Category: Iowa Amateur

Hoyle cruises to 121st Iowa Amateur title

It was smooth sailing for Coralville’s Charlie Hoyle’s final round as he captured the 121st Iowa Amateur Championship title at Glen Oaks Country Club. At the very least, that’s what it looked like as he rolled in a bomb of a putt on his finishing hole to clench his six-stroke victory in fashion.

Hoyle (pictured above) never checked the leaderboard.

“Looking at the leaderboard won’t change anything,” Hoyle believed.

The Lytham, England native admitted that he had a sense that he had a few strokes of cushion.

“It was really hot, but there weren’t many people out there,” Hoyle confided, smiling. There’s more than one way to get a feel for the standings.

With one bogey on the front and four birdies on the back, Hoyle was never in danger of losing his position. He was propelled by a tournament-low second round (-7) 64 where he birdied #17, the hardest hole on the course, and finished birdie, eagle on #8 and #9. Hoyle finished the tournament at an even (-13) 200.

His biggest focus throughout the day? Staying fed and hydrated. “I couldn’t drink enough water today,” he said. Temperatures in the high 90s and unrelenting humidity that pushed the “feels like” well above 100, created a mental battlefield of its own. Several spectators resorted to finding shelter in the clubhouse due to the heat. There was some added strategy, though. While some players turned to rain gloves, Hoyle’s rotation of four gloves helped him to keep a grip on the club. It pays to be prepared.

After a slow one-over par first nine, a great birdie on #10 kickstarted Hoyle’s round. He pulled his driver into the left fairway bunker. 107 yards to the pin, he stuck it to eight feet, and found his first birdie of the round. More than anything, it was his terrific putting that set him apart from the field.

The biggest threat to Hoyle was, happily for Hoyle, one of his newest additions to the Hawkeye golf team, Cedar Falls’ Maxwell Tjoa. The previous IGA Boys’ Player of the Year and rising Iowa freshman showcased his ability in a leading pack saturated with collegiate golfers. Tjoa, who finished second at (-7) 206, was followed by Cedar Falls’ Owen Sawyer (soon to be Cyclone freshman) in third, Norwalk’s Dennis Bull and Waverly’s Hogan Hansen (rising Hawkeye sophomore) tied for fourth, and Ames’ Zach May (rising Cyclone sophomore) in sixth.

“I wasn’t really watching [the leaderboard],” Tjoa shared after the round, “I was just aiming at pins, really acting like I had nothing to lose.”

A competitive mindset considering that he entered the final round sitting at third place. Regardless, it paid off as four birdies and two bogeys carried him to a (-2) 69 and the runner-up title.

Tjoa entered the tournament with confidence, having played Glen Oaks several times in the past and always performing well. A strong short game and solid iron play were the keys to his success.

“I didn’t miss a lot of greens, and when I did I was able to get up and down,” Tjoa said. “With his go-for-it mentality, he focused on getting every putt to the hole and “giving [himself] a chance.”

It was a good day for the Hawkeyes.

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Hoyle takes charge, leads 121st Iowa Amateur at Glen Oaks CC

Nothing was easy at Glen Oaks Country Club in the second round of the 121st Iowa Amateur Championship. A hot and stuffy morning gave way to a cloudy yet breezy afternoon, bringing temperature relief but elevating the challenge.

Overall, scores rose. Only thirteen competitors finished the round under par. As with the first round, Holes 17 and 18 were played the most over par with Hole 5 not far behind. Only eleven players remain below par after the second round.

Despite the difficulty, some competitors still made it look easy. Coralville’s Charlie Hoyle takes the lead with a stellar (-7) 64, outdoing previous leader Owen Sawyer, of Cedar Falls, who fired an impressive (-5) 66. Hoyle stands at -10 and Sawyer stands at -9 heading into the final round.

For Hoyle, understanding greens and ‘where you can miss’ are crucial to succeeding on a new course. This week has been Hoyle’s first time at Glen Oaks, but paying attention to ridges and tiers has helped him to secure birdie positions throughout the first two rounds.

“Making sure you’re on the correct level of those greens,” was a key factor in choosing approach shots and managing the large greens, Hoyle said.

Cedar Falls’ Maxwell Tjoa did his best to stick with the leaders with a (-4) 67. He stands third with -5. Waverly’s Hogan Hansen comes in fourth at -4, followed by Norwalk’s Dennis Bull in fifth at -3.

Hoyle, who is an assistant golf coach at the University of Iowa, doesn’t get the chance to play competitively as often as he used to. He looks forward to a final pairing with Cyclone commit Owen Sawyer. The pair will attempt to fend off Hawkeye sophomore Hogan Hansen and Hawkeye commit Maxwell Tjoa — and several seasoned players close behind — as they battle it out during the final round.

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Olson, Sawyer set the pace at 121st Iowa Amateur with 67

The first round of the 121st Iowa Amateur Championship was contested at Glen Oaks Country Club on Monday, July 24, just as Iowa’s typical summer heat returned from its mysterious vacation.

