Category: Iowa Women’s Amateur

Chou keeps the title in the family, wins 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur

The final round of the 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship concluded Wednesday afternoon at Cedar Rapids Country Club. Ruby Chou (right) tapped in for her par on the final hole and joined her sister, Joy Chou, as an Iowa Women’s Amateur Champion.

“I’m super excited to have my name right next to Joy on the trophy now,” Ruby said. “I know we both work hard every day to get to where we want to be, but golf is hard sometimes. I can’t believe I made it, and I can’t wait to show it to Joy and my parents.”

After each round, Joy gave Ruby pep talks over the phone to help keep her stay focused.

“Joy and I talked about what happened and she kept telling me to do my best and don’t think too much on the course,” Ruby said. “She told me to go out there and have fun playing the tournament.”

Joy mentioned to Ruby that she would be busy and wouldn’t be able to make it to the final round, but Ruby still had hope she might.

“She told me she was not going to be there,” Ruby said. “I had feeling that she would show up. I told myself to keep it up so that I could show her that I won the tournament.”

As the flag stick went back into the 18th hole, Ruby looked up to see her sister standing over the green.

Going into the final round, Ruby had a four-shot lead over fellow Iowa State Cyclone, Warda Amira Rawof. After the front nine, Chou was two-over and was holding on to a two-shot lead.

“I was two-over on the front nine, but I knew all of my bogeys were from three-putts,” Ruby said. “I just needed to calm down and play smart.”

After Chou made a double on 12 and a bogey on hole 13, the two teammates were tied.

“On the back nine I made double and then a bogey, which put me in a tie with Warda,” Ruby said. “I told myself it was going to be okay, and I needed to stay positive.”

Positivity was key for Chou. After sticking a wedge from 86 yards out, Chou tapped in her birdie and got back on track.

“After my birdie on 14, I told myself, ‘You got this’ and I finished strong,” Ruby said.

That she did. Chou parred the final four holes to close out the tournament and win by two-shots.

Eden Lohrbach pushed herself back into contention with the lowest final round score. Lohrbach fired a 72 to move back into third place and put the pressure on Rawof and Chou. Lohrbach has now finished inside the top-three in back-to-back Iowa Women’s Amateur Championships.

Amber Henson and Hannah Bermel tied for fourth place with 226, 54-hole tallies. Henson carded the second-lowest round of the day with a 73, and Bermel’s 76 secured a spot inside the top-five.

Rose Kubesheski won the Open Division in dominating fashion, as she earns her third victory of the season. With a final round 73, Kubesheski increased her two-shot lead into a 10-shot win over fellow U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship qualifiers, Michelle Klein and Laura Leszczynski (all pictured above).

Klein and Leszczynski tied for second with 240 tallies. Klein carded rounds of 78 and back-to-back 81’s and Leszczynski kept it consistent with three-straight rounds of 80. It was a strong week for these ladies as they head to the Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in two weeks.

Defending Open Division champion, Kelly Nelson, finished in fourth place with a 249 total. Nelson was two shots ahead of Kelly Grimes who posted the second-lowest final round total with a 75, to round out the top-five.

Next on the Iowa Golf Association’s schedule is the 57th Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Lake Panorama Golf Course in Panora. Follow to see if Leszczynski will defend her title or will someone else hoist the trophy this year.


Championship Division
1. Ruby Chou +3 71-72-76=219
2. Warda Amira Rawof +5 71-76-74=221
3. Eden Lohrbach +8 72-80-72=224
T4. Hannah Bermel +10 75-75-76=226
T4. Amber Henson +10 72-81-73=226

Open Division
1. Rose Kubesheski +14 76-81-73=230
2. Michelle Klein +24 78-81-81=240
3. Laura Leszczynski +24 80-80-80=240
4. Kelly Nelson +33 82-84-83=249
5. Kelly Grimes +35 88-88-75=251

Chou takes lead into final round of 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur

Ruby Chou (above) broke out of the first-place tie on Tuesday and leads the 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship, held at Cedar Rapids Country Club. The Iowa State Cyclone carded an even round of 72 to give herself a four-shot advantage over fellow Cyclone, Warda Amira Rawof. 

