Category: Iowa Mid-Am

Elliott wins sixth Iowa Mid-Amateur title, defends 2020 crown

He defended his title.

West Des Moines’ Gene Elliott (pictured above), now 59, kept the big numbers off the scorecard and left with the trophy he came with at the 36th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship. Elliott admitted the course host, Finkbine Golf Course, wasn’t the same as he remembered from years past – going back many years.

“It wasn’t the same old Finkbine that I remember,” Elliott said of the tough conditions players battled over 36 holes. “It was really, really dry. The greens were firm and fast. I have never seen them that fast at Finkbine and that goes back to high school. It looked like if you hung in there and made pars, you were going to be ok. I was very fortunate with the way things ended up.”

Hung in there he did, posting rounds of 74-73 (+3) for the championship, which got him into a playoff against Van Meter’s Scot Cook.

“In a 36-hole event a big number can take you out of it right away, unless you make a bunch of birdies,’ Elliott said. “You knew if you got above the hole, you would have trouble two putting from there.”

Somewhat similar to his victory at Sunnyside CC last fall, Elliott found himself giving chase entering the final round, down three strokes to Nate McCoy, of Ankeny, who opened with 71 (-1).

“I thought if I could get it under par somehow, I might have a chance.,” Elliott said. “I made a couple birdies on #6 and #7. I turned in one-under par and looked at scores and saw guys behind me were struggling a bit. I knew we had a shootout going and would have a chance if I played a good back nine.”

Elliott proceeded to make seven straight pars before bogeys on the final two holes of the day.

“Even with the poor finish I thought I was still in it,” Elliott said. “I had no idea if I would win or be in a playoff or lose by one. I really didn’t know.”

Luckily for Elliott, the late bogeys didn’t cost him a chance at his sixth Iowa Mid-Amateur title, but he would have to earn it in a playoff beginning on the demanding par-3 17th hole at Finkbine GC.

“I left it short left (off the tee), but had a pretty straight forward chip up the slope,” Elliott said. “Although I did hit it about three and half feet past the hole, which I didn’t want to do. Then Scot hit just a beautiful par putt after hitting it in the bunker. It just slowly lipped on the high side. He hit a great putt there. Then I got up and made my downhill (par) putt.”

Elliott, now a six-time Iowa Mid-Amateur champion, credited his short game to his success over the two days.

“My chipping has really been good this winter and I have putted pretty solid,” Elliott said. “I stayed away from that big number and didn’t make any doubles. I made a lot of comeback putts and that was the difference. “

In the Senior Division Norwalk’s Joe Palmer captured the title, battling back from two strokes down going into the final round. Palmer shot rounds of 76-74 (+6) for a one-shot lead over Jeff Collett, of Ottumwa.

“Being a former Iowa Hawkeye, I’ve played a lot of rounds at Finkbine,” Palmer said. “But when I showed up, I was like where are we at? The greens were phenomenal speed, lots of deep rough and fairways were running firm. It was enjoyable and it tested us for sure.”

Palmer, who admitted he didn’t make a lot of birdies over the two-day event, made a lot of pars and knew that would be key to success. To his credit, Palmer didn’t make many bogeys either.

“I knew it was going to be a tournament where even par or a couple over would be right there,” Palmer said. “I made some good putts on Saturday that kept me in it (in the final round). You knew you had to make those. Playing a little more conservatively with the way the greens were, might yield a better score. I tried to keep the ball in play and not get aggressive trying to make a bunch of birdies. Making pars was beneficial for me.”

In the Super Senior Division Rob Christensen, of Marshalltown, played consistent golf. Christensen posted rounds of 75-75 (+6) to win by four strokes thanks to keeping double-bogey or worse off the scorecard for 36-holes. Mason City’s Joel Yunek finished runner-up with rounds of  75-79 (+10).

“It wasn’t that I didn’t get in trouble, but I was able to escape,” Christensen said. “A lot of my playing buddies weren’t so lucky. The key to Finkbine, if there is one, you always had to stay below the hole. If you got above it, buckle up. I thought 75 would be a real good score. Jim Butler shot 71 (in round one) and I was impressed with that. I thought if I shot another 75 (in the second round) I might have a chance. Obviously it depended on how Jim and some of the other guys did. They made some mistakes and I didn’t. I was able to make (a lot of) those three to five foot putts.”

Click here for final results

Elliott wins Iowa Mid-Amateur for fifth time, didn’t expect the outcome

Expect anything less?

The 35th Iowa Mid-Amateur at Sunnyside Country Club lived up to the hype this week. Several, up to a dozen at one time on Friday, had their chance to put their name on the trophy. In the end a four-time winner added his name for the fifth time – but he even admitted he didn’t expect that outcome.

