Category: Iowa Junior

Bily makes final round charge, Pettersen leaves little doubt

Preston Bily (above right) charged up the leaderboard to take the lead and the 2022 Iowa Junior Amateur Championship title. Bily came into the day five-shots behind Cale Leonard, but a final round 68 gave Bily a two-shot victory over Leonard. 

“Cale played some great golf all week,” Bily praised. “I had a five-shot deficit going into the final round, but it didn’t feel like I was playing to beat him.”

In his final round, Bily recorded five birdies and four of them came on the front nine. On the back nine, Bily birdied the 11th hole and finished with seven-straight pars to claim the Iowa Junior Amateur trophy.

“The shots just started coming,” Bily said. “I shot a 33 on the front nine and I made a lot of putts. I knew I just had to make pars at that point and it was a good week and hopefully I will keep playing well.”

Leonard, who led the way during the first two rounds, earned second place with rounds of 71, 69 and 75. During the week, Leonard recorded 13 total birdies with four of them coming from the final round, but bogeys found a way onto his card during the last day.

Cooper Hanson takes over third place with a commanding round of 67 that consisted of seven birdies. Coming into the final round, Hansen was 10-shots off the lead, and with a late push he finished only four back. 

Calen Bishop had a strong week, finishing in fourth place. Bishop posted rounds of 74, 72 and 73 for a 219 tally. Hayden Moore placed one shot behind Bishop and earned a top-five finish with a 220 total. 

Back-to-back dominating performances from the recently crowned IGA Four-Ball Champion, Bella Pettersen (above left), along with rounds of 77, 70 and 76, led to a run away win in the Iowa Junior Girls’ Championship

“I spent half an hour watching videos and working on my putting,” Pettersend said. “That helped me shoot my two-under in the second round. My ball striking helped me get in good places to make par and birdie. It was just a really good week.”

Coming into the final round, Pettersen had an eight-shot lead and felt comfortable and confident. That eight-shot lead turned into an 11-shot victory after a solid four-over round of 76 that consisted of three birdies. 

Lauren Briggs and Maura Peters tied for second place at 18-over par. Peters carded a 78 in her final round and Briggs posted a 77 to jump into the tie. Pettersen’s Four-Ball partner, Addison Berg, earned fourth place at 22-over par. Jane Petersen rounded out the top-five with an 81 in the last round and a 242 tally.

Next week the Iowa Golf Association hosts the 34th IGA Match Play Championship and the 10th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship at Talons Golf in Ankeny.

Iowa Junior Amateur Championship
1. Preston Bily 73-72-68=213
2. Cale Leonard 71-69-75=215
3. Cooper Hansen 77-73-67=217
4. Calen Bishop 74-72-73=219
5. Hayden Moore 75-72-73=220

Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship
1. Bella Pettersen 77-70-76=223
T2. Maura Peters 80-76-78=234
T2. Lauren Briggs 82-75-77=234
4. Addison Berg 77-78-83=238
5. Jane Petersen 78-83-81=242

One round left at Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior Amateur

Cale Leonard turned his one-shot lead into a five shot lead going into the final round of the Iowa Junior Amateur Championship, held at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. Leonard sits at the top of the leaderboard at four-under par after a 69 in the second round.

“I have been hitting the ball well and hitting a lot of greens,” said Leonard. “Trying to stay below the hole as much as possible here and making a few putts. I am just playing well out here.”

Out of both division, Leonard (right) is currently the only player under par this week. With a five-shot cushion, Leonard is just going to try and continue his consistent play and hold his ground. 

“I am not going to try to change anything, just keep hitting fairways and making putts and make the best score I can,” shared Leonard. “It’s not terribly hard (here) off the tee, thee greens are definitely the toughest. You have to make sure you get the right number on your approach shot and keep it below the hole.”

Preston Bily, of Indianola, jumped up to second place after carding an even par round. Bily is five shots behind Leonard but ended his day going three-under in his last 11 holes. Calen Bishop and Owen Howe are tied for third place at two-over par. Hayden Moore rounds out the top-five after a 72 in today’s round. 

Everything is going right for Bella Pettersen (pictured at top of page) this week as she leads the Girls’ Division by eight shots. The Finkbine native carded a two-under 70 in the second round that included three birdies and only one bogey. 

“My ball striking has been working well for me this week. I have been working hard to get it back to where it was since my arthritis,” shared Pettersen. “My putting is probably my biggest downfall, but I really pulled it together today.”