“I made smarter decisions today,” Chou said. “I had quite a few birdies, which is pretty good. There are quite a few holes where I only have nine-irons left, which is pretty easy for me, but I didn’t hit it well, so I am going to keep working on it after today.”

Elite ball-striking is key at a Top-100 course in the nation. Chou has been sticking to hitting fairways and making smart decisions on the greens. 

“Putting the ball in the fairways first is important and having good speed for my putting is important too,” Chou said. “Some of the holes have some greens that have a lot of slope.”

The two Cyclones will be paired together in the final round, as they sit in the top-two positions. Rawof, who posted a 76 Tuesday afternoon, will look to get it going again tomorrow and make a run at her teammate. 

Coming into the clubhouse with the low round of the day, Tatum Depuydt raced up the leaderboard into third place. The 2021 Iowa Junior Girl’s Amateur Champion fired a one-under round of 71 to get back into contention.

Hannah Bermel and the current IGA Junior Girl’s Player of the Year leader, Bella Pettersen, round out the top-five in a tie for fourth place. Pettersen recorded three birdies en route to a 74 on the day. Bermel joins Pettersen with three birdies and posted a 75 to stay in contention.

Three U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship qualifiers are on top in the Open Division after two days. Rose Kubesheski remains the leader by two with Michelle Klein and Laura Leszczynski right behind. 

Kubesheski tied Klein with the second lowest round in the Open Division today. The two competitors were bested by Leszczynski by one shot today after posting an 80 in the second round. 

Kim Fensterman and defending Open Division champion, Kelly Nelson, are tied for fourth place going into the final round. Nelson carded an 84 during her round today, and Fensterman posted 87 for her round two total. 

The final round of the 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship begins Wednesday morning. Follow the live scoring feature to see who will walk away with the Championship Division and Open Division titles.


Championship Division
1. Ruby Chou -1 71-72=143
2. Warda Amira Rawof +3 71-76=147
3. Tatum Depuydt +4 77-71=148
T4. Hannah Bermel +6 75-75=150
T4. Bella Pettersen +6 76-74=150

Open Division
1. Rose Kubesheski +13 76-81=157
2. Michelle Klein +15 78-81=159
3. Laura Leszczynski +16 80-80=160
T4. Kim Fensterman +22 79-87=166|
T4. Kelly Nelson +22 82-84=166

Two tied for lead at 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur

Two teammates lead the way after round one of the 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship. Warda Amira Rawof and Iowa State University teammate, Ruby Chou, carded one-under rounds to begin their title run at the top-notch Cedar Rapids Country Club (shown above). 

Rawof had the recently crowned Western Women’s Amateur Champion, Taglao Jeeravivitaporn, on the bag today as her caddie. The duo teamed up to record three birdies to only two bogeys and will look to break out of the tie with Chou.

Chou knocked in five birdies during her round today. Going into the last five-hole stretch on her front nine, Chou was two-over par and looking up at Rawof on the leaderboard. Chou fought back and went three-under on those holes. 

“After that double, I told myself to calm down because this course has lots of birdie chances that we can get,” Chou said. “Those next five holes to finish my front nine, I didn’t think too much, and I just played them.”

The 2022 IGA Women’s Match Play Champion, Anna Jensen is in a three-way tie with Eden Lohrbach and Amber Henson for third place. The three competitors sit one shot back of Rawof and Chou after even-par rounds. 

Rose Kubesheski continued her dominate play this season after a four-over round of 76 to begin her week in the Open Division. Kubesheski leads by two shots over Jesup’s Michelle Klein, who posted six-over 78. 

Kim Fensterman took third place with a 79 on the day. The Cedar Rapids native is in home field territory and will look to push the leaders all week. The 2021 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year, Laura Leszczynski, is not far behind after an eight-over round 80. 

Defending Open Division champion, Kelly Nelson, will head into round two in a tie for fifth place alongside Kim Kieckhaefer. The two competitors carded 10-over rounds of 82 and round out the top-five in the Open Division. 

The second round of the 98th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship will take place Tuesday morning.