Gene Elliott (pictured above), 58, who won the Iowa Mid-Amateur in 1998, 2000, 2009 and 2013, needed a low round on Friday in the final round. He got one.

Elliott, of West Des Moines, fired the Mid-Am Division co-low round of the day with 67 (-5) to win the championship by a shot over Ankeny’s Andrew Huseman, who just turned 25 earlier this year. Elliott’s round included five birdies against not a single bogey – a clean card.

“I had a target score of 65, 66,” Elliott said. “I thought if I shot that today, I might have a chance. My round yesterday, 75, it was a tough day with the wind. I thought I was just a little too far back.”

Windy it was on Thursday, no doubt, but Friday’s round still presented some challenges according to Elliott.

“It was windy early on today,” Elliott said. “I putted well and got it up and down a couple times.”

Even with five Iowa Mid-Amateur titles to his credit, Elliott was the first to admit he didn’t expect the outcome.

“I wasn’t expecting this today,” Elliott said of his victory. “I can tell you that for sure. I knew I was close (to the lead today). I looked (at scores) after the 10th hole to see where I was. It was a logjam. There was a dozen guys who could win. I knew if I could make that putt (on #17), I had a chance.”

His putt, set up by a terrific tee shot on the 17th hole, was one of his best, ever, Elliott commented. When the dust had settled, it was a putt he needed.

“I tell you what, that putt is one of the best putts I have hit in my entire life,” Elliott said. “That putt was on such a good line. I couldn’t believe how good that putt looked the whole way. A lot of times you hit a putt like that and it doesn’t go in, but this one went right in the middle.”

A trio of players finished the championship at 144 (E), two shots behind Elliott. They included Ankey’s Connor Peck and Jon Olson, who both have had stellar 2020 campaigns, along with newly-minted mid-amateur Kacie Broeg, of Burlington.

In the Senior Division, Des Moines’ Tony Newkirk found a little something the final round as well, posting a 65 (-7) to win by three over West Des Moines’ Bob Brooks and Ankeny’s Curtis Holck. Newkirk’s round included six birdies, an eagle and only one bogey.

In the Super Senior Division, Marshalltown’s Pat Ryan cruised to the victory by six shots, shooting 69 (-3) in the final round to outdistance runner-up Jim Butler. Butler turned a nice round himself on Friday, posting 68 (-4).

Click here for a recap of scoring

Allison posts 71 (-1), leads 35th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship

Pars were ideal at Sunnyside Country Club today during the opening round of the 35th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship. With the wind gusting for most of the day, the course was playing anything but a walk in the park.

Norwalk’s Brian Allison found the most success, posting a round of 71 (-1) to take a one-shot lead into tomorrow’s final round. Adel’s Jon Brown sits just a shot back at even par, following his round of 72. Allison’s round was highlighted by a pair birdies and an eagle.

A pair of golfers, Kevin Ault (Cedar Rapids) and Michael Schuchmann (Waterloo) both posted 73 (+1) and will look to make a move towards the top of the leaderboard tomorrow. No less than eight players sit at +2 following rounds of 74, including several in the IGA Player of the Year race.

In the Senior Division, Ankeny’s Curtis Holck leads by two shots over Tom Norton (Muscatine) and Bret Taylor (Booneville). Holck fired an even par round of 72 on Thursday. Sitting just three shots off the pace include Bob Brooks, West Des Moines, and Terry Cook, Norwalk.

Pat Ryan, of Marshalltown, leads by two shots over Fort Dodge’s Dave Sergeant in the Super Senior Division. Joel Yunek (Mason City), Kevin Pratt (Norwalk) and Sam Aossey (Cedar Rapids) are just three shots off the lead, after a first round score of 76.

Click here for recap of scores

IGA postpones events until May 28th

IGA postpones Mid-Amateur, Women’s Mid-Am series, Four-Ball events

The Classic also postponed

APRIL 15, 2020 – The IGA Executive Committee, upon recommendations from the Rules & Competitions Committee, recently determined to postpone the first three IGA events on the calendar – the Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship, the first Women’s Mid-Amateur Series, and the IGA Four-Ball Championship.  In addition, officials at Elmwood CC have determined to postpone The Classic, the first sanctioned point event of the year.

The IGA Senior Match Play, scheduled for May 28th thru 30th, was discussed but it was determined not to postpone this event at this time.  The committee will meet again on or around May 1st to determine if that event should be postponed.  This essentially means that IGA events have been postponed until May 28th.

