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.
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