Category: Championships

2022 IGA Annual Awards Banquet Recap

The 2022 IGA Awards Dinner took place Thursday, December 8 at Terrace Hills Golf Course in Altoona. It was an enjoyable night with several deserving honorees and award winners in various categories being celebrated for their efforts.

The following individuals and courses were honored –

PGA Pro of the Year – Jeff Moore, Finkbine Golf Course

Club Manager of the Year – Deb Jaycox, Spencer Golf & Country Club

9-Hole Superintendent – Scott Rohlfsen of Jesup Golf & Country Club

18-Hole Superintendent – Anthony Mieske, Crow Valley Golf Club

9-Hole Course of the Year – Gateway Recreation, Inc., Monroe

18-Hole Course of the Year – Fort Dodge Country Club

George Turner Distinguished Service Award – Rick Brown, Pleasant Hill

Sean Flanders Volunteer of the Year Award – Carolyn Frescoln, Norwalk

Player of the Year – Nate McCoy, Ankeny (View video)

Senior Player of the Year – Mike McCoy, Norwalk (View video)

Super Senior Player of the Year – Pat Ryan, Marshalltown (View video)

Read more about the Men’s Players of the Year

Women’s Player of the Year – Ruby Chou, Ames (View video)

Senior Women’s Player of the Year – Laura Leszczynski, St. Mary’s (View video)

Read more about the Women’s Players of the Year

Junior Girls’ Player of the Year – Bella Pettersen, North Liberty (View video)

Junior Boys’ Player of the Year – Maxwell Tjoa, Cedar Falls (View video)

Read more about the Junior Players of the Year

2023 IGA schedule, USGA qualifying locations announced

The 2023 IGA Championship calendar has been released. The schedule includes a tremendous lineup of IGA Member Clubs that will serve as host sites for next year’s IGA championships and USGA Qualifiers. There will also be some changes to a few championships, including an expansion of the Iowa Mid-Amateur and the hosting of qualifying events for the Iowa Amateur.

The Iowa Amateur will return to Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines from July 24-26. This will be the second time Glen Oaks CC hosted the state’s biggest amateur event, having previously hosted in 2011 (won by Gene Elliott). Qualifying events will return for the Iowa Amateur Championship as well, the first time since Glen Oaks CC last hosted in 2011. There will be three sites across the state in July where players who are not exempt can attempt to qualify and make the field of 132 that will tee it up at Glen Oaks CC.

Glen Oaks CC will also be the home of Iowa’s U.S. Open Local qualifier in 2023. The club will host top amateurs and professionals on Monday, May 1, as they try to move on to the sectional round and, perhaps, the championship itself at Los Angeles Country Club.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur will return to Finkbine Golf Course, one of the top collegiate courses in the midwest, in Iowa City for the fourth time. Finkbine also hosted the Iowa Women’s Amateur in 2016 (won by Jessie Sindlinger), 2010 (Kristin Paulson) and 2001 (Mary Anne Locker). The 2023 edition will be played Sun-Tues, July 16-18.  Finkbine GC continues to make wonderful improvements to its facility, including a brand new clubhouse and updated practice facility.

Talons Golf in Ankeny will be the home of the men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championships for the fourth straight year. The event will take place June 27-30. Talons Golf is a privately-owned course routed between beautiful rock-walled streams and covered bridges. As a popular venue for this event, many players, both men, and women, will look to add their names to the list of IGA Match Play champions.

The Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship will expand to 54 holes in 2023, allowing top finishers to receive World Amateur Golf Ranking points. Geneva Golf & Country Club in Muscatine will host the event next spring, May 18-20. Geneva G&CC has become a frequent stop for IGA events over the past few years, hosting the Senior Match Play in 2021 and U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying in 2022. They also were home to the annual Iowa Cup Matches in 2022 (hosted by the Iowa PGA) which featured many top amateurs.

