Category: Iowa Amateur

Defending champion makes charge at 97th Iowa Women’s Amateur

It is a close race after the second round at Dubuque Golf and Country Club and tomorrow’s final round of the 97th Iowa Women’s Amateur will be a battle for the top spot.

The 2020 Iowa Women’s Amateur champion, Iowa State’s Joy Chou (right), currently holds a two-shot lead over Northern Iowa’s Hannah Bermel. Chou got off to a rough start to begin the day, but was able to fight back with birdies midway through her round

Bermel was even through her first seven holes, before she recorded a double on her eighth hole. Two bogeys followed on her 10th and 11th holes, and she finished with a 40 on her back nine. The fifth-year senior is only two back and knows what she needs to do to get each shot back. 

The 15-year-old Eden Lohrbach is alone in third place after back-to-back rounds of 77. Lohrbach is competing with some of the biggest names in Iowa and she has handled it like a veteran. There is a tie for fourth place between Brooke Newell and Emily Snelling, yet neither of them are out of contention. 

Kelly Nelson fired a 78 and recorded only one bogey on the front nine where she carded a 36 to climb into first place over Rose Kubesheski in the Open Division. Nelson currently has a three-shot advantage and will need all three shots with Kubesheski and Laura Leszczynski right on her tail. 

Leszczynski also tallied a 78 in round two, putting herself in third place. Kim Fensterman held the lead at one point in the second round, but a rough eight hole stretch of bogeys pushed her down into fourth place. Michelle Klein holds the fifth-place spot after recording an 83 today. With Dubuque Golf and Country Club playing difficult this week, Klein is not out of the race.

You can follow the final round leaderboard by clicking this link. Stay up to date with the latest Iowa Golf Association information by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Championship Division
1. Joy Chou 75-73-148
2. Hannah Bermel 73-77-150
3. Eden Lohrbach 77-77-154
T4. Brooke Newell 80-76-156
T4. Emily Snelling 78-78-156

Open Division
1. Kelly Nelson 81-78-159
2. Rosalie Kubesheski 80-82-162
3. Laura Leszczynski 85-78-163
4. Kim Fensterman 84-81-165
5. Michelle Klein 85-83-168

Jahn makes final round charge, wins 119th Iowa Amateur

The 119th Iowa Amateur came to an end after an electric finish at Wakonda Club. Charles Jahn (above) and Nate McCoy battled until the very end, giving the gallery an unforgettable finish. At the 2019 Iowa Amateur, Jahn fell short by one shot, but that experience assisted Jahn during his final holes today. 

“A couple of years ago I was tied for the lead going into the last hole and I three putted,” Jahn said. “I knew the last four or five holes I needed to finish strong instead of coasting in. I bogeyed 16 and that kind of woke me up. I wanted to finish out with pars and was able to do that. I learned from what happened two years ago and applied it to today.”

Jahn’s weapon of choice this week was the driver (shown right), and Wakonda Club wasn’t prepared. On the first hole during Jahn’s final round, he was able to get within 50 yards of the green by hitting over the trees lining the left side of the hole. That was not the only corners he was cutting today, Jahn drove the 11th hole, which played at about 400 yards on the day, setting himself up for an eagle putt. 

“I have been hitting my driver well lately,” Jahn said. “The practice round this week allowed me to determine what holes I was going to hit driver. On hole five, most players had 260 going into that hole and today I had 180. My driver was my key club this week.”

Finding the trees on 18, Jahn was able to secure the win over McCoy with a clutch up-and-down to win the championship by two shots. McCoy played amazing golf and only recorded two bogeys this week. After posting a one-over 37 on his front nine in the final round, McCoy was able to finish strong and card a 34 on his back nine, but it was not enough to overcome the hard-hitting Charles Jahn.

Six-time Iowa Amateur Champion and Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member, Mike McCoy, raced up the leaderboard after firing a red-hot 63, including a 29 on the back nine. Mike was the clubhouse leader at seven-under for a short period of time, but Mathew Garside snuck up behind him.

