Sitting two shots off the lead, Iowa Golf Hall of Fame members Jon Brown and Gene Elliott (left) knew they had some work to do in order to win the 25th IGA Four-Ball Championship at The Falls in Larchwood.
A 10-under par 62 later and it was mission accomplished. With five birdies apiece, Brown and Elliott commented they just kept trying to get one more birdie on the card. Brown’s birdie on the final two holes proved to be the difference as they outdistanced the side of Ethan Mechling / J.D. Anderson by a pair of strokes.
“We each made five birdies and didn’t double-up,” Brown said. “We just kept plugging away and didn’t give up. I felt like we left a couple (shots) out there yesterday, but not today. Teaming up with Gene I had a tremendous amount of trust. I knew he would never be out of the hole and be there when I needed him.”
Never having to count a bogey on a course that played quite difficult with strong, blustering winds was a feat within itself for the champions who shot rounds of 68-62 (-14) over the two-day event.
“In 36 holes we really didn’t scare making bogey,” Elliott said. “We had to make a few 4-5 foot putts, but we were never in trouble where we weren’t going to make par and gave ourselves a lot of chances. I hit first on every hole and tried to get it into play. With Jon being so long, I wanted him to be able to feel free to go after it. Now we gotta go defend next year, unless he dumps me.”
Brown jokingly said he thinks he’ll keep Elliott on the team. This victory marked the sixth overall IGA Four-Ball title for Elliott and Brown’s second victory in the event. Neither had teamed up together in the past.
In the Senior Division, Joe Palmer and Terry Cook (left) collected their third title in the division and fourth overall, winning the Open Division crown in 2004. Similar to the Elliott/Brown side, Palmer and Cook were chasing the leaders entering the final round – two shots back off the pace.
With a final round 68 (-4) that included timely birdies on the back nine holes, both mentioned how their partnership has been a winning combination, finishing the event with rounds of 67-68 (-9).
“I had a great partner,” Cook said. “Joe has been unbelievable. We were patient all day and hung in there. We had to fight back and make a couple good shots coming down the stretch. All day I tried to stay in the present. It’s fun to win again.”
Playing with the first round leaders, Bret Taylor and Jeff Collett, Palmer and Cook were able to keep tabs on where they stood and were checking the leaderboard for any charges coming from ahead of them.
“We were playing with the leaders, so we could see what was going on,” Palmer said. “We were making a bunch of pars (on our front 9) and so were they. We were watching the leaderboard and didn’t want to lose any ground. Terry had a great three-hole stretch there and we skated in there (for the win).
Palmer commented that knowing you have a partner who won’t be out of the hole very often is a key to success.
“Over the years, Terry Cook doesn’t make big numbers,” Palmer said. “We free each other up (to play) and when you have a partner who is always in the hole you can play aggressively. It’s worked for us.”
Taylor and Collett shared runner-up with the side of Gary Ellis / Jay Goeser at -8 for the event.
In the Super Senior Division, the side of Bill Mathers / Vernon VanPerseum (right) battled back with a final round 67 (-5) to win the title by a stroke over first round leaders Rick Gorbell and Wes Hogeland. Mathers/VanPerseum posted rounds of 73-67 (-5).