The Herman Sani Tournament will return August 11-13, to Johnston’s Hyperion Field Club. Since 2013 the event has rotated between Echo Valley Country Club and Hyperion and continues to feature the state’s best amateur and professional golfers vying for the trophy. Hyperion will also be home to the annual Iowa Cup Matches that feature the state’s top amateurs and professionals competing in a “Ryder Cup Style” competition on Sept 28-29.

The Senior Amateur Championships will head to venues that have hosted IGA championships in the past but never these specific events. The Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur will be played at Prairie Links Golf Club in Waverly on August 6-7 while the Iowa Senior Amateur (Men’s) will be played at Dubuque Golf & Country Club on August 23-25.

In addition to those championships listed, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Burlington Golf Club (IGA Four-Ball – May 5-6), Lake Panorama Nat’l GC (IGA Senior Match Play – May 14-16), Echo Valley CC (Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play – June 5-6), Jester Park Golf Course in Granger (Father/Son, Parent/Child – June 17-18), Pheasant Ridge Golf Course (Iowa Junior & Girls’ Junior Amateur – June 19-21), Elmcrest Country Club (IGA Women’s Club Team – Aug. 14), and Davenport Country Club (IGA Club Team – Oct. 2).

The IGA Women’s Four-Ball and Women’s Mid-Am Series events dates and locations will be announced at a later time. Those updates can be found by checking back to this release.

The IGA will also conduct and administer several USGA Qualifiers throughout the state in 2023. Here are the sites for this year’s qualifying events:
• Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines – U.S. Open Local Qualifier – May 1
• Ames Golf & Country Club, Ames – U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier – June 12
• Coldwater Golf Links, Ames – U.S. Amateur Qualifier – July 10
• Des Moines Golf & CC (South), West Des Moines – U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier – July 27
• Beaver Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls – U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier – July 31
• Des Moines Golf & CC (North), West Des Moines – U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier – Aug 17
• Cedar Rapids Country Club, Cedar Rapids – U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier – August 28

Three qualifying events for the 121st Iowa Amateur will be held across the state. Those sites are as follows:
• Terrace Hills Golf Course (Altoona -Central qualifier) – July 5
• Ellis Golf Course (Cedar Rapids – East qualifier) – July 11
• BVU Golf Club at Lake Creek CC (Storm Lake – West qualifier) – July 12

Also new in 2023 will be a partnership with Strackaline to provide options for IGA players to purchase detailed yardage books and green guides at a discounted rate. More information will be forthcoming on that partnership after the first of the year.

Entries to all IGA Championships will be available in March.

Entries will be available for USGA Championships at a later date, which will be determined by the USGA and announced on their website.

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

Buermans defend title, win third career Iowa Wife-Husband crown

Defending champions, Julie and Brian Buerman (above), earned their second-straight title at the 62nd Iowa Wife/Husband Championship at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo over the weekend. The Buermans carded rounds of 77 and 69 to earn a one-shot victory over the side of Stephanie and Alan Johnson. 

After the first round, the Buermans found themselves two shots out of the lead. With an eight-shot improvement in the final round, the Buermans were able to complete the comeback over the Johnson’s and win their third career title in the event. 

Amanda and Ryan Lambert tied with the side of Bailey Hammerberg and Andy Tiedt for third place at seven-over-par. Victoria and Zachary Van Cleave rounded out the top-five with an eight-over, 152 total.

The Senior Division had another final round comeback from the side of Robin and Doug Webb to claim the title. In the first round, the Webb’s carded a 78 and found themselves five shots behind Laurie and Todd Slater. 

With four birdies and the lowest recorded score in the final round, the Webb’s raced back and grabbed ahold of the lead. The Slater’s fell two-shots short and finished at 11-over-par for the tournament. 

Laura and Tom Christensen placed third with rounds of 80 and 76. They finished one shot ahead of Michelle and Tom Klein, who posted 13-over. Marla and Bryce Dahm finished in a four-way tie for fifth place alongside Pam and Paul Netzel, Mindy and John Bowen and the side of Kelley and Joseph Paxson.