Garside carded a 66 with a 31 on his back nine. Ian Johnston also played tremendous golf this week, finishing in a tie for third place with Garside at eight-under. 

Defending champion, Dennis Bull, stayed close to the top all week firing a 209 and finished tied for fifth alongside the two Iowa Golf Hall of Famers, Mike McCoy and Jon Brown. Brown played two groups behind the final pairing and finished his tournament with a one-under 71.

A dramatic finish to a tournament filled with history is the only way to cap off this week. The field was filled with strong golfers from all across the state, but Charles Jahn was the man holding the trophy at the end of it all.

Sani connection – Charles Jahn, a 2016 Herman Sani Scholar joins Steve Spray, a 1969 Herman Sani Scholar, as the only two ‘scholars’ to win the Iowa Amateur. Spray won his Iowa Amateur in 1963 at Clinton Country Club.


119th Iowa Amateur Championship
1. Charles Jahn 67-70-67-204
2. Nate McCoy 67-68-71-206
T3. Mathew Garside 71-71-66-208
T3. Ian Johnston 70-67-71-208
T5. Mike McCoy 69-77-63-209
T5. Dennis Bull 71-70-68-209
T5. Jon Brown 69-69-71-209

McCoy takes lead into final round of 119th Iowa Amateur

He’s in familiar territory.

Heading to the final round of the Iowa Amateur Championship at Wakonda Club Nate McCoy (right) continues to pile on the birdies and leads. McCoy, who recently captured the 2021 Iowa Masters to bring his IGA career win total to 10, fired a four-under 68 today to add to his first round five-under total.

“Getting to 10-under was kind of my goal for today,” McCoy said. “The birdie on seven got me back to four-under on the day. I was thinking it would be nice to get one more and I gave myself a chance on eight, but it did not drop.”

Giving McCoy any sort of confidence going into the final round can lead to low scores, and he is filled with confidence right now.

“My game plan for tomorrow is to keep doing what I am doing,” McCoy said. “I have a really good swing thought right now and I am very comfortable with the golf course. I am comfortable being in the lead and I am just looking forward to going out there and playing with Sterling (McIlravy).”

The final pairing tomorrow will be McCoy and Sterling McIlravy, who carded a five-under 67 to get him within one shot of McCoy. The Solon native posted a first round 69 and knows how to fire a low round.

“I am going to trust the process and continue to play the game I have been playing all week,” said McIlravy. “I birdied all the par fives today which really helped my round and looking forward to bringing that into tomorrow’s round.”

Charles Jahn and Ian Johnston will play ahead of McCoy and McIlravy tomorrow. Jahn had many birdies and recorded an eagle, but bogeys continued to pop up on his scorecard. Johnston tied the low round of the day (67) and recorded a 31 on the back nine.

Jon Brown kept his name near the top of the leaderboard after back-to-back rounds of 69. Don’t count Brown out yet, the Iowa Golf Hall of Famer currently sits at six-under and knows how to fire a low final round.

The final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning with groups of two teeing off on hole one. You can follow the live leaderboard by clicking this link.

119th Iowa Amateur Championship
1. Nate McCoy 67-68-135
2. Sterling McIlravy 69-67-136
T3. Charles Jahn 67-70-137
T3. Ian Johnston 70-67-137
5. Jon Brown 69-69-138

Gaer leads 119th Iowa Amateur, several within striking distance

Photo courtesy of Guy Cook

Scores were low today during the first round of the 119th Iowa Amateur Championship at Wakonda Club (pictured above). First-round leader, Willis Gaer (right) fired a round of six-under 66 that included a 30-yard hole-out for eagle on the 18th hole. Gaer maintained a bogey-free round at a course that is crowded with them.

Tied for second place heading into round two tomorrow is the recent Iowa Masters champion, Nate McCoy and Sperry’s long-hitting Charles Jahn. McCoy carded a bogey-free 67 and Jahn’s 67 included six total birdies. Setting yourself up during the first round is crucial in this environment, and that is exactly what McCoy and Jahn did. Kyle Yerington sits in fourth place alone following the opening round after posting a 4-under 68 with a 34 split. 

