Brown’s Quarterfinal Appearance Leads Strong Iowa Fivesome at U.S. Senior Amateur

Jon Brown (above) reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Senior Amateur championship in his first try. He led a strong contingent of five Iowans in the field. (photo courtesy of USGA)

The state of Iowa was well represented at the recently contested U.S. Senior Amateur held August 27-Sept. 1 at The Kittansett Club in Marion, Mass. Jon Brown, Gene Elliott, Curtis Holck, Mike McCoy, and Joe Palmer were all part of the 156-player field competing in the 67th annual edition of the championship.

Brown, who reached the minimum age of 55 a day before the championship started, led the Iowa contingent through the 36-hole medal play qualifying by firing a 72-70 to match the fourth lowest qualifying score at 142. He then advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Oscar Mestre (1 up), Jim Plotkin (3&2) and John Adams (25 holes), the latter equaling the second longest match in the championship.

Brown was eliminated in the quarterfinals by veteran Doug Hanzel, the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion, by a 5&4 margin.

Three other Iowans reached the match play segment of the championship. Reigning British Senior Amateur Champion and Walker Cup captain Mike McCoy of Des Moines registered another solid USGA showing by reaching the round of 16 in match play before being defeated by England’s Stephen Jensen 3&1. McCoy qualified for the match play segment (low 64 medal play) by firing a 78-71-149, then defeated Erik Hanson (22 holes) and Jeff Wilson (20 holes) in the rounds of 64 and 32 respectively.

Defending champion Gene Elliott of West Des Moines reached the round of 32 by shooting a 152 in the medal play qualifying and beating Tom Winegardner (1 up) in the first round. He was defeated by Stephen Jensen (1 up) in the second round. Elliott was competing for the first time in several weeks after being hampered with injuries for most of the 2022 season.

Recently crowned Iowa Senior Amateur champion Joe Palmer of Norwalk also reached the round of 32. Palmer qualified with a 152 then defeated Danny Nelson 3&2 in the round of 64. He was defeated by former PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour player Lee Porter 1 up in the second round of match play.

The final Iowan in the field, Curtis Holck of Ankeny shot a 79-80 in the medal portion of the championship but did not qualify for match play.

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