Renea and Tom Friedman (right) were crowned champions in the Super Senior Division with a 158 tally. The couple earned a four-shot victory over Jeanette and Raymond Fredericksen, who carded rounds of 82 and 80.

Karen and Mark Johnson took third place with rounds of 82 and 81 to finish at 19-over-par. Cindy and Peter Reinertsen tied with Carroll and John Dethrow to round out the top-five. 

Two tournaments remain on the Iowa Golf Association’s schedule. The Iowa Cup Matches on Thursday, September 29th at Geneva Country Club in Muscatine. Following the Iowa Cup Matches, the IGA Club Team will take place on October 3rd to close out the season.

Open Division
1. Julie & Brian Buerman 77-69=146
2. Stephanie & Alan Johnson 75-72=147
T3. Amanda & Ryan Lambert 78-73=151
T3. Bailey Hammerberg & Andy Tiedt 78-73=151
5. Victoria & Zachary Van Cleave 74-78=152

Senior Division
1. Robin & Doug Webb 78-75=153
2. Laurie & Todd Slater 73-82=155
3. Laura & Tom Christensen 80-76=156
4. Michelle & Tom Klein 77-80=157
T5. Marla & Bryce Dahm 78-83=161
T5. Pam & Paul Netzel 80-81=161
T5. Mindy & John Bowen 81-80=161
T5. Kelley & Joseph Paxson 83-78=161 

Super Senior Division
1. Renea & Tom Friedman 80-78=158
2. Jeanette Fredericksen & Raymond Fredericksen 82-80=162
3. Karen & Mark Johnson 82-81=163
4. Cindy & Peter Reinertsen 90-80=163
5. Carroll & John Dethrow 85-85=170

Boothe / Watson claim IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series #3 title

Fiona Watson and Tish Boothe (left two players above) claimed the third and final IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event title over the defending champions, Erin Schaffer and Leanne Smith on Saturday. Watson and Boothe carded an even round of 71 to top the sides in a second-place tie between Schaffer and Smith and Julie Buerman and Katie Wenthe.

Kathy Fortune and Laura Leszczynski finished their Saturday in fourth place, two back from Watson and Boothe. Kelly Nelson and Lindsay Burry tied with Lauren Backer and Jen List for fifth place. 

Rebecca Schroeder and Marie Jeanblanc (right two players above) were the Team Net Division champions after an eight-under day. Schroeder and Jeanblanc knocked off Kelly Grimes and Sue Harmon, who posted a five-under net round. 

To round out the top-five is a three-way tie at four under-par between Renee Buckner and Kim Burchett, Carroll Dethrow and Janece Schwartzkopf and the side of Janis Owens and Ila Gilbert. 

Next up on the IGA schedule is the 62nd Wife-Husband Championship on September 16-18 at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo. Find out who will claim this year’s title using our live scoring feature.

Team Gross Division
1. Watson + Boothe E 71
T2. Schaffer + Smith +1 72
T2. Buerman + Wenthe +1 72
4. Fortune + Leszczynski +2 73
T5. Nelson + Burry +3 74
T5. Backer + List +3 74

Team Net Division
1. Schroeder + Jeanblanc -8 63
2. Grimes + Harmon -5 66
T3. Buckner + Burchett -4 67
T3. Dethrow + Schwartzkopf -4 67
T3. Owens + Gilbert -4 67

Palmer wins fourth career Iowa Senior Amateur, Brooks claims Super Senior title

The 2021 IGA Senior Player of the Year, Joe Palmer (above), broke through with his first IGA victory of the season. Palmer stormed up the leaderboard to claim the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship after a first round 73 set him back. 

“It is not easy with 36 holes when you are eight shots back,” Palmer said. “Sean (Davis), who put the 66 on there, is a really steady player. I did not think he was going to come back to us, but I had no choice but to try to dig in and get something done.”

That’s what Palmer did.