There is a four-way tie at three-under par between Iowa Golf Hall of Famers, Jon Brown and Mike McCoy, and Ross Johnson and Sterling Mcllravy. Mike McCoy, who just finished up at the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha over the weekend, recorded five birdies in his round today. Brown played consistent golf with four birdies. Johnson had four birdies and an eagle to help him get into contention and Mcllravy fired a 69 with a 33 on the back nine. 

The second round of the 119th Iowa Amateur Championship will begin tomorrow morning. Follow the live leaderboard by clicking here

119th Iowa Amateur Championship
1. Willis Gaer -6 66
T2. Nate McCoy -5 67
T2. Charles Jahn -5 67
Kyle Yerington -4 68
T5. Jon Brown -3 69
T5. Ross Johnson -3 69
T5. Mike McCoy -3 69
T5. Sterling Mcllravy -3 69

Bull leaves no doubt, wins 118th Iowa Amateur by six at DCC

Dennis Bull, of Norwalk, knew his game was in good form coming into this week at the 118th Iowa Amateur. Bull left no doubt who the best player in the field was at Davenport Country Club, winning by six shots, shooting 203 (-7).

“Coming into this week I had been playing really well,” Bull said. “Honestly I hit it awesome this week. I really had control of the ball and drove it well all three days.”

Bull (pictured above), who would post three rounds of the championship under-par, admitted he wasn’t confident with his putter to start the day.

“Today, I hate to admit it, but I was nervous with the putter most of the day,” Bull said. “I had a lot of opportunities but didn’t make any of them, other than a par putt on #5. I knew I had a cushion on #18 and was able to relax and make a putt (for birdie). I was really happy with the way I played today.”

New Sharon’s Trent Lindenman gave chase early, make the turn in 32 (-4) to put some pressure on Bull. Bull, who made a healthy dose of pars before birding the ninth hole, had a feeling someone might give give a run to start the day and make a move on his lead. Unfortunately, Lindenman could not keep up the pace and lost steam on the back nine of DCC.

“Obviously someone is going to make a run,” Bull said. “I just tried to stay patient and hit greens. I tried not to make mistakes coming in. There are some pins out here you just can’t go at.”

Connor Peck, of Ankeny, winner of the 2020 IGA Match Play finished runner-up. Peck posted a three-round total of 209 (-1). Griffen Parker, of Urbandale, and Lindenman would finish in a tie for third place at 211 (+1). Bull commented that the ‘young guys’ he continues to see at events are impressive and he took notice again this week.

“I am impressed with all these young guys I play with,” Bull said. “They are more patient and mature than I was (at that age).”

Bull, who worked at DCC several years ago, said he was able to use that experience from getting the chance to play the course occasionally to his advantage.,

“I have played here (at DCC) 15-20 times here prior to this event,” Bull said. “I worked the cart barn out here one or two nights a week (several years ago), so I could play out here.”

Bull, who won the 2019 Iowa Mid-Amateur, adds the Iowa Amateur title to his record, which also includes qualifying for several USGA events.

It’s safe to say, Bull will be charging hard at Iowa Golf Association events for years to come.

Click here to see a recap of scoring

Bull takes five shot lead into final round at 118th Iowa Amateur

Norwalk’s Dennis Bull (-6) has kept his game plan simple this week at the 118th Iowa Amateur. Bull (pictured above) has managed to control his game better than anyone else through two rounds at Davenport Country Club and now leads by five heading into tomorrow’s final round.

“I feel like I am playing pretty solid,” Bull said. “Maybe not as good as yesterday, but I managed to scrape it around you could say. I still feel like the putter let me down today. All in all I am pleased.”

Bull admitted that the course setup at DCC this week is fair, but you can’t let your guard down at any point. Bull, who shot 69 (-1) today, hasn’t flinched.

“There has been a good balance of hole locations (this week),” Bull said. “There are a couple holes if you aren’t paying attention it will jump up and get you. This course provides you opportunities to make birdie if you are controlling your golf ball. If you aren’t, you’re going to make bogey.”

