Leanne Smith was crowned champion at the 58th Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play Championship on Tuesday afternoon at Hillcrest Golf and Country Club in Adel. Smith (pictured above), of Indianola, defeated Laura Leszczynski, of St. Mary’s, 4&3 in the final round.
After winning the Forever 39 Match Play and the 2019-2020 IGA Women’s Match Play, it is official that Smith knows how to win match play events.
“I can be a little errant sometimes,” Smith said. “Giving up a big hole doesn’t really phase me in match play, you just lose the hole, you don’t fall behind in strokes. I know that I can go out and make birdies.”
In the stroke play qualifier, Smith carded a 1-under 35 and finished runner-up to medalist Fionna Watson. Smith earned the No. 2 seed in the Championship Flight bracket and faced off against Carole Schlapkohl in her first match.
“I had never played out there (at Hillcrest),” Smith said “I was trying to figure out where to be off the tee and just trying to figure out where I needed to be on the greens. It was nice to shoot a good number to set yourself up well in the matches.”
The stroke play qualifying helped Smith prepare for her matches and gave her a little boost of confidence going into them. She stuck to her game plan and won the Women’s Forever 39 Match Play in her first appearance in the event.
The No. 1 seed, Fiona Watson faced off against the No. 6 seeded Rosalie Kubesheski in the Consolation Match and won 4&3. Watson lost to Leszczynski, who won 2 up, in the second round and Kubesheski fell to Smith, 2&1.
In the First Flight bracket, the No. 5 seeded Margene Grady knocked off Sue Harmon, 2&1 in the final match. During Grady’s journey to the win, she had to take on three of the top four seeds, including the No. 1 seed in the second round, Noreen Christians.
In the Consolation Match for the First Flight bracket, Ann Slechta took down Christians, 2&1. Slechta, who was the No. 7 seed, fell to Sue Harmon in round two, 3&1.
The No. 7 seed, Jan Sewright, was victorious in the Second Flight bracket, defeating the No. 1 seed Nancy Olberding to win the bracket. Sewright did not have an easy path either, beating the No. 2 seed Donna Vroom and the No. 3 seed Carroll Dethrow in rounds one and two.
Dethrow defeated Lora Winter in the Consolation Match for the Second Flight. Winter fell to the No. 1 seed Nancy Olberding and her match with Dethrow came down to the final hole.
The Third Flight bracket featured the No. 6 seeded Ardrae Parmenter taking on the No. 5 seeded Nancy Lorenzini in the final round. Parmenter pulled off her third upset of the tournament, and won the match against Lorenzini, 2&1.
Cathy West lost the Consolation Match for the Third Flight bracket to Jane Suiter, 1UP through eight holes. West was defeated by Lorenzini in round two and Suiter fell to the bracket winner, Parmenter.
In the consolation brackets, Julie Buerman won the Championship Flight over Robin Webb, 3&1. Michelle Klein took down Leighann Larocca in the First Flight Consolation bracket. Kelly Nelson beat Susan Mitchell in the Second Flight bracket and Bonnie Jones defeated Becky Schwiete in the Third Flight bracket.
Championship Flight Winner:
Leanne Smith def. Laura Leszczynski, 4&3
First Flight Winner:
Margene Grady def. Sue Harmon, 2&1
Second Flight Winner:
Jan Sewright def. Nancy Olberding, 5&3
Third Flight Bracket:
Ardrae Parmenter def. Nancy Lorenzini, 2&1