Back-to-back rounds of 66 put Palmer ahead of the second-round leaders, Sean Davis, of Council Bluffs, and Bret Taylor, of Booneville.

“Fortunately, on day two, I got it to where I was in striking distance,” said Palmer. “Today I got off to a good start and unfortunately for them they did not have their best ball striking days. Then it was a whole new ball game.”

Heading into the week of the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, Palmer did not shy away from teeing it up at this week. Now going into the prestigious championship, Palmer will have a boost of confidence.

“Fortunately, I won a few years back when we went to Eugene, Oregon for the U.S. Senior Amateur,” Palmer said. “I had won at Des Moines Golf and Country Club and flew out the next morning. I really wanted to go in playing, I like the competition. It is hard to replace that.”

Davis played his final round at three-over par, giving him a solo second place finish. Taylor carded a four-over 75 to take home third place with a two-under three-day tally.

Dave Gaer and the 2022 Herman Sani Tournament Senior Champion, Jay Gregory, played consistent golf this week and round out the top-five in the Senior Division. Gaer placed fourth at one-under par for the tournament and Gregory finished at one-over par. 

Bob Brooks (right) was able to hang on and claim the Super Senior Division title. Brooks was two-shots back after day one but flipped the switch and stayed away from the big numbers as he finished out his week.

“I stayed away from the big number, that was the key,” Brooks said. “Some of my poor shots, I recovered really well. If you hit a fairway, you had a good chance for a birdie. I hit a lot of fairways and only missed two greens today.”

Brooks was in a good spot with his game this week. Driving the ball well, hitting solid approach shots and making putts. It all seemed to flow.

“They say drive for show, putt for dough,” Brooks said. “I always say, ‘You can’t putt for dough if you don’t drive for show.’ A big part of my game is locating the pin from the tee box and trying to hit a specific area.”

Even though Brooks was playing with the leaders, he stayed focused on his own game. A couple mistakes resulted in dropped shots, but Brooks was able to battle back and recover. At the turn, Brooks started to feel the confidence rise. 

“I knew if I just hit the ball the way I did the last few days, I would be okay,” Brooks said. “I almost had a hole in one on my third hole. It was three inches from just past the pin. It got me into a comfortable zone. Once I made the turn, I peaked at the leaderboard and said to myself, ‘just keep hitting fairways,’ and that is what I did.”

Jim Butler and Rob Christensen tied for second place. Both Butler and Christensen had solid weeks after a pair of 215 totals. A three-way tie for fourth place concludes our top-five. Rick Gorbell, Joel Yunek and Steve Kahler posted four-over par for the week. 

You can follow Palmer as he takes on The Kittansett Club the 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship with his fellow Iowans, Curtis Holck, Jon Brown, Gene Elliott and the 2023 Walker Cup Captain, Mike McCoy.

Senior Division
1. Joe Palmer 73-66-66=205
2. Sean Davis 65-71-74=210
3. Bret Taylor 70-66-75=211
4. Dave Gaer 72-71-69=212
5. Jay Gregory 71-71-72=214

Super Senior Division
Bob Brooks 72-69-70=211
T2. Jim Butler 74-70-71=215
T2. Rob Christensen 72-73-70=215
T4. Rick Gorbell 75-71-71=217
T4. Joel Yunek 71-72-74=217
T4. Steve Kahler 73-71-73=217

Taylor joins Davis at top of 44th Iowa Senior Amateur leaderboard, Brooks paces Super Seniors

Bret Taylor (above) joins the first-round leader, Sean Davis, at the top of the leaderboard. Taylor held a two-shot lead going into his last three holes, but an untimely tee shot on seven and a three putt on nine sent him back into a tie with Davis.

“It was a little disappointing to three-putt the last hole” Taylor said. “I also holed out from 72 yards, so I can’t complain.”

With five birdies and a hole-out for eagle on the day, Taylor was pleased with his round. 

“I have struggled this year, so it is nice to piece together some rounds and hit some good shots,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s first Iowa Senior Amateur Championship appearance came at Ames Golf and Country Club back in 2015. Having past experience along with a strong history of playing well in the Joe August tournament each year, Taylor is overflowing with confidence. 

