Category: Iowa Senior Amateur

Brown holds on, wins 46th Iowa Senior Amateur

In the end it was enough.

Jon Brown (right), who posted a 217 (+1) total, held on for victory at the 46th Iowa Senior Amateur hosted by Bent Tree Golf Course. With an opening rough 65, Brown admitted that was the difference in Council Bluffs.

“The first day everything went right,” Brown said. “I didn’t make many mistakes the next day (round two), but today, it’s hard playing with the lead. The conditions were really challenging (today). I missed some short putts early and the set the tone.”

After opening with a 39 (+3) on the front nine in the final round, Brown knew he needed to get to work as Joe Palmer and Chris Kramer, who would tie for runner-up when the dust had settled, gave chase.

“I found myself just trying to hang on,” Brown said. “I didn’t look at the leaderboard until the 18th tee. I knew what my group was doing, but not really anyone else. I just tried to do my best. Today was just one bad break after another and nothing was going right. I knew I needed to buckle down. Today with the wind it was tougher to drive the ball. The course felt tighter than the first two days. If you get out of position, with the greens being so fast, you all of sudden you have a downhill chip running away from you.”

Driving the ball and finding the fairways at the links-style layout of Bent Tree GC was the key to success according to Brown.

“I was able to put myself in positions to be aggressive and my speed with the putter was good,” Brown said. “Today, I had 5-6 footers that you had to be careful with or you could have 6-7 feet coming back. It was one of those days (today), it’s a little bit embarrassing shooting 79 to win, but I am thrilled I had a cushion. Chris Kramer played well today and I’ve had some many battles with Joe. I was never comfortable until I hit the 18th green.”

In the Super Senior Division Dave Gaer chased down the lead thanks to a final round 73 (+1) that included four birdies, good enough for a 222 total and a one shot win over Dave Waugh. Gaer commented that Bent Tree GC was a layout that you had to pick you spots of when to be aggressive and when to throttle down.

“This golf course you can’t force it,” Gaer said. “I got off to a good start today, that helped. I hit a lot of greens on the back nine. The wind blew steady all day and this is a good golf course. You have to use all your clubs in the bag. You get so many more chances here if you drive the ball well. It was a lot of fun (this week).

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Brown takes seven shot lead into final round of 46th Iowa Senior Amateur

It’s not always easy.

Many say following up a sensational round of golf on top of playing with the lead, knowing there are plenty of good golfers chasing you, might be two of the toughest hurdles in golf.

Jon Brown (right), who sizzled around Bent Tree Golf Course in the opening round of the 46th Iowa Senior Amateur with 10 birdies, managed only a lone birdie on the card in the second round, grew his lead to seven shots over Joe Palmer and Chris Kramer.

Mission accomplished.

Brown, in a second round that saw him collect 15 pars, will look to add a Iowa Senior Amateur title to his Iowa Golf Hall of Fame resume heading into the final round on Wednesday.

A similar story can be found in the Super Senior Division.

Rob Christensen finds himself ahead by six over a trio of players, following a steady round that also included 15 pars. A late-round bogey and double bogey for Christensen were all that left the Marshalltown golfer even farther out in front looking ahead to the final round.

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Brown opens with 65, Christensen leads by two in Super Senior Division

Early and often.

Jon Brown wasted little time climbing the leaderboard at the 46th Iowa Senior Amateur hosted by Bent Tree Golf Course, Council Bluffs. Brown, who was off early as one of the first handful of groups of the day, made a total of 10 birdies on the day, good enough for a 65 (-7) round.

Brown needed only 30 strokes on his back nine on Monday morning, including six birdies in those nine holes.

Joe Palmer finds himself chasing Brown after an up and down round of 71 (-1) of his own, while Sean Davis and Terry Cook posted 72s (E).

In the Super Senior Division, Rob Christensen (-1) leads by a pair of strokes over Dave Gaer and Tom Norton.

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Peters joins father as Iowa Senior Amateur Champion, Norton plays steady in SS Division

Ben Peters (left) joins his father, John, as an Iowa Senior Amateur champion. John won titles in 1998, 2004 and 2007.

Ben Peters survived.

Both the hot conditions as well as the difficult challenge Dubuque Golf & CC offered during the 45th Iowa Senior Amateur. Closing with a pair of 68s, Peters admitted it was the birdies coming home in the opening round after a rocky start that was the key to the week for him.

