at Glen Oaks CC

Glen Oaks Country Club, in West Des Moines, was the host of this year’s U.S. Amateur Local Qualifying and it proved to be a challenge. As the day went on the wind picked up and firmed up the course that much more. Luke Honner (right), this year’s medalist, shooting a well deserved 67 (-4) and one of seven qualifiers into Final Qualifying on the day, demonstrated having patience and hitting fairways was key to success in today’s round.

“Off the tee was really well, again no bogeys, and just stayed patient,” Honner said following his round. “I putted solid, but again just making minimal mistakes.”

Charlie Zielinski, who shot a very respectable 68 (-3), proved finding the fairways as often as possible was the key to success on the day.

“Hitting the fairway does help a lot, I hit seven fairways today,” Zielinski said. “I was looking through my stats at the end of the round. Even if I was in the rough, I was never really out of position. But, as the day went on and the wind picked up, being in the fairway was definitely a premium.”

Also qualifying, with never giving up even after a slow start, was Christopher Atkinson shooting 69 (-2).

“Got off to a slow start, I hit it right off 10 and made a good bogey after getting up and down,” Atkinson said. “I collected myself after the first few holes and started playing solid. Hitting fairways is key out here, I do not need a driver out here a lot. I started hitting a lot of two irons down the middle, I was able to hit it on the green and make some putts which lead to birdies.”

Also qualifying in at 70 (-1) was Connor McCall, Radley Mauney, Reed Malleck and Dennis Bull.

In a thrilling five hole playoff Grant Greazel secured the first alternate spot and Wade Pettitt was awarded the second alternate spot.  

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Race to the finish at 14th IGA Women’s Four-Ball

From left – Michelle Klein, Laura Leszczynski, Ximena Benites and Maura Peters.

The final round of the 14th Women’s Four-Ball Championship was a race to the finish in the Championship Flight with Maura Peters and Ximena Benites coming out victorious. After Peters and Benites opened with an even par round of 71, the two of them took that as a learning experience before going into round two. 

“Yesterday we learned a lot about the golf course, where you can and can not hit the ball, the greens are tricky, and there are definitely sides of the hole where you do not want to be on,” Peters said. 

Making notes of all that, Peters and Benites capitalized on their mistakes and tallied up an impressive seven birdies shooting 64 (-7) on the day. Coming in runner-up Kaitlyn Hanna and Shannyn Volger shooting two of rounds 69 (-2) and 70 (-1). Leaving third to Erika Holmberg and Tatum Depuydt posting a pair of rounds of 69 (-2) and an even par 71.

In the First Flight Julianna Burkholder and Kendra Henningsen walked away with the win of rounds 74 (+3) and 70 (-1). Coming in second was Fiona Watson and Tish Boothe with rounds of 75 (+4) and 72 (+1). There was a tie for third between the sides of Erin Schaffer/Leanne Smith with rounds of 76 (+5) and 74 (+3) and Ava Lohrbach/Eden Lohrbach shooting 75 (+4) both days.

In the Second Flight the Delong sisters (Meghan and Rebecca) battled their way back to secure the win shooting 78 (+7) and 73 (+2). Runner-up was Courtney Hany and Jennie Jackson going 78 (+7) and 77 (+6). Coming in a clean third was Amy Haldeman and Lynn Mawe with rounds of 79 (+9) and 83 (+12).

Within the Championship Net Division Kelly Nelson and Lindsay Burry combined for a two day net score of -13. Coming in runner-up was Molly Ratchford and Natalie Henson with (-9), and there was a tie for third at -8.

In the Senior Division, defending champions Laura Leszczynski and Michelle Klein snacked their way to claim yet another victory. 

“We pre-planned our snacks better, loaded up with caffeine, and Advil as needed; as it was critical on the day,” said Leszczynski. 

After opening with 75 (+4) Leszczynski/Klein did not let up, shooting a 73 (+2). 

“There was not a lot of strategy but there was a lot of energy between the two of us,” Klein said. “We did not take our foot off the pedal at all.” 

There was a tie for runner-up between Carroll Dethrow/Janece Schwartzkopf shooting 77 (+6) and 74 (+3) along with Margene Grady/Rosalie Kubesheski finishing the two days with 76 (+5) and 75 (+4).

In the First FlightCarolyn Flynn/Mary Howell would come out to win with scores of 83 (+12) and 79 (+8). Runner-up was Jackie Warrick/Shirly Rochelle with scores of 84 (+13) and (+10). In third was Kelly Grimes/Sue Harmon shooting 83 (+12) both days.

Holding onto the Senior Net Division Linda McCullum and Sherry Schafer won with a two day net score of -13. Coming in runner-up was Gaylene Hammer and Jan Sewright with (-9), and in third was Ila Gilbert and Janis Owens at (-4).  

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