Giving chase in tomorrow’s final round include a pair of golfers who have won titles already this summer. Andrew O’Brien, of Clive, recently won the Carroll Amateur, and Connor Peck, of Ankeny, who captured the IGA Match Play crown, both sit at 139 (-1) through two days of play. Also lurking are Trent Lindenman (pictured right), of New Sharon, and Andrew Huseman, of Ankeny, at 140 (E).

“I tried to stay in the middle of the greens today,” Peck said. “It was a good day. If I can get a few more putts to fall (tomorrow), it should be fun.”

Lindenman said he knows he will need to go mistake-free tomorrow to have a chance.

“It was tough out there today,” Lindenman said. “Hopefully, I can go mistake-free tomorrow and give Denny a challenge. The greens were really drying out and it firmed up (today).”

For Bull, the plan is simple looking ahead to the final round – He’s going to stick to what has been working.

“It sounds silly, but I am just going to try and hit fairways and greens,” Bull said. “I am going to give myself as many opportunities as I can. It’s really that simple and hopefully, the putter heats up. I am hitting it well and hopefully, I can keep doing what I am doing.”

Click here for a recap of scoring

Bull fires 65 (-5), takes opening round lead of 118th Iowa Amateur

Dennis Bull, of Norwalk, glanced at scores from the opening round of the 118th Iowa Amateur before teeing off in the afternoon at Davenport Country Club (pictured above). He knew he had some chasing to do if he wanted to be in the mix after day one.

At day’s end the field is now chasing Bull.

Bull, who made seven birdies on the day, got off to a hot start on the front nine, firing 31 (-5).

“There’s plenty of opportunities out there, but it’s a golf course where if you get aggressive and miss you can get in trouble,” Bull said. “I was just trying to give myself chances (at birdies). I hit great today.”

Bull would pair two bogeys with two birdies on the back nine to post 65 (-5). Bull leads by two over Andrew O’Brien, of Clive, and Trent Lindenman, of New Sharon.

“I was hitting it where I was looking,” Bull said after this round. “It was a great day and had a great group. I had the ball where I wanted it on the greens. I made a lot of birdies and was happy I was controlling my golf ball the way I did.”

Overnight into early morning showers saw DCC soften up slightly, but still was a firm test for those participating in this year’s event. Bull mentioned he thought it allowed for lower scores today, compared to how the course played during practice rounds.

“From yesterday the rain made it a little more scorable. It (the rain) definitely helped.”

Bull will go off early tomorrow in the second round and said he is going to keep this plan of attack simple.

“I am just going to keep trying to give myself a lot of chances. It’s nice when you are hitting it good, at least at a course like this. It’s demanding off the tee.”

Sitting just four back of Bull’s lead include Dusty Drenth (Davenport), Andrew Huseman (Ankeny), Kolby Chup (Des Moines), and Jon Olson (Ankeny).

Click here for a recap of scores

118th Iowa Amateur heads to Davenport Country Club

The 118th Iowa Amateur Championship will be contested at Davenport Country Club (pictured above) on July 27-29. This will mark the sixth time the Iowa Amateur will be held at the club. The last time Davenport Country Club hosted the Iowa Amateur was in 2008, when eventual champion Mike Oimeon, of Clear Lake, won in a playoff. Davenport Country Club first played host to the Iowa Amateur in 1927 when Sioux City’s Lee Herron won the trophy.

The golf course has recently received a major facelift. In 2014, the club embarked on a renovation seeking to restore the course to its original design as well as uncover several hidden features that were once covered up by trees. In total, more than 500 trees were removed during the renovation, opening up new sightlines and lines of play. Davenport Country Club has since received national recognition for being one of the best courses in Iowa according to Golf Digest and currently sits at #159 in the recent GolfWeek list of top 200 Classic Courses.