A sunny day with a high of 92 degrees only added to the difficulty of the beautiful course. Although the heat prevented the greens from rolling at their typical speed since care was taken to protect the grass in the high temperatures, the greens remained challenging. There was little wind to push balls wayward, yet fescue and penalty areas still saw heavy traffic.

Ankeny’s Jon Olson and Cedar Falls’ Owen Sawyer lead the field at (-4) 67. Sawyer continues his hot streak after winning the amateur division of the Waterloo Open last Sunday. In close pursuit are Coralville’s Charlie Hoyle, Norwalk’s Dennis Bull, and Waverly’s Hogan Hansen with rounds of (-3) 68. Ames’ Zach May comes in at sixth with a (-2) 69.

As expected, holes 17 and 18 played the most over par today, and it wasn’t even close. The penalty-lined holes ate up tee shots left and right, and the sloping greens left little to chance. Par 4 #17 averaged 4.95, and Par 4 #18 averaged 4.80 on the day. And the next hardest hole? The Par 4 #6 at 4.53.

Eighteen players sit at even-par or better on the day. We look forward to two more days of competition as things begin to heat up. Just take a peek at the forecast…

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McCoy wins 120th Iowa Amateur, continues incredible 2022 season

Nate McCoy’s historic season continued at Crow Valley Golf Club. McCoy (above) was crowned king of the valley after his impressive final round performance to win the 120th Iowa Amateur Championship. McCoy fired an inspiring 68 to break out of the tie and claim the title by seven shots. 

“I went into the tournament today, focused on myself,” McCoy said. “I knew I had to hit fairways and greens and with the wind being as tough as a it was, I just controlled what I had to control.”

Going into the final round, McCoy shared the lead with Nate Vance, a fellow Iowa State Cyclone. Knowing the skills Vance had, McCoy stuck to his game and let his confidence build on a course he could get after. 

“I think this course fit me well,” McCoy said. “I focused on hitting fairways, which after looking back I believe I only missed seven. Having a lot of wedge opportunities led to a lot of birdies looks.” 

McCoy’s race to the finish began with an early birdie on hole two. That birdie lit a fire under the 2021 IGA Player of the Year. Making the turn with a five-shot lead after carding a 33 on his opening nine, McCoy knew he couldn’t let off the gas. 

“I didn’t want to hold back and protect the lead; I wanted to continue to make birdies,” McCoy said. “I assumed the other guys in the field were making a run and I used that to fuel me to keep making pars and birdies.”

And that’s what he did. McCoy tacked on two more birdies on his back nine to seal the deal and claim one of the most prestigious amateur trophies in the nation. 

For the third time this year, McCoy has etched his name on a trophy his father, Mike McCoy, previously claimed.

“It is special,” McCoy said. “I have always known what he has accomplished, and it has always been in the back of my mind. I compare myself to his accomplishments and it is nice to make gradual steps towards what he has done in his career.”

McCoy is now the first player to win the IGA Mid-Amateur Championship, the IGA Match Play Championship and now the Iowa Amateur Championship in a single season.

“I’m not sure if it has set in yet. I didn’t even know that was a record that had to be broken,” McCoy said. “I assumed other people may have done it. I am grateful to be the first. Down the road I hope someone else will do it in the future.”

The 2020 Iowa Amateur Champion, Dennis Bull tied with the 2021 IGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year, Cale Leonard, for third place at two-under par. Bull and Leonard put together an impressive performance on the course this week. 

After a first round 73, Bull was able to fight back into a tie for fourth place going into the final round. With two birdies and two bogeys, the former champion posted an even par round and finished eight back of McCoy. 

Currently in second place in the 2022 IGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year Race, Leonard had his name near the top of the leaderboard all week. Posting a first round 69 placed him in a tie for nineth. Following his 69, Leonard carded back-to-back rounds of 71 to earn his highest finish in the Iowa Amateur. 

Samuel Storey takes the fifth-place position at one under par for the week. Storey began his tournament run with back-to-back rounds of 70 and finished with a final round 72 to round out the top-five. 

As the Iowa Golf Association wraps up the Iowa Amateur, the next event on the schedule is the 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur. Starting Monday, July 25, you can follow the competitors as they make their way around Cedar Rapids Country Club.

Championship Division
1. Nate McCoy 67-68-68=203
2. Nate Vance 68-67-75=210
T3. Dennis Bull 73-67-71=211
T3. Cale Leonard 69-71-71=211
5. Samuel Storey 70-70-72=212
6. Kelly Brown 68-73-73=214
T7. Matthew Garside 74-73-68=215
T7. Willis Gaer 69-75-71=215
T9. Dylan Ellis 73-75-68=216
T9. Dusty Drenth 74-69-73=216

McCoy, Vance share lead at 120th Iowa Amateur, several give chase

One day remains at the 120th Iowa Amateur Championship. Nate McCoy (above) remains atop the leaderboard after round two at Crow Valley Golf Club, but once again, he is not alone.

Marshalltown’s, Nate Vance strung together five birdies to tie the lowest round of the day. The redshirt-senior out of Iowa State University compiled a four-under round to place him alongside McCoy at seven-under par for the week.