The new dates for the postponed events are as follows:

  • Women’s Mid-Amateur Series event #1 (Irv Warren GC, Waterloo) – Sat, June 6th
  • IGA Four-Ball (Whispering Creek GC, Sioux City) – Wed, Thurs, Aug 19-20
  • Iowa Mid-Amateur (Sunnyside CC, Waterloo) – Thurs, Fri, Sept 3-4
  • The Classic (Elmwood CC, Marshalltown) – Sat, Sun, Sept 19-20

We are grateful for these host clubs and courses and their willingness to work with us to establish new dates for these championships.  They are tremendous supporters of our events and they have been wonderful to work with during these unusual times.

Anyone who has already entered any of these events and has determined that the new dates would not work for them will be issued a full refund.  Please email Nate McCoy at [email protected]  If you can still play or are not sure yet if you can still play on the new dates, we ask that you remain in the field until you determine for certain that you cannot play, at which point a full refund will be issued.

For those that have not yet entered, entries are open for all of these events.  We encourage you to get signed up to play at (click here to do so).

Finally, we hope that all of you and your families are doing well and staying healthy.  We very much look forward to seeing everyone on the golf course this summer.

Bull stays patient, wins 34th Iowa Mid-Amateur at Briarwood Golf Club

Dennis Bull (pictured above), of Norwalk, had the mindset to stay patient and see where the chips fell at the end of the day. Thankfully for Bull the chips fell in his favor with the help of solid golf in the final round of the 32nd Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship at Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny. The victory marks Bull’s first ‘solo’ IGA title, as he paired up with Dusty Drenth to win the IGA Four-Ball last year.

Starting the day Bull was one shot behind opening round leader John Burgett (pictured right), of Waukee. Burgett’s lead grew to three strokes early on in the round, but as mentioned Bull stayed patient.

“This is going to be a long day I thought,” Bull said after the round. “I made a sloppy bogey on #1. John made a nice, long putt on #2, so right away I was in a hole. I didn’t birdie #3 or #4. I was playing ok, just wasn’t scoring. But then I birdied 5 and it was back and forth after that.

Fast forward to the 14th hole, where two fine shots left Burgett an eagle putt he would convert and take sole position of the lead by three strokes.

“John made eagle on #14, which was fantastic and then I fail to make birdie, so (once again) I am three (strokes) down, Bull said. “I didn’t think I was out of to after he made eagle. I had good looks on #16-18 for birdie, just didn’t make any of them and he made a couple bogeys coming in.”

Bull’s final round included a pair of birdies to offset his two bogeys, which was good enough by one stroke over Burgett and three over West Des Moines’ Ryan Bishop. Bull, who shot 145 (+1) for the championship, admitted with the cooler, windier weather in the final round, birdies wouldn’t be flying by any means.

“My mindset was trying to stay patient today,” Bull said. “I drove the ball so-so early on, but didn’t make many mistakes. Scores were a little higher due to the weather. There was a little bit of wind and it was cold. But it’s nice to win one of these, I have been trying for a while.”

In the Senior Division, West Des Moines’ Bob Brooks defeated Brian Verduyn, of Polk City, after both players finished with a two-round score of 143 (-1). Jim Butler, of Fort Madison, claimed the Super Senior Division title by a six shots over Dave Sergeant, of Fort Dodge. Butler also posted 143 (-1) over the two-day event.

Click here for full results

From left – Jim Butler (Super Senior Division Champion), Dennis Bull (Mid-Amateur Champion) and Bob Brooks (Senior Division Champion). Bull is shown above holding the Michael McCoy Mid-Amateur trophy.

Burgett leads 34th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship

John Burgett, of Waukee, leads the 34th Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship following an opening round 72 (E). Burgett, who is a member at Briarwood Golf Club, where the event is being contested, made three birdies to offset his three bogeys.

Hot on Burgett’s heels is a group of five who posted 73 (+1), which includes Aaron O’Brien, Dennis Bull, Scot Cook, Ben Stein and Brian Allison.

In the Senior Division Brian Verduyn, of Urbandale, put together a fine round of 68 (-4). Verduyn’s card was clear – four birdies against no bogeys. Not to be outdone, Bob Brooks, of West Des Moines, posted his own 68, which included two birdies and an eagle. Joe Bates, of Albia, is in third place at a round of 71 (-1).

In the Super Senior Division, Dan Dalziel, Cedar Rapids, and Jim Butler, of Fort Madison, both fired 72 (E) to co-lead by three of Richard Gorbell, of Cedar Rapids.

Click here for First Round results

Click here for Second Round Pairings/Tee Times

Anderson wins 33rd Iowa Mid-Amateur, final round rained out

The final round of the 33rd Iowa Mid-Amateur at Burlington Golf Club was cancelled due to heavy rains that rolled into town just as the final groups were finishing their opening hole.