There are a number of past champions in this year’s field, including 2006 & 2019 Iowa Amateur Champion Jon Brown, who will look to defend his title in 2020. Three-time Iowa Amateur Champions Nate Dunn and Gene Elliott are seeking their fourth victories. Dunn’s most recent victory came in 2016 at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo, with Elliott’s being in 2013 at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. 2012 Iowa Amateur Champion Jon Olson and 2003 Iowa Amateur Champion Scott Hart will also be in the field.

The 2020 Player of the Year race is well underway, and several top contenders will be teeing it up next week in Davenport. Andrew Huseman, of Ankeny, 2020 IGA Match Play Champion Connor Peck, of Ankeny, and the previously mentioned Brown, of Adel, are currently in the top 5 in the POTY standings. They will be looking to make up ground on Ankeny’s Nate McCoy, who is leading the race with 690 points.

Click here to view Round One Tee Times

Click here for live scoring

Jon Brown wins 117th Iowa Amateur Championship on fourth playoff hole

It took four playoff holes, but Jon Brown (pictured right) weathered the storm and came out on top at the 117th Iowa Amateur Championship played at The Ridge Golf Club, Sioux Center. This is Brown’s second Iowa Amateur Championship, winning in 2006 as well.

After both finished at 208 (-5) for 54-holes, Jordan Even and Brown locked horns in a playoff duel. Both players made two-putt pars on the first playoff hole (#18) and then Even made an incredible up and down for par on the second playoff hole (#17), after hitting his drive into the right fescue. Brown had a putt for birdie after hitting it close, only to have it to slide by.

On the third playoff hole, both players missed the green, with Brown finding the bunker with an awkward stance. Neither was able get up and down for par, with Even’s par lipping out.

On the fourth playoff hole (#17) Brown’s par won the playoff against Even’s six. Even’s six included a two-stroke penalty for tapping down a pitch mark on the fringe that was on his line of play prior to playing his third shot from off the green.

“This gives me goosebumps,” Brown said following his playoff victory. “This means the world to me. I won the match play last year and I thought that might be the last ‘big’ one I win. These kids are so tough and it’s tough to win these. To win a second (Iowa Amateur), I am just thrilled.”

Even’s 68 (-3) in the final round tied for the low round of the day.  It included six birdies. Brown’s final round (71) featured three birdies to go against three bogeys. Charles Jahn, who held the 36-hole lead, finished in third place after a 73 (+2) in the final round to finish at 209 (-4), just a stroke out of the playoff.

Click here to see a full recap of scoring from the championship.

Jahn shoots 66 (-5) in second round, leads 117th Iowa Amateur Championship

Charles Jahn wasted little time climbing the leaderboard in the second round of the 117th Iowa Amateur Championship being played at The Ridge Golf Club, Sioux Center.

Jahn, who opened with 70 (-1) yesterday, posted a round of 66 (-5) this morning, which included a total of seven birdies.

“I was able to take advantage of the par 5s today,” Jahn said. “They are all pretty reachable for me. I hit my driver really well and I was getting 30-40 yards of roll out there. I was able to hit some approach shots close (as well). You can’t give yourself a lot of long putts, because these greens are so fast.”

Jon Brown, who won the Iowa Amateur in 2006 at Whispering Creek Golf Club in Sioux City, sits just a shot back at -5 through two rounds. The Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member, Brown, birdied six holes in his second round.

“I made my share (of putts) today,” Brown said. “It was a different day, the greens were softer for me yesterday. I was happy with the way I played. It’s great to be in the final group. There are a lot of guys that are a shot or two back. I have no idea what it will take tomorrow. It will be a fun day.”

Logan Schweinefus and first round co-leader Cody Holck are three shots back of Jahn, at -3 through 36-holes.

Hot Round – Clive’s Hank Weresh put together a blistering round of his own with a 66 (-5), which included a total of eight birdies. Weresh is four shots back of Jahn’s lead.

“I was just trying to recover from yesterday’s round (74),” Weresh said. “I started making putts and not thinking too much today. I came in too focused yesterday, so I will keep it loose tomorrow (in the final round).”

A total of 60 players made the cut and will play the final round on Sunday.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

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