Ball striking and putting are very important at Finkbine, and with a little home course advantage, Pettersen was able to take advantage of her opportunities. 

“This being my home course, I know how it plays each day and what pin locations you can go after and which ones you can’t. You just have to pick the spots that you really want to hit at and you know you can make those putts.” 

Addison Berg, who recently won the IGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship with Pettersen, finds herself in second place at 11-over par. Berg got off to a slow start in round two, but was able to get it back with a two-under 34 on her back nine. 

The IGA Parent-Child Champion, Maura Peters, finished day two in third place after recording a four-over 76. Lauren Briggs, of Burlington, pushed herself into the top-five with a 75 in today’s round. Erika Holmberg holds fifth place going into the final day at 15-over par. 

The final round of the Iowa Junior Amateur Championship at Finkbine Golf Course will begin Wednesday morning.

Iowa Junior Amateur Championship
1. Cale Leonard 71-69=140
2. Preston Bily 73-72=145
T3. Owen Howe 73-73=146
T3 Calen Bishop 74-72=146
5. Hayden Moore 75-72=147

Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship
1. Bella Pettersen 77-70=147
2. Addison Berg 77-78=155
3. Maura Peters 80-76=156
4. Lauren Briggs 82-75=157
5. Erika Holmberg 80-79=159


Leonard leads Iowa Junior Amateur, two tied at the top of Girls’ Junior

Cale Leonard is the first-round leader at the 2022 Iowa Junior Amateur Championship, held at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. Leonard, of Ottumwa, carded the only under-par round of the day as he leads the field by one shot. The 2020 IGA Junior Player of the Year is looking to add an Iowa Junior Amateur title to an already impressive junior resume. 

Reid Hall, of Cedar Rapids, will head into the second round in second place. Hall, who is one-back of Leonard, recorded five birdies in his opening even-par round. Hall can make birdies quickly and will put the pressure on Leonard during tomorrow’s round. 

Preston Bily, of Indianola, and Owen Howe, of Des Moines, carded rounds of 73 and are tied for third place. A four-way tie for fifth place is between Braeden Nelson, Brock Seiser, Calen Bishop and Thomas Peters. These four players posted rounds of 74 and are four shots off the lead. 

Recently crowned IGA Women’s Four-Ball champions, Addison Berg and Bella Pettersen (pictured right) continue their hot-streak as they both sit at the top of the Girls’ Division. Berg, of Swisher, and Pettersen, of North Liberty, carded rounds of 77 and will head into the second round tied for the lead. 

Jane Petersen, out of Cedar Rapids, finds herself one shot off the lead with after a 78 in round one. The two Bettendorf natives, Erika Holmberg and Maura Peters finished in a tie for fourth place with rounds of 80. 

Follow the second round of the Iowa Junior Amateur Championship at Finkbine Golf Course Tuesday morning.

Iowa Junior Amateur Championship

1. Cale Leonard 71
2. Reid Hall 72
T3. Preston Bily 73
T3. Owen Howe 73
T5. Braeden Nelson 74
T5. Brock Seiser 74
T5 Calen Bishop 74
T5 Thomas Potter 74


Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship

T1. Addison Berg 77
T1. Bella Pettersen 77
3. Jane Petersen 78
T4. Erika Holmberg 80
T4. Maura Peters 80

Hansen wins Iowa Junior Am in playoff, Depuydt takes Girls’ Junior title by three

Two more Iowa Junior Amateur Champions were crowned on Wednesday at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. Hogan Hansen (above right), from Waverly, defeated Nate Spear in a playoff to finish first in the Boys’ Division. Tatum Depuydt (above left), of Marion, recorded a three-round total of 225 and won the Girls’ Division by three shots.

After an extremely windy first round, Spear had the edge over the field. Spear carded 1-over 72 and had the low round of the day. Hansen trailed by six shots but knew the weather would be more favorable for his upcoming rounds.

In the second round, Hansen fired a 3-under 68 and climbed into first place. In that round, Hansen recorded four birdies and eagled the seventh hole. Spear couldn’t find a spark to his second round and finished with a 76.

A late final round battle between Hansen and Spear started to brew. Spear, who was down four shots with seven holes to play, flipped a switch and caught fire. He holed out for eagle on the par-4 12th and birdied holes 14, 15 and 16. Hansen saved par on 18 and the two were bound for a playoff.

In the playoff, Spear found trouble off the tee and then hit into a greenside bunker. Hansen found the fairway, but his second shot went over the green. Both players were trying to make an up-and-down to see if they could extend the playoff, but Spear’s bunker shot stayed short of the green. Hansen made his par putt and won the playoff over Spear to earn the 2021 Iowa Junior Amateur title.

