Julie Buerman (above left) claimed the 59th Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play Championship on Thursday afternoon at Pella Golf and Country Club. The road for Buerman was not easy, as she played three of the toughest competitors.
Buerman’s championship run began after defeating the 2022 Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur champion, Laura Leszczynski, 1 up. She followed it up by de-throning the defending champion and 2021 IGA Women’s Player of the Year, Leanne Smith in the semifinal round. At this point, Buerman looked unstoppable.
“Nine-hole matches are tough because you have to make a move quick or maintain,” Buerman said. “You just have to hang in there. The nine-hole matches are fast, so if you get down it is hard to get back up.”
The stroke play competition before the matches started seemed to benefit most players, including Buerman.
“I have not played here before so the stroke play was kind of my practice round,” Buerman said. “The greens out here are small, but they roll well. The course was in great condition.”
In the championship match, Buerman knocked off the 2022 IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #1 champion and the stroke play competition medalist, Fiona Watson, 2&1. Buerman recorded her first win of the season and enjoyed every moment.
“It is hard to win golf tournaments and it is fun to play well,” Buerman said. “There was a great field out here this week, lots of great competition. This is a great tournament; it is a lot of fun to play. Everyone is so friendly, but everyone is so competitive and everyone wants to win. It is just fun to see everybody and be able to play and have a great time.”
In the First Flight Bracket, Kathy Fortune ended up winning over Kelly Grimes in a 14-hole final round match. Fortune defeated Carroll Dethrow, 2&1, and Michelle Klein, 2&1, on her way to the final round.
The No. 7 seeded Jane Suiter secured the victory in the Second Flight Bracket over the No. 1 seeded Julie Hartman. Suiter had to go through Paula Klyn and Jennifer Corkrean to get to the final match, which she won 2 up.
Ardrae Parmenter won the Third Flight Bracket after defeating Ila Gilbert, 3&1. The match was close, until Parmenter closed out Gilbert on the eighth hole. Parmenter beat Becky Schwiete and Donna Vroom on her way to the final round.
In the championship consolation match, Leanne Smith defeated Janece Schwarzkopf, 2 up. Michelle Klein beat Nicki Clayton in the First Flight Consolation Match, 4&3. In the Second Flight Consolation Match, Jennifer Corkrean topped Noreen Christians in 10 holes while Susan Mitchell knocked off Donna Vroom, 4&2.
Championship Flight Final
Julie Buerman def. Fiona Watson 2&1
First Flight Final
Kathy Fortune def. Kelly Grimes 14 Holes
Second Flight Final
Jane Suiter def. Julie Hartman 2 up
Third Flight Final
Ardae Parmenter def. Ila Gilbert 3&1