“It was a rough start for me on the first day,” Peters said. “I settled down with the putter a little bit and ball striking got better each day. It was a fun, hot week. I didn’t expect my second round score (68) to leapfrog me up the leaderboard as much as it did. It was such a difficult day. Those birdies coming in on the first day made the difference.”

Peters, who knew he had to stay patient at Dubuque G&CC, played his final 41 holes of the championship at -7, good for a three shot victory.

“Sometimes good shots here don’t turn out as well as you might think they should,” Peters said. “You have to stay below the hole. It’s a fun, old golf course.”

The heat, reaching into the triple digits at times, was also a hurdle for the field.

“The first day was more of a shock to the system,” Peters said “I was a little more prepared the second day. You knew what you were going to face (with the weather).”

With a two-shot lead heading into the final round over Ron Peterson, Peters knew he wasn’t going to have the luxury of coasting to the finish line.

“It was a back and forth most of the day with Ron,” Peters said. “I was able to make a couple nice putts out there. I knew I was going to need to make a birdie to make sure it went my well and I was able to on 17.”

Peters now joins his father, John, as an Iowa Senior Amateur champion. John won the event a total of three times – in 1998, 2004 and 2007. Peters also becomes the first person not names Elliott, McCoy or Palmer to win the event going back to 2013.

“This is a special for both of us to have out name on the trophy,” Ben said when asked about adding his name to the trophy along this his father.

Ben’s daughter, Maura, added a victory early in the summer at the Iowa Junior Girls’ Amateur, so Ben might of been feeling a little pressure to have a spot for his own trophy at home.

“You never know what is around the corner,” Peters said.

In the Super Senior Division, Tom Norton (right) played steady – posting 71 all three days of the event, with was good for a four shot win over Dave Baer.

“With the heat and these greens are severe enough I was happy with my score,” Norton said.

The coursed was something that looked good to Norton’s eye and he took advantage.

“This course suites me well, it’s tight and not long,” Norton said. “I just tried to keep it in the fairway. I didn’t three putt a bunch. I had the good fortune of making a few birdies the first two days. None today, but I had 17 pars. I never felt stressed today, it got within shot, but I was comfortable making pars.”

Figuring out the tough greens at Dubuque G&CC was also a key for Norton.

“You have to read greens well to have success here. This is my first stroke play victory. I have been second to Gene (Elliott) a few times, which is nothing to hang your head about, but I was happy to get it done.”

Norton admitted he took special precaution with the heat during he week and didn’t show up unprepared for the conditions.

“About 10 years I had a heat stroke, so I have to be careful. I kept an ice cooler with me and stay hydrated enough. The body felt better during the last round (with the weather not being as hot).”

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Peters takes lead into final round at 45th Iowa Senior Amateur, Norton looks to close

One more day.

It’s a packed leaderboard at Dubuque Golf & CC after two days of play at the 45th Iowa Senior Amateur. Players battled steamy, unpleasant at times conditions again during the second round of play, but Bettendorf’s Ben Peters found a recipe for success – good enough for a 68 (-2) to vault him into the lead by one heading in the final round.

Opening round co-leader Chris Kramer sits just a shot back of Peters’ lead, as does Ron Peterson. Peterson turned in a fine second round score himself – 70 (E). Another five players find themselves all within no more than five shots off the pace, including opening round co-leader Bill Matzdorff, who will start the final round +5.

A pair of 71s from Tom Norton put him into the lead in the Super Senior Division. Norton leads by a pair of strokes over Dave Baer and Bob Brooks. Rob Pomerantz, who fired a spectacular 67 (-3) in the second round, is just four shots back of the lead and will look to make a move up the leaderboard in the final round.

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Kramer, Matzdorff lead at 45th Iowa Senior Amateur, Gaer paces Super Seniors

Bill Tank surveys his next shot during the opening round of the 45th Iowa Senior Amateur hosted by Dubuque Golf & CC.

Battling the hot, at times unbearable conditions most of the day was the true test during the opening round of the 45th Iowa Senior Amateur hosted by Dubuque Golf & CC.

West Des Moines’ Chris Kramer and Ankeny’s Bill Matzdorff found the most success posting rounds of 71 (+1). Kramer’s round included a pair of birdies to offset a trio of bogeys. Meanwhile, Matzdorff made three birdies aginst four bogeys on the day. Two players, Gary Ellis (Norwalk) and Dustin Hall (Monticello) sit just a shot back at +2. Three players give chase as well at +3.