The 2020 Iowa Amateur Champion, Hunter Johnson, managed to hang around the top of the leaderboard and finished in third place overall. Fourth place finisher, Corbin Walker recorded a three-round total of 222 and Mason Weeks posted 224 and earned fifth place.

Tatum Depuydt was heading into her second round in a tie for third place after posting a 79 with a lone birdie coming on the par-3 hole 16. The first-round leader was an Ames native, Eden Lohrbach, who came into the clubhouse with a 76.

Many competitors in the Girls’ division had success in their second rounds as the windy weather calmed down. Amber Henson and Erika Holmberg shared the low round of the day, recording a pair of 73’s. Tatum Depuydt recorded two birdies and shot a round of 75 to play in the last grouping of the final round.

During the final round, Depuydt, Lohrbach and Paige Hoffman continued to fight for first place. Depuydt had the upper hand heading into the back nine and managed to card a 1-under 35. This sealed it and Depuydt posted an even round of 71 and was crowned the 2021 Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur Champion.

Lohrbach finished in second place after a round of 74 on the final day. Hoffman posted a three-round total of 230 and Kiki Bruner took fourth place with a 234. Amber Henson earned fifth place with a 235 total.

Iowa Junior Amateur – Boys’ Division:
1. Hogan Hansen 78-68-69-215 (Won playoff)
2. Nate Spear 72-76-67-215
3. Hunter Johnson 76-73-71-220
4. Corbin Walker 78-70-74-222
5. Mason Weeks 74-74-76-224
T6. Joseph Currans 78-74-74-226
T6. Nile Petersen 78-74-74-226
T6. Nathan Tillman 74-74-78-226
9. William Simpson 79-76-72-227
10. Grant DeKruyf 76-79-73-228

Iowa Junior Amateur – Girls’ Division:
1. Tatum Depuydt 79-75-71-225
2. Eden Lohrbach 76-78-74-228
3. Paige Hoffman 78-74-78-230
4. Kiki Bruner 79-74-81-234
5. Amber Henson 82-73-80-235
6. Erika Holmberg 84-73-81-238
7. Addison Berg 81-75-83-239
8. Nora Carlson 80-79-82-241
9. Maura Peters 86-74-83-243
10. Jaci Webb 87-81-76-244

Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior moves to three-day championship

The 2021 Iowa Junior and Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship will look different than previous years – but only by a day.

Both championships, set to be held at Ames’ Coldwater Golf Links June 21-23, will be contested over 54-holes in three days. In the past the event has been a 36-hole championship over two days for the oldest age divisions.

Most of the IGA’s major championships are 54-holes championships and both the Men’s and Women’s Rules and Competitions committees felt that the Iowa Junior and Girls’ Junior Amateur should mirror those events.

“This change was done first and foremost to elevate the status of the championship. Moving to a 54-hole event mirrors our other major events, like the Iowa Amateur, Women’s Amateur, and Senior Amateur,” said IGA CEO/Executive Director Chad Pitts.

It is also worth noting that the Iowa Junior and Girl’s Junior Amateur will have one division (18 & under). This was a change that the committees felt would elevate the event and make it unique to juniors in Iowa, as it reflects what the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship currently looks like, where 14 and 15-year-olds truly compete with 17 and 18-year-olds.

“It was a very tough decision to eliminate the younger age divisions from this championship. As the Allied Golf Association of the USGA we wanted our state junior amateur to more closely resemble that of the national championship, which does not have age divisions,” added Pitts. “Plus, these kids all play high school golf against one another no matter if they are freshman or seniors, so we feel that part won’t be very foreign to them at all.”

Although we know that this may discourage some younger players from participating right away, we hope that it gives them something to look forward to as they develop as players.

“The hardest part was eliminating the very young age divisions – the 13 and under divisions – because we know those kids are very unlikely to enter the event now,” said Tom Christensen, immediate past chairman of the IGA Rules & Competitions Committee. “Thankfully, our state has a wealth of playing opportunities for the youngest golfers with the Iowa Section PGA Junior Tour, so we will work to promote those events even more than we have in the past.”

Did you know – The Iowa Golf Association recently obtained two new permanent trophies that will include the names of each champion from the past going forward.  We are excited to unveil those at this year’s championship.