“My goal has been to hit the greens, and I am hitting the ball well,” Vance said. “I am not playing aggressive, and I am focusing on keeping it in the fairway.”

Hitting fairways is the key to great success and posting low rounds at Crow Valley Golf Club. McCoy, who is known for his consistent play off the tee, has had a similar feeling to Vance. 

“I’m playing well and feel like I am in control of my golf ball,” McCoy said. 

With both players in control of their game, the stage is set for an exciting ending to a historic championship. Vance knows that taking on the 2021 IGA Player of the Year will not be easy, but he has embraced the challenge.   

 “Tomorrow will be fun. Nate (McCoy) is a great player, but I don’t go down easy,” Vance said.

Levi Slings, first-round co-leader with McCoy, put together another impressive round. With winds swirling in all directions, the afternoon played difficult. Slings managed a one-over 72 and remains just four back of Vance and McCoy. 

The 2020 Iowa Amateur Championship, Dennis Bull, punched a ticket back into contention by tying Vance for the lowest round of the day. Bull recorded five birdies to his one bogey on hole three and finds himself in a three-way tie for fourth place.

Cale Leonard and Samuel Storey round out the top-five with Bull at two-under par for the tournament. You cannot count out these competitors as they can pile up birdies in a hurry. Leonard, Storey and Bull will look to make a late push for the title. 

The final round of the 120th Iowa Amateur Championship begins Wednesday morning with the first group teeing off at 7:00 a.m. Tune into the action to find out which Nate will bring home the title, or if another competitor races up to steal the show. 

Championship Division
T1. Nate Vance 68-67=135
T1. Nate McCoy 67-68=135
3. Levi Slings 67-72=139
T4. Cale Leonard 69-71=140
T4. Dennis Bull 73-67=140
T4. Samuel Storey 70-70=140
7. Kelly Brown 68-73=141
8. Ethan Mechling 71-71=142
T9. Dusty Drenth 74-69=143
T9. Jonny Douglas 68-75=143
T9. Trent Lindenman 73-70=143

McCoy, Slings lead at 120th Iowa Amateur Championship

Levi Slings, of Ankeny, fired a statement round at the 120th Iowa Amateur Championship at Crow Valley Golf Club in Davenport. During the Ankeny natives impressive first round showing, he carded a four-under 67 to tie for first place heading into round two.

Slings put himself in a position to chase one of the most sought-after amateur trophies in the nation. After the conclusion of his round, Slings gave credit to one of his good friends, Curtis Holck, who he recently caddied for at the U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier at Hyperion Field Club in Johnston.

“I caddied for Curtis Holck in the U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier last week and watching him work his way around the course was the model I tried to copy.,” Slings said. “I hit the ball well and made most of the putts I should have. It was a fun day with a fun group.”

Holck went on to win the qualifier and earn a spot in the 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.

Another name sits alongside Slings at the top of the leaderboard in this prestigious championship, as Nate McCoy posted a four-under round of 67 to hold a similar lead to the one Slings built during the early wave.

With six birdies on the card, McCoy has his eyes set on his fifth win of the season. Already holding a commanding lead in the 2022 IGA Player of the Year race, McCoy’s work remains unfinished.

North Liberty’s, Coby Thompson, joins five other competitors in a six-way tie for third place. Thompson carded a bogey-free round of 68 to stay in contention going into the second round.

Right there with Thompson is Marshalltown’s, Nate Vance, the current Iowa State Cyclone. Vance got off to a slow start but birdied five of his last seven holes to sneak into that six-way tie for third place.

A rival of Vance and current Iowa Hawkeye, Garrett Tighe, was able to match Thompson and Vance at three-under par. Tighe put together a 68 that included six birdies to keep him in striking distance.

Logan Barnes, Jonathan Douglas and Kelly Brown round out the last three spots of the six-way tie for third place. Barnes made the turn at one-over par and caught fire on the back-nine, recording five birdies in his final nine holes.

Douglas posted five birdies and Brown tacked on four to his first day. Willis Gaer, Cale Leonard and the three-time Iowa Amateur Champion, Nate Dunn, rounded out the top-ten after the conclusion of the first round of the 120th Iowa Amateur Championship.

Round two of the 120th Iowa Amateur Championship will start Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m., with the first two groups going off holes one and 10. Follow the competitors as they make a charge at Slings and McCoy on moving day by using our live scoring feature.

Congratulations to Collin Rutherford (above) on making a hole-in-one on the par-three 11th during the first round of the Iowa Amateur Championship at Crow Valley Golf Club. Rutherford used a nine-iron from 178 yards out for his third career hole-in-one. 

Championship Division
T1. Levi Slings -4 67
T1. Nate McCoy -4 67
T3. Coby Thompson -3 68
T3. Nate Vance -3 68
T3. Garrett Tighe -3 68
T3. Logan Barnes -3 68
T3. Jonathan Douglas -3 68
T3. Kelly Brown -3 68
T9. Willis Gaer -2 69
T9. Cale Leonard -2 69
T9. Nate Dunn -2 69
T9. Samuel Storey -2 69

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

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