In the Super Senior Division, Dave Gaer, of Des Moines, turned in the round of the day with 69 (-1). Gaer was able to make three birdies and only make a pair of bogeys during his round. Gaer commented he was pleased with his round and was glad to be inside and out of the heat after turning in his scorecard.

Muscatine’s Tom Norton fired 71 (+1) and is just a shot back of Gaer’s lead. Sam Aossey (Cedar Rapids) shot 72 (+2), while Bob Brooks (West Des Moines) and Mark Wessels (Dyersville) both finished with 73 (+3) and are well within reach of the lead.

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Palmer wins fourth career Iowa Senior Amateur, Brooks claims Super Senior title

The 2021 IGA Senior Player of the Year, Joe Palmer (above), broke through with his first IGA victory of the season. Palmer stormed up the leaderboard to claim the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship after a first round 73 set him back. 

“It is not easy with 36 holes when you are eight shots back,” Palmer said. “Sean (Davis), who put the 66 on there, is a really steady player. I did not think he was going to come back to us, but I had no choice but to try to dig in and get something done.”

That’s what Palmer did.

Back-to-back rounds of 66 put Palmer ahead of the second-round leaders, Sean Davis, of Council Bluffs, and Bret Taylor, of Booneville.

“Fortunately, on day two, I got it to where I was in striking distance,” said Palmer. “Today I got off to a good start and unfortunately for them they did not have their best ball striking days. Then it was a whole new ball game.”

Heading into the week of the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, Palmer did not shy away from teeing it up at this week. Now going into the prestigious championship, Palmer will have a boost of confidence.

“Fortunately, I won a few years back when we went to Eugene, Oregon for the U.S. Senior Amateur,” Palmer said. “I had won at Des Moines Golf and Country Club and flew out the next morning. I really wanted to go in playing, I like the competition. It is hard to replace that.”

Davis played his final round at three-over par, giving him a solo second place finish. Taylor carded a four-over 75 to take home third place with a two-under three-day tally.

Dave Gaer and the 2022 Herman Sani Tournament Senior Champion, Jay Gregory, played consistent golf this week and round out the top-five in the Senior Division. Gaer placed fourth at one-under par for the tournament and Gregory finished at one-over par. 

Bob Brooks (right) was able to hang on and claim the Super Senior Division title. Brooks was two-shots back after day one but flipped the switch and stayed away from the big numbers as he finished out his week.

“I stayed away from the big number, that was the key,” Brooks said. “Some of my poor shots, I recovered really well. If you hit a fairway, you had a good chance for a birdie. I hit a lot of fairways and only missed two greens today.”

Brooks was in a good spot with his game this week. Driving the ball well, hitting solid approach shots and making putts. It all seemed to flow.

“They say drive for show, putt for dough,” Brooks said. “I always say, ‘You can’t putt for dough if you don’t drive for show.’ A big part of my game is locating the pin from the tee box and trying to hit a specific area.”

Even though Brooks was playing with the leaders, he stayed focused on his own game. A couple mistakes resulted in dropped shots, but Brooks was able to battle back and recover. At the turn, Brooks started to feel the confidence rise. 

“I knew if I just hit the ball the way I did the last few days, I would be okay,” Brooks said. “I almost had a hole in one on my third hole. It was three inches from just past the pin. It got me into a comfortable zone. Once I made the turn, I peaked at the leaderboard and said to myself, ‘just keep hitting fairways,’ and that is what I did.”

Jim Butler and Rob Christensen tied for second place. Both Butler and Christensen had solid weeks after a pair of 215 totals. A three-way tie for fourth place concludes our top-five. Rick Gorbell, Joel Yunek and Steve Kahler posted four-over par for the week. 

You can follow Palmer as he takes on The Kittansett Club the 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship with his fellow Iowans, Curtis Holck, Jon Brown, Gene Elliott and the 2023 Walker Cup Captain, Mike McCoy.