Champions crowned in 14-15, 16-18 Division of Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior Amateur

Hunter Johnson, of Ankeny, rose to the occasion to win the Boys’ 16-18 Division of the 2020 Iowa Junior Amateur Championship, held at Spirit Hollow Golf Club in Burlington.

First-round leader Clayton Phillips held the early lead through 15 holes, and then a few late bogies opened the door for Johnson, who sealed the deal in dramatic fashion with an eagle on the par-5 eighteenth. Johnson posted consistent rounds to the tune of 73-73 for a tally of 146 (+2). Matthew Briggs, of Burlington, was in contention all afternoon, and birdied the last for a two-day total of 75-73-148 (+4) to finish Runner-up. Phillips finished in third with a score of 149 (+5) for the week.

Newton’s Rylee Heryford outlasted the field to secure her victory in the Girls’ 16-18 Division. The day began with a crowded leaderboard, with Paige Hoffman, of West Des Moines, and Allison Nuss, of New Hampton, and Heryford all beginning the day within one stroke of another. Heryford birdied the last, finishing four ahead of the field with a 75-77-152 (+8) total. Hoffman and Nuss played tough, but a few setbacks on the back nine led them to shooting rounds of 81 & 80 respectively, settling into a tie for second at 156 (+12).

The action came down to the final hole in the Boys’ 14-15 Division, with Indianola’s Jackson Overton hanging on to win with a bogey on the eighteenth, finishing with rounds of 81 & 90 for a 36-hole total of 171 (+27). Finishing one behind was Calen Bishop, of Johnston, who posted rounds of 82 and 90 for a total of 172 (+28). Rounding out the podium was Knoxville’s Evan Smith, who finished up with a tally of 177 (+33).

The Girls’ 14-15 Division was a footrace on Thursday morning, with Meghan Delong, of Clear Lake, surviving a strong comeback bid from Katelyn Vaassen, of Dubuque, to win by one stroke. Delong managed to maintain her grip on the lead, posting rounds of 90 & 89 for a two-day total of 179 (+35). Vaassen rallied on Thursday, improving 14 strokes from her opening round, firing a round of 83 for a 36-hole total of 180 (+36). Burlington’s Lauren Briggs finished in third place after posting 89-98 for a tally of 187 (+43).

Click here for full results

See photos below of 16-18, 14-15 Divisions

2020 Iowa Junior Girls’ Champion Meghan Delong in the 14-15 Division.

2020 Iowa Junior Champion Jackson Overton (left) and runner-up Caleb Bishop (right) in the 14-15 Division.

2020 Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur (16-18 Division) champion was Rylee Heryford. Tied for runner-up were Allison Nuss & Paige Hoffman. Pictured (from left to right) are Hoffman, Nuss and Heryford.

2020 Iowa Junior (16-18 Division) champion Hunter Johnson (right) and runner-up Matthew Briggs (left).

Opening day of 2020 Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior Amateur sees good scoring

Clayton Phillips, of New London, sits atop a crowded leaderboard in the Boys’ 16-18 Division after shooting an even-par 72 in Wednesday’s opening round. Phillips overcame a double bogey on the first hole by making a flurry of pars, three birdies, and one bogey the rest of the way. Right behind Phillips is Ankeny’s Hunter Johnson, who made four birdies en route to posting a 1-over par round of 35-38-73. Sitting in a tie for third at 3-over par is Matthew Briggs, of Burlington, and Brandon McCarty, of North Liberty.

In the Girls’ 16-18 Division, Thursday is sure to be a shootout as West Des Moines’ Paige Hoffman & Newton’s Rylee Heryford are deadlocked in a tie for first after opening rounds of 75 (+3). Allison Nuss, of New Hampton, is only one back heading into tomorrow’s final round. She carded three birdies on her way to posting a 4-over round of 76.

In the Boys’ 14-15 Division, Indianola’s Jackson Overton leads the pack following his round of 40-41 for a final tally of 81 (+9). One shot behind Overton is Calen Bishop, of Johnston, at 10-over par. In the Girls’ 14-15 Division, local player Lauren Briggs, of Burlington, has a one-stroke advantage heading into Thursday’s final round. Briggs posted a 43-46 round of 89 (+17), highlighted by a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole. Clear Lake’s Meghan DeLong is one back after a consistent 45-45 round of 90 (+18).

In the Boys’ 12-13 Division, Braeden Nelson, of West Des Moines, captured the title by two shots after his round of 82 (+10). In the Girls’ 12-13 Division, Saleah Vivanhvong came back from an early deficit to win the title with her round of 92 (+20).