“I play the Joe August every year,” Taylor said. “Ron Peterson and I have had a lot of success here. I know the course and I am confident on the course.”

Knowing the task ahead of him, Taylor does not want to get ahead of himself. 

“You can’t get ahead of yourself,” Taylor said. “That is probably the best way to play. I did a good job of not getting ahead of myself and I absolutely have to do that tomorrow.”

Davis carded an even round today to keep his name at the top. Three birdies and three bogeys kept Davis from increasing his first-round lead. 

The 2021 Senior Player of the Year, Joe Palmer, is back into contention after tying Taylor for the low round of the day. After a bogey on hole 12, Palmer caught fire. Going six-under in the following nine holes pushed Palmer into third place. 

Dave Cunningham was one shot away from joining Palmer and Taylor. Cunningham had a clean scorecard and knocked in four birdies to finish his day in fourth place. Jay Gregory and Jay Slings will go into the final round in a tie for fifth place at even-par.

Bob Brooks (right) takes the lead in the Super Senior Division after a two-under round of 69 Tuesday afternoon. Brooks began the day with two bogeys in his first three holes but turned it around quickly with back-to-back birdies on four and five. 

To finish the day, Brooks made birdie on 13 and 16 to close out his day two shots ahead of second place. Joel Yunek, of Mason City, finished in solo second after a one-over round of 72 during the morning wave. 

Steve Kahler and Jim Butler made moves today, getting back inside the top-three. Kahler ended his day at even par and Butler carded a one-under round. Rob Christensen rounded out the top-five with a 145 two-round tally. 

The final round of the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship will take place Wednesday morning. Find out which senior and super senior will be crowned the champion at Ames Golf and Country Club using our live scoring feature. 

Senior Division
T1. Bret Taylor 70-66=136
T1. Sean Davis 65-71=136
3. Joe Palmer 73-66=139
4. Dave Cunningham 73-67=140
T5. Jay Slings 67-75=142
T5. Jay Gregory 71-71=142

Super Senior Division
1. Bob Brooks 72-69=141
2. Joel Yunek 71-72=143
T3. Jim Butler 74-70=144
T3. Steve Kahler 73-71=144
T3. Rob Christensen 74-70=144

Davis sets the pace at 44th Iowa Senior Amateur, Miller leads Super Seniors

Sean Davis, of Council Bluffs is the round one leader at the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship, held at Ames Golf and Country Club. Davis had it rolling in round one, knocking in seven birdies en route to a six-under round.

“I just played real solid all the way around,” said Davis. “As the day went on the greens got a little dryer and faster. They were in great shape and the staff did a great job.”

Going into moving day with a two-shot lead can be uncomfortable at times, but not for Davis. 

“This resembles the back nine at my home course Council Bluffs Country Club,” Davis said. “I feel real comfortable out here.”

Ankeny’s, Jay Slings, sits two-back of Davis after a four-under round of 67. Slings made five birdies to only one lone bogey. Currently, Slings holds second place by three-shots over Booneville’s, Bret Taylor. 

Taylor joined Davis and Slings as the only three players under-par in the Senior Division. Taylor tallied four birdies, but three bogeys set him back. Ron Peterson and the recent Herman Sani Tournament Senior Champion, Jay Gregory, finish the top-five at even-par. 

Terry Miller, of Fort Dodge, leads the way in the Super Senior Division with a one-shot lead over Mason City’s, Joel Yunek. Miller carded a one-under round of 70 that included four birdies to only three bogeys. 

Yunek holds on to solo second place after parring the course. Yunek’s consistent round places him in great position to chase the lead. Bob Brooks and Rob Christensen finished tied for third place at one-over par. 

Steve Kahler, David Studer and the Super Senior Match Play Champion, Tom Norton, round out the top-five at two-over par. The competitors in the three-way tie for fifth are only three-back from Miller.