Senior Division
1. Joe Palmer 73-66-66=205
2. Sean Davis 65-71-74=210
3. Bret Taylor 70-66-75=211
4. Dave Gaer 72-71-69=212
5. Jay Gregory 71-71-72=214

Super Senior Division
Bob Brooks 72-69-70=211
T2. Jim Butler 74-70-71=215
T2. Rob Christensen 72-73-70=215
T4. Rick Gorbell 75-71-71=217
T4. Joel Yunek 71-72-74=217
T4. Steve Kahler 73-71-73=217

Taylor joins Davis at top of 44th Iowa Senior Amateur leaderboard, Brooks paces Super Seniors

Bret Taylor (above) joins the first-round leader, Sean Davis, at the top of the leaderboard. Taylor held a two-shot lead going into his last three holes, but an untimely tee shot on seven and a three putt on nine sent him back into a tie with Davis.

“It was a little disappointing to three-putt the last hole” Taylor said. “I also holed out from 72 yards, so I can’t complain.”

With five birdies and a hole-out for eagle on the day, Taylor was pleased with his round. 

“I have struggled this year, so it is nice to piece together some rounds and hit some good shots,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s first Iowa Senior Amateur Championship appearance came at Ames Golf and Country Club back in 2015. Having past experience along with a strong history of playing well in the Joe August tournament each year, Taylor is overflowing with confidence. 

“I play the Joe August every year,” Taylor said. “Ron Peterson and I have had a lot of success here. I know the course and I am confident on the course.”

Knowing the task ahead of him, Taylor does not want to get ahead of himself. 

“You can’t get ahead of yourself,” Taylor said. “That is probably the best way to play. I did a good job of not getting ahead of myself and I absolutely have to do that tomorrow.”

Davis carded an even round today to keep his name at the top. Three birdies and three bogeys kept Davis from increasing his first-round lead. 

The 2021 Senior Player of the Year, Joe Palmer, is back into contention after tying Taylor for the low round of the day. After a bogey on hole 12, Palmer caught fire. Going six-under in the following nine holes pushed Palmer into third place. 

Dave Cunningham was one shot away from joining Palmer and Taylor. Cunningham had a clean scorecard and knocked in four birdies to finish his day in fourth place. Jay Gregory and Jay Slings will go into the final round in a tie for fifth place at even-par.

Bob Brooks (right) takes the lead in the Super Senior Division after a two-under round of 69 Tuesday afternoon. Brooks began the day with two bogeys in his first three holes but turned it around quickly with back-to-back birdies on four and five. 

To finish the day, Brooks made birdie on 13 and 16 to close out his day two shots ahead of second place. Joel Yunek, of Mason City, finished in solo second after a one-over round of 72 during the morning wave. 

Steve Kahler and Jim Butler made moves today, getting back inside the top-three. Kahler ended his day at even par and Butler carded a one-under round. Rob Christensen rounded out the top-five with a 145 two-round tally. 

The final round of the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship will take place Wednesday morning. Find out which senior and super senior will be crowned the champion at Ames Golf and Country Club using our live scoring feature. 

Senior Division
T1. Bret Taylor 70-66=136
T1. Sean Davis 65-71=136
3. Joe Palmer 73-66=139
4. Dave Cunningham 73-67=140
T5. Jay Slings 67-75=142
T5. Jay Gregory 71-71=142

Super Senior Division
1. Bob Brooks 72-69=141
2. Joel Yunek 71-72=143
T3. Jim Butler 74-70=144
T3. Steve Kahler 73-71=144
T3. Rob Christensen 74-70=144

Davis sets the pace at 44th Iowa Senior Amateur, Miller leads Super Seniors

Sean Davis, of Council Bluffs is the round one leader at the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship, held at Ames Golf and Country Club. Davis had it rolling in round one, knocking in seven birdies en route to a six-under round.

“I just played real solid all the way around,” said Davis. “As the day went on the greens got a little dryer and faster. They were in great shape and the staff did a great job.”

Going into moving day with a two-shot lead can be uncomfortable at times, but not for Davis. 

“This resembles the back nine at my home course Council Bluffs Country Club,” Davis said. “I feel real comfortable out here.”

Ankeny’s, Jay Slings, sits two-back of Davis after a four-under round of 67. Slings made five birdies to only one lone bogey. Currently, Slings holds second place by three-shots over Booneville’s, Bret Taylor. 

Taylor joined Davis and Slings as the only three players under-par in the Senior Division. Taylor tallied four birdies, but three bogeys set him back. Ron Peterson and the recent Herman Sani Tournament Senior Champion, Jay Gregory, finish the top-five at even-par. 

Terry Miller, of Fort Dodge, leads the way in the Super Senior Division with a one-shot lead over Mason City’s, Joel Yunek. Miller carded a one-under round of 70 that included four birdies to only three bogeys. 

Yunek holds on to solo second place after parring the course. Yunek’s consistent round places him in great position to chase the lead. Bob Brooks and Rob Christensen finished tied for third place at one-over par. 

Steve Kahler, David Studer and the Super Senior Match Play Champion, Tom Norton, round out the top-five at two-over par. The competitors in the three-way tie for fifth are only three-back from Miller.

The second round of the 44th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship will start Tuesday morning morning. Follow the seniors using our live scoring feature as they look to put pressure on the leaders, Davis and Miller.

Senior Division
1. Sean Davis -6 65
2. Jay Slings -4 67
3. Bret Taylor -1 70
T4. Ron Peterson E 71
T4. Jay Gregory E 71

Super Senior Division
Terry Miller -1 70
Joel Yunek E 71
T3. Bob Brooks +1 72
T3. Rob Christensen +1 72
T5. Steve Kahler +2 73
T5. Tom Norton +2 73
T5. David Studer +2 73

Leszczynski defends title at LPN, Grady earns third Super Senior victory

Laura Leszczynski (above) will engrave her name on the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur trophy for the third time in her career after outlasting, Rose Kubesheski, at the 57th Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora. 

As the two leaders, Leszczynski and Kubesheski, approached the final three-hole stretch, there seemed to be anyone’s title for the taking.

“We didn’t really know what the scores were,” Leszczynski said. “I thought I was down one. On the last few holes, my goal was just to make par all the way in.”

On hole 18, Kubesheski was inches away from holing out for birdie from just off the green. Leszczynski stood and watched Kubesheski tap in for her par, knowing that she was going to need her eight-foot par putt to drop.

“I thought my last putt was for a push to go into a play off,” Leszczynski said. “I put a lot a pressure on myself for that one, so it was a relief to make that one.”

Her putt caught the lip of the hole and fell. Little did she know that putt was for her second straight Senior Women’s Amateur Title, but Leszczynski couldn’t take all the credit. 

“Coming off of the USGA Event, I didn’t play well there,” Leszczynski said. “I was fortunate enough to have some time with my local head golf professional, Jason Marvelli. He fixed my swing, so I came in here with a brand-new swing. To know where the ball was going to go instead of wish where it was going to go was awesome.”

A new swing was just enough for Leszczynski to defeat the seven-time Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur champion, Kubesheski. 

“Rose played great,” Leszczynski said. “She makes me play better and keeps me focused. For me, I just need to stay calm and remind myself to stay in the game. To watch her play and play so evenly is always fun to watch, but I needed to play my own game and not play against her.”

As Leszczynski glanced at the trophy she worked so hard for, she could only share how much fun she had. 

“To win this one, in such a close way was fun,” Leszczynski said.

A two-time Super Senior Women’s Amateur Champion, Margene Grady, made it three with a playoff victory over Jeanette Fredericksen. 

The crowd of senior ladies were filled with anticipation as they followed Grady and Fredericksen back to the 10th tee. After Fredericksen left her approach just short of the putting surface, Grady stuck hers to the middle of the green. Fredericksen was unable to save par, and Grady two-putted.

With a par on that first playoff hole, Grady headed back to the clubhouse with a big smile and a third Super Senior Women’s Amateur title.

Fortune wins shootout
Congratulations to the IGA’s first ever IGA Senior Women’s Shoot-out champion, Kathy Fortune. Fortune felt the pressure she said but came through and defeated Janece Schwartzkopf in a late chip-off to win the ‘last-man standing’ style mini-game. 

Championship Division
1. Laura Leszczynski 77-77=154
2. Rose Kubesheski 77-78=155
3. Michelle Klein 78-86=164
4. Kathy Fortune 85-82=167
T5. Jeanette Fredericksen 87-82=169
T5. Margene Grady 86-83=169
T5. Kelly Grimes 82-87=169

Super Senior Division
1. Margene Grady 86-83=169 *Won Playoff*
2. Jeanette Fredericksen 87-82=169
T3. Janis Owens 91-84=175
T3. Jennifer Corkrean 88-87=175
Sue Harmon 83-93=176

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