J.D. Anderson, of Johnston, set the pace after day one with an opening round 68 (-4). Anderson was declared the winner when the announcement was made to cancel the final round.

“I said to myself yesterday that this is how I wanted to start the year,” Anderson said. “You can’t get above the hole here. This course can be penal if you go in the wrong spot. I was lucky to play a practice round and figure some of that out.”

Terry Cook (left) won a four-way playoff for the Senior Division title. Cook made a par on the second playoff hole to earn the victory.

Dan Dalziel (right), who posted 69 (-3) to lead the Super Senior Division (65 year and older) by six shots over Jim Campbell after the opening round, was declared winner in that division.

Click here for a full recap of scores


Anderson birdies first four holes, leads 33rd Iowa Mid-Amateur

J.D. Anderson, of Johnston, caught fire early at Burlington Golf Club.

Anderson, the 2017 IGA Player of the Year, birdied his first four holes and was five under par through six holes of the opening round at the 33rd Iowa Mid-Amateur Championship. Anderson, who posted 68 (-4), made a total of eight birdies on the day.

Anderson dropped three shots just prior to make the turn, but rebounded nicely and made three birdies coming home on the inward half.

Norwalk’s Brian Allison is close behind lead, firing a fine opening round score of his own, 70 (-2). Allison’s rounds included four birdies against juts two bogeys.

Nick Eilertson, of Cedar Falls, is three back of Anderson’s lead after his round of 71 (-1).

A total of four players share the lead in the Senior Division, as John O’Neill, Jay Goeser, Bret Taylor and Terry Cook all shot 73 (+1). Ron Peterson sits just a shot back after his own 74 (+2).

Dan Dalziel posted 69 (-3) to lead the Super Senior Division (65 year and older) by six shots over Jim Campbell.

Hole in One – Father Marty Goetz, a member at BGC, made an ace on the 17th hole during today’s round.

Click here for a full recap of scoring

Anderson wins first career Iowa Mid-Amateur, Palmer tops in Senior Division

J.D. Anderson wasted little time sprinting out to the lead in the second round of the 32nd Iowa Mid-Amateur at Beaver Hills Country Club in Cedar Falls.
Anderson (Johnston), following a par on the opening hole, holed out for eagle on the second and birdied the third hole to pull away from his group, somewhat, early in the round. Anderson, who admitted his goal was to stay aggressive, notched four more birdies to add to his round of 67 (-5) and a 13​8​ two-day total (-6). The win secured Anderson’s first-eve​r​ Iowa Mid-Amateur title and his first individual title of an IGA administered event.

“This means a lot,” Anderson said. “I am really happy. I had a lot more nerves today that I expected, because of what it meant. The bigger goal is to win all three (Mid-Am, Match Play, State Amateur).”

Anderson said his quick start to the round helped calm his demeanor early on.

“I ​was ​forced to lay up on two and then holed out,” Anderson said. “Then I made a 15-foot putt on three and that settled the nerves. It was a solid day. I got away with some bad shots. My main focus was to stay aggressive. I assumed someone from behind was keeping pace, so I wanted to keep making birdies

Anderson, who assumed another ‘low’ round was out there in a group ahead of him, was right. Dusty Drenth (Davenport) put together his own magic, firing a tournament low 66 (-6), but was unable to catch Anderson. Drenth shot 142 (-2) for the two-day event and finished second.

A trio of golfers, Dennis Bull (Norwalk), Kevin Ault (Cedar Rapids) and Scott Hart (West Des Moines) finished in third place at 145 (+1).

In the Senior Division, West Des Moines’ Joe Palmer (above) battled back after an opening round 75 to post two under-par 70. Palmer commented that he had not seen or played the course for some time, but was able to put together a good round on Tuesday.

“I make some mistakes (yesterday),” Palmer said. “Today I played better. My goal was to get it back to par. I thought if I shot 69 that would make the leaders have to shoot something under par too. I really didn’t know how I stood until the last putt. I am excited about the summer.”

This title adds a new accomplishment to the résumé for Palmer

“This trophy is one I had never won, this one and the State Amateur, Palmer said. “I have been fortunate to get the others, now I just need to concentrate and see what we can do at the State Amateur.”

Anderson also made the comment that he is looking forward to keeping his positive momentum going on Monday in the U.S. Open Local Qualifier, being held at Burlington’s Spirit Hollow Golf Course.

“I am really looking forward to the U.S. Open Local (at Spirit Hollow Golf Course),” Anderson said. “Hopefully I make five birdies and an eagle there too.”

Click here for full results

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