The second round of the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship will start Tuesday morning morning. Follow the seniors using our live scoring feature as they look to put pressure on the leaders, Davis and Miller.

Senior Division
1. Sean Davis -6 65
2. Jay Slings -4 67
3. Bret Taylor -1 70
T4. Ron Peterson E 71
T4. Jay Gregory E 71

Super Senior Division
Terry Miller -1 70
Joel Yunek E 71
T3. Bob Brooks +1 72
T3. Rob Christensen +1 72
T5. Steve Kahler +2 73
T5. Tom Norton +2 73
T5. David Studer +2 73

Irv Warren Memorial GC wins, Smith defends title at Elmcrest CC

Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course overthrew Echo Valley Country Club as the 61st IGA Women’s Club Team champions and Leanne Smith (above left) defends her title at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids. 

Smith fired a four-under round of 66 to earn back-to-back titles. Five birdies and one eagle gave Smith a three-shot lead over her IGA Four-Ball partner, Julie Buerman. Buerman carded a 69 to finish second in the Gross Division.

With a two-over tally, the side of Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course was able to slide by the defending champions at Echo Valley Country Club by one shot. Lindsay Burry led her squad with a three-over round. 

Rose Kubesheski finished second on the team with a 75 total. Kubesheski’s Four-Ball partner, Margene Grady, added a 78 to the team’s total while Kelly Nelson tacked on an efficient round of 79.

Sunnyside Country Club won the Net Division with a 10-under total. Their team finished with a 200 total with Renea Freidman leading the way with a 67. The side of Sunnyside Country Club topped St. Andrews second group by one shot. 

Amy Olberding (above right) was crowned the individual Net Division champion with a four-under round of 66. Olberding broke out of the three-way tie for second place to win by one shot. Mary Hoefle, Renea Friedman and Cindy Reinertsen concluded their day in a tie for second. 

On August 22, the Iowa Golf Association holds the Iowa Senior Amateur at Ames Golf and Country Club. Follow the seniors using our live scoring feature as they battle for this year’s crown.

Gross Division
Irv Warren Memorial GC +2 212
Echo Valley CC +3 213
Elmcrest CC +5 215
Sunnyside CC +7 217
St. Andrews-2 +8 218

Individual Gross Division
Leanne Smith -4 66
Julie Buerman -1 69
Amy Olberding E 70
Erin Schaffer E 70
Renea Friedman E 70

Net Division
Sunnyside CC -10 200
St. Andrews-2 -9 201
Hyperion Field Club -4 206
Irv Warren Memorial GC -4 206
Echo Valley CC -4 206

Individual Net Division
Amy Olberding -4 66
Mary Hoefle -3 67
Renea Friedman -3 67
Cindy Reinertsen -3 67
Lisa Zbylicki -2 68

Fisher plays steady, wins 73rd Herman Sani Tournament

Professional, Darin Fisher (above), finished out with 10-straight pars to seal the deal and win the 73rd Herman Sani Tournament on Sunday, held at Echo Valley Country Club in Norwalk.

The first round gave the (now) two-time Herman Sani Tournament champion zero fits as he put together a bogey-free, three-under round of 68. That momentum changed as the second round came around the corner.

“I started off with bogey on the first hole during my second round, so I said, ‘I guess today was going to be one of those where you throw in a few bogeys and make a few birdies’,” Fisher said.

Fisher recorded three bogeys and five birdies to finished tied for the lead going into the final round.

On Fisher’s opening nine, he opened with a one-under 34 to give him a four-shot lead over the low-amateur, Connor Peck. As the two competitors made the turn, Connor found himself two-back after two more birdies on 10 and 13. 

As Fisher approached the 16th hole, he was left with a ‘knee-knocker’ to save his par. The putt hit the back of the cup and fell, leaving Fisher with a two-shot lead with two holes to play.

“That putt was big,” Fisher said. “I was totally fooled on the downhill part of that putt, but I told myself, ‘You’re going to make this, you’re going to make this,’ and I stayed positive, and I just rolled that thing in.”

With pars on 17 and 18, Fisher claimed his second Herman Sani Tournament title.

“This tournament is so great,” Fisher said. “There are so many great players in this event. I won at Hyperion before and so it is great to know now that my game travels here. I love winning events that Chad (Pitts) and his staff run. I am just really proud.”

Peck (right) made a run at the overall title, but late bogeys altered his plans and sent him to a playoff with Anthony Ruthey for the low-amateur title. 

“I made five on 17 and five on 18 so I felt like I gave away two at the end,” Peck said. “It worked out in the end; Anthony and I had a good playoff.”

Peck won the fourth playoff hole to seal the victory and conclude an impressive week. 

Defending champion, Jay Gregory does it again in the Senior Division. Knocking off the Norwalk native and 2021 IGA Senior Player of the Year, Joe Palmer, for the second straight year is a feat in itself. 

“This win is special,” Gregory said. “I look forward to coming back next year and trying to three-peat.”

Gregory’s scores were about as consistent as they could get, tallying rounds of 71, 70 and a final 70 to keep the trophy in his possession. 

“There so many good players,” Gregory said. “Playing in any IGA tournament is tough. I was hitting the ball well all week and I finally made some putts today; I was kind of struggling the last two days.”

Palmer finished one shot back of Gregory (right) at one-under par for the week. Early bogeys on the card left Palmer hanging on as Gregory jumped out of the gate with three birdies on his first nine holes. 

Jeff Collett, the 2022 IGA Match Play Champion, took third place. Collett ended his tournament run with a six-over total and a 74 on the final day. The 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur qualifier, Curtis Holck, was the fourth-place finisher at seven-over par.

Wrapping up the Senior Division’s top-five was the 2023 Walker Cup Captain, Mike McCoy, and former Iowa Amateur Champion, Brian Verduyn. The two historic Iowa golfers carded eight-over tallies for the week.

The 2021 Super Senior Player of the Year, Pat Ryan, marches to the finish line in an impressive fashion. Ryan was down five shots after round one, but dug deep and fought to claim the Super Senior Division title. 

“I wanted to win this more than any other tournament,” Ryan said. “Thanks to the Iowa Golf Association and Echo Valley Country Club, this place was fantastic. It means a lot to me.”

A birdie on the 16th and a par on his 17th hole gave Ryan (right) the two stroke lead over the runner-up finisher, Robert Pomerantz. Ryan had been searching for a lead all week and for it to appear just in time showed the strength Ryan brought to the table. 

Rob Christensen took third place after tying Tom Schill for the low round of the day. Christensen carded a 71 to sneak back into contention. Joel Yunek and Jim Madsen round out the top-five with an 11-over tally. 

The 61st IGA Women’s Club Team Championship begins today. Follow our live scoring feature and find out which club shines the brightest at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids. 

Open Division
1. Darin Fisher 68-69-70=207
T2. Connor Peck 69-72-69=210
T2. Anthony Ruthey 67-72-71=210
T2. Matthew Walker 68-74-68=210
5. Matthew Jennings 67-74-70=211

Amateur Division
1. Connor Peck 69-72-69=210 *Won Playoff*
2. Anthony Ruthey 67-72-71=210
T3. Nate McCoy 72-73-67=212
T3. Sam Vertanen 71-67-74=212
5. Ian Meyer 66-77-70=213

Senior Division
1. Jay Gregory 71-70-70=211
2. Joe Palmer 71-68-73=212
3. Jeff Collett 72-73-74=219
4. Curtis Holck 72-70-78=220
T5. Mike McCoy 71-75-75=221
T5. Brian Verduyn 74-70-77=221

Super Senior Division
1. Pat Ryan 76-70-73=219
2. Robert Pomerantz 75-73-72=220
3. Rob Christensen 76-74-71=221
T4. Joel Yunek 73-75-76=224
T4. Jim Madsen 72-72-80=224

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