Bolte, Nelson top juniors in Iowa for 2023

Braeden Nelson (above right) is this year’s Iowa Golf Association Junior Boys’ Player of the Year. Nelson, of West Des Moines, nearly doubled the points of the next closest in the standings, previous Junior Boys’ Player of the Year Maxwell Tjoa.

Nelson finished runner-up at the 2023 IHSAA 4A State Tournament as a freshman at West Des Moines Valley High School. He finished the two days at +2, one stroke behind the leader, at Elmcrest Country Club, Cedar Rapids.

He placed fourth at the Iowa PGA Spring Junior Open and won the Iowa Boys Junior PGA Championship by a stunning six strokes. He carded a (-9) 135 over the three days at Gates Park Golf Course, Waterloo.

In Iowa Golf Association play, Nelson played his way into the Round of 16 at the IGA Match Play Championship at Talons Golf, Ankeny. He also finished T2 at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Coldwater Golf Links, Ames. After the playoff, Nelson earned the designation of second alternate.

Nelson played several American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events throughout the summer, finishing in the top ten in three events over competition from around the nation.

He finished T10 at the Golf Performance Center Killington Junior Golf Championship. He carded a (+7) 220 total over the three rounds at Green Mountain National Golf Course, VT.

Nelson later competed at the AJGA Junior at Palouse Ridge in Pullman, WA. There, he finished T5 with a (-11) 205 tournament total.

Building on his momentum, Nelson tied for the low score at the Austin Minnesota Junior Championship Presented by Hormel Foods, a (-3) 213 total at Austin Country Club, MN. Nelson lost the playoff after three holes to Asher Vargas, of Spring, TX.

Nelson’s impressive summer is an exciting show for junior golf in Iowa. It heightens anticipation for his sophomore season and the upcoming IGA season.

A stellar year for Chloe Bolte (above left) propelled her to her Iowa Golf Association Junior Girls’ Player of the Year honor. Bolte, of Sumner, a rising high school junior at Sumner-Fredericksburg, was a constant among junior tournament leaderboards.

Bolte earned a staggering ten top-five finishes over the summer, beginning with her high school state tournament. Bolte won her second of back-to-back IGHSAU 2A State Tournaments by a whopping ten strokes over the two-round championship.

She placed fifth at the Principal Charity Classic Junior Open, T3 at the John Deere Classic Junior Open, and then fifth at the 13th IGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship with partner Mckenna Stackis.

Bolte returned to junior events placing 5th at the Iowa Girls Junior PGA Championship and then 3rd at the IGA Iowa Girls Junior Amateur. She continued by tying for the low score at the Galesburg Junior Open, placing runner-up after the tiebreaker.

She competed at the 99th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship at Finkbine Golf Course, Iowa City, and placed 15th among many of Iowa’s best amateurs.

Bolte totaled (-5) 139 at the Iowa PGA Junior Tour Midsummer Classic, winning the two-day tournament at Briarwood Golf Club and Otter Creek Golf Course. She then placed second at the Iowa Junior Open, and then capped off her summer by winning the Iowa PGA Junior Tour Fall Classic.

Bolte also represented Iowa at the 55th Girls’ Four-State tournament against Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, winning Iowa’s lone singles point.

Bolte has her junior season of high school golf to look forward to as she seeks a third-straight state tournament title.

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