In the Boys’ 11 & Under Division, Nevada’s Parker Rogers topped the leaderboard, firing an 8-over par round of 44. In the Girls’ 11 & Under Division, Rylee Brockhouse, of Muscatine, won the title with an 11-over round of 47.

See full results here

See photos below of 12-13, 11 & Under Divisions

2020 Iowa Junior Champion Braeden Nelson (left) in the Boys’ 12-13 Division, alongside Vaughn Roseman, Runner-up (right).


2020 Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur (12-13 Divsion) – Saleah Vivanhvong, Champion (left) and Morgan Rupp, Runner-up (right).


2020 Iowa Girls’ Junior Amateur (11 & Under Division) Champion (left) Rylee Brockhouse and Runner-up (right) Kirsten Nuss.


Pictured are 2020 Iowa Junior Amateur (11 & Under Division) Champion Parker Rodgers (left) and Runner-up Evan Graham.

Pittman wins by two at 2019 Iowa Junior Amateur

Nick Pittman (pictured above left), of Urbandale, put up another good score (73) in the final round of the Iowa Junior Amateur at Indianola Country Club to win by a pair of strokes over Clive’s Jake Calhoun, who posted 67 (-4) in the final round to almost catch Pittman, and Matt Gardside, of Bettendorf, who posted 70 in both rounds. Pittman, who opened with 65 (-6) in the opening round said he had a plan of attack before teeing it up at Indianola CC.

“I had a game plan coming into this tournament and I feel like I followed that well both days,” Pittman said. The first day everything was clicking really well. I was hitting the ball really well and my distance control was the best of anything. I gave myself so many birdie looks. Since I had the lead I did, I was able to stick with the plan I had to begin with and keep ahold of the lead.”

Pittman, who admitted he’s played Indianola CC a handful of times, was impressed with the condition of the course.

“I thought the course was in really good shape,” he said “I have played there 6-7 times and this is the best I have seen it.”

In the Boys’ 14-15 year Division Will Simpson (pictured right), of Pella, won by three over Collin Schmit, of Marshalltown, but three strokes. Simpson posted rounds of 74-78 (+10) over the two-day event.

Click here for a full recap of scoring

Iowa Junior, Girls’ Junior Amateur continues tomorrow at Indianola CC

Urbandale’s Nick Pittman fired a 65 (-6) to lead the Boys 16-18 Division of the Iowa Junior Amateur at Indianola Country Club. Pittman’s round was clean, no bogeys and six birdies. Matt Garside, of Bettendorf, is five off the pace at, after shooting a 70 (-1) of his own.

Pella’s Will Simpson leads the Boys 14-15 Division with 74 (+3) today. He leads by three of Luke Meyer, of Cedar Falls. Meanwhile, Rylee HeryFord, who shot 74, leads by 8 the Girls’ 14-15 Division and Annika Patton leads the 16-18 Division by 10 following a 76.

Final rounds for the Boys, Girls 14-15 and 16-18 divisions will be played on Tuesday.

Carson Korver, of Orange City, and C.T. Norris, of West Des Moines, shot 42 in the 11 & Under Division. They went to extra holes where ultimately Carson came out victorious with a par on the first playoff hole.

Lauren Nuss from New Hampton shot 49 to win the 11 & Under Girls’ Division.

In the Boy’s 12-13 Division, Joseph Currans, of Ames, shot 79 (+8) to outlast Evan Smith, Knoxville, by two. Tanner Wachtl finished third.

Lauren Briggs, Burlington, shot 87 to win the Girls’ 12-13 Division by five shots over Eden Lohrbach, of Ames.

Click here for a full recap of scoring from all divisions.

Johnston’s solid play leads to Iowa Junior Amateur win, Burr wins 14-15 Division

A packed leaderboard was the story at Iowa Junior Amateur (16-18 Division) this year. Coming out on top was Ian Johnston (above right), who put together rounds of 68-69 (-1) to edge Burke Pitz (above left) by a single stroke. Conner Neighbors and Brock Snyder tied for third place, just three back of Johnston. Griffin Parker, who ultimately finished 5th, shot the low round of the tournament with 67 (-2) in the final round at Coldwater Golf Links.


Dillon Burr (above right) put together a pair of solid rounds at Coldwater Golf Links to capture the title in the Boy’s 14-15 Division. Burr, after opening with 70 (+1) on Tuesday, never trailed and won by three shots over Hogan Hansen (above left), who put together a 71 (+2) of his own in the final round.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

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