Category: Iowa Amateur

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.

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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.”

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Packed leaderboard at 117th Iowa Amateur Championship

With relatively moderate wind conditions for most of the day, The Ridge Golf Club was the sight of some good rounds of golf in the opening round of the 117th Iowa Amateur.

Nine players broke par on a day that was made for golf with sunny skies and the afore mentioned calm conditions, which are rare for The Ridge.  Leading the pack is Indianola’s Jake Marvelli and Grimes’ Cody Holck at 68 (-3).

Marvelli, who played in the morning wave, commented that he felt pretty good about his opening round.

“It was a successful day,” Marvelli said. “I struck the ball well and only missed 2 or 3 fairways. It seemed to go my way today. The greens are so fast, you can’t try and make 30-footers. Hitting fairways and greens will be key this week.”

Holck said he was very happy with his ball striking effort today.

“I’ve hit it really well this past week or so,” Holck said. “Making some putts (today) helped too. I hit it close on a couple holes, that make its easy. Anyone keeping it under par all three days will have a good shot (at winning this tournament).”

Jon Brown (Adel), Corey Matthey (Sergeant Bluff) and Ben Epperly (West Des Moines) sit just a shot back of the lead, after opening with 69 (-2).

“I was hitting my approach shots well today,” Epperly said. “I am going to try and relax (tonight) and come back at it tomorrow.”

Brown admitted he was overall pleased with his round in the morning.

“We were fortunate the wind wasn’t howling out there,” Brown said. “It normally can out here. I had a great day. The golf course and its condition is fantastic. It’s so much fun to play. I hit the ball solid, but made a couple silly mistakes. I was burning edges and then all of sudden birdied three (holes) in a row. It was a good start (going into the weekend).

Click here for a full recap of scoring from Round One.

Kinney captures 116th Iowa Amateur

POLK CITY – Golf can be exhilarating. And kick-in-the-stomach cruel.

Both sides of that emotional coin were on display Wednesday during the final round of the 116thIowa Amateur Championship at Tournament Club of Iowa.

Tripp Kinney of Waukee rolled home a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18thgreen to outlast defending champion Trevor Ullestad of Jewell on the third hole of their sudden-death playoff.

Minutes earlier, Ullestad had missed a 3-foot birdie putt at No. 17 that would have made him the 12thman to successful defend his title, and first since Bo Anderson in 2001 and 2002.

Kinney, 20, who plays collegiately at Iowa State, took advantage of his second chance a hole later. This was the first playoff he’d ever been a part of.

“You never want to see a guy to miss a putt,” Kinney said. “It’s so hard, in that pressure situation. Fortunately I was able to get another hole. But Trevor played great today. I don’t want to take anything away from him.”

Kinney hit a knock-down 7-iron, into the wind, to 5 feet on the third playoff hole. After Ullestad didn’t get up and down for par when he missed the green left, Kinney had two putts to win. He needed just one.

“I was so nervous at that point,” said Kinney, who has played for the last two Cyclone teams that reached the NCAA finals. “It was a 5-footer. That’s the stuff I practice all the time.”

Kinney and Ullestad finished regulation play at 210, 3-under par. The two had started the final round tied for the lead and both closed with 71s.

“I played pretty well coming down the stretch just to get in the playoff,” said Ullestad, 22, who completed his eligibility at Missouri this spring. “Whenever you miss a short putt to win and end up losing, it hurts pretty bad.”

Former champ Jon Brown, who won the IGA Match-Play Championship last month, tied for third with University of Iowa golfer Alex Moorman at 210. Moorman’s 69 was the lowest final-round score.

Brown closed with a 70 and made the biggest move of the day, taking the lead with a front-nine 4-under 31.

“I did hear about it,” Kinney said. “But my mentality today was not to worry about anyone else, and just worry about what I could do. I was able to focus on what I could control.”

Brown, 50, who won the Iowa Amateur in 2006, looked like he might outplay the college kids once again. Brown had defeated Iowa’s Matthew Walker in the match-paly semifinals, and beat Iowa State’s Frank Lindwall in the final.

But he couldn’t sustain his front-nine fireworks and Kinney and Ullestad passed him on the par-5 13th. Kinney made an eagle, Ullestad a birdie.

Kinney would bogey the next three holes, and his lead over Ullestad melted to a single shot.

The par-5 17thproved to be a pivotal hole in regulation, as well as in the playoff. Kinney had a 15-footer for eagle, but settled for birdie. Ullestad had a 6-footer for eagle on the same line as Kinney’s eagle attempt, and made it to draw even with a hole remaining.

Ironically, Kinney’s eagle on the 13thhole, from 8 feet, was on the same line as the 12-footer Ullestad had attempted for eagle from the back fringe.

“I definitely got a good read off his putt (on 13), and I guess he got a good read on mine,” Kinney said.

Ullestad missed the 18thgreen long and to the right, but got up-and-down. Kinney two-putted for par and the Iowa Amateur was headed to a playoff for the first time since 2015, when Mike McCoy beat Gene Elliott on the first hole of sudden death.

The shot that ultimately won the championship for Kinney is that 7-iron into the third playoff hole.

“That’s a shot I wouldn’t have been able to hit last year,” Kinney said. “Into the wind I struggled mightly. I couldn’t control the spin, or where it was going. I worked with my coaches at Iowa State so much. I ended up hitting that shot three times, once in regulation and twice in the playoff. Luckily, my game continues to progress.”

This is the fourth Iowa Golf Association-sponsored tournament title for Kinney. He won the Iowa Junior Amateur in 2013 and 2014 and the IGA Match Play title in 2017. On Wednesday, he added his name to a tournament that has been around since 1900.

“An unbelievable feeling,” Kinney said.

Kinney hopes to ride the momentum from Wednesday’s win into his junior season with the Cyclones.

“Winning is always fun,” Kinney said. “It’s something that hasn’t come very often since I got to college. It’s something I want to continue learning how to do, learning how to compete. If I can do that, hopefully my game continues to grow and I continue to get better.”



Ullestad, Kinney take lead into final round at 116th Iowa Amateur

The defending champion isn’t going down without a fight at the 116th Iowa Amateur.

Jewell’s Trevor Ullestad, who captured the 115th Iowa Amateur title at Cedar Rapids Country Club last year, posted 69 (-2) to join Tripp Kinney, of Des Moines, atop the leaderboard at Tournament Club of Iowa. Kinney shot the low round of the day with 67 (-4). Both players sit at 139 (-3) for two days.

Sitting just two shots, off the pace, at -1, are opening round leader Andrew Huseman (Ankeny) and Matthew Walker (Ottumwa).  Ryoto Furuya (Iowa City) and Jon Brown (Adel) are both lurking at 142 (E) and are just three shots back of the lead. Brown won the 2018 IGA Match Player earlier this summer and will look to add the Iowa Amateur to the list this year.

A total of 61 players made the cut at +14 and will play in tomorrow’s final round.

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