Championship Division
T1. Warda Amira Rawof -1 71
T1. Ruby Chou -1 71
T3. Anna Jensen E 72
T3. Eden Lohrbach E 72
T3. Amber Henson E 72

Open Division
1. Rose Kubesheski +4 76
2. Michelle Klein +6 78
3. Kim Fensterman +7 79
4. Laura Leszczynski +8 80
T5. Kelly Nelson +10 82
T5. Kim Kieckhaefer +10 82

Chou wins again, defends Iowa Women’s Amateur title

Ames’ Joy Chou (above) did it again at the 97th Iowa Women’s Amateur hosted by Dubuque Golf and Country Club. Chou took control and crushed the field this week. Her margin of victory was nine shots, including a 72 in the final round to propel her into one of her biggest wins this season.

Eden Lohrbach, also of Ames, took hold of second place and had her best round of the week. Lohrbach fired a 75, but Chou’s 10-over total was too much. Lohrbach, a 15-year-old, played solid golf all week long and gave herself a shot at an Iowa Women’s Amateur victory.

Clear Lake’s Emily Snelling finished in third place with rounds of 78-78-76. Snelling recorded back-to-back 38’s during her round. Brooke Newell, of Anita, earned fourth place and Christi Imsland, of Manchester, took fifth place, only one shot apart from each other.

Waterloo’s Kelly Nelson held on to her second-round lead and topped Dubuque’s Rose Kubesheski by four shots in the Open Division. The course played hard this week, but Nelson was able to play her game and close out the win. Nelson carded two 81’s and a 78 in the second round, giving her a 240 total for the week.

Kubesheski finished in second place by two shots over Laura Leszczynski, of St. Mary’s. Kubesheski went four over in her last five finishing holes, but those played as some of the hardest holes this week. Leszczynski had something going early, recording three birdies in her first 10 holes, but bogeys and doubles started to show up on the scorecard.

Rockwell City’s Kathy Fortune and Jesup’s Michelle Klein round out the top five. Fortune finished at a tally of 250 and Klein carded a 251 this week.

It was a good ending to such a great tournament all the way around and Chou will now place her name once again with some of the strongest women golfers in Iowa.


Championship Division
1. Joy Chou 75-73-72-220
2. Eden Lohrbach 77-77-75-229
3. Emily Snelling 78-78-76-232
4. Brooke Newell 80-76-78-234
5. Christi Imsland 80-78-77-235

Open Division
1. Kelly Nelson 81-78-81-240
2. Rosalie Kubesheski 80-82-82-244
3. Laura Leszczynski 85-78-83-246
4. Kathy Fortune 88-82-80-250
5. Michelle Klein 85-83-83-251

Bermel grabs lead at 97th Iowa Women’s Amateur

After round one at the 97th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship hosted by Dubuque Golf & Country Club, Hannah Bermel (right), fifth-year senior at the University of Northern Iowa, will head into the second round with a two-shot advantage over the defending champion, Joy Chou. 

Bermel recorded two birdies to go along with her 3-over round of 73 today. Chou, a senior golfer at Iowa State University, posted a five-over round of 75 and recorded two birdies. A costly double on the 10th hole puts Chou at a two-shot disadvantage. 

Coming in third place is Tabitha Schumacher, who is new face to the IGA this season. Schumacher carded a 76 and is only three shots behind after she birdied her last hole of the day. Fourth place is the 15-year-old, Eden Lohrbach of Ames. Lohrbach fired a seven-over round of 77 and is only four shots back of Bermel.

Rosalie Kubesheski, of Dubuque, sits at the top of the Open Division leaderboard heading into round two. The 2020 Senior Women’s Player of the Year has a one-shot lead over Kelly Nelson, of Waterloo. Kubesheski carded a 10-over round of 80 and will look to improve her one-shot lead in tomorrow’s round. 

You can follow the live leaderboard by clicking this link. Stay up to date with the latest Iowa Golf Association information by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Championship Division
1. Hannah Bermel +3 – 73
2. Joy Chou +5 – 75
3. Tabitha Schumacher +6 – 76
4. Eden Lohrbach +7 – 77
5. Emily Snelling +8 – 78

Open Division
1. Rosalie Kubesheski +10 – 80
2. Kelly Nelson +11 – 81
3. Kim Fensterman +14 – 84
T5. Michelle Klein +15 – 85
T5. Amy Olberding +15 – 85
T5. Janece Schwartzkopf +15 – 85
T5. Laura Leszczynski +15 – 85

History made, IWGA formed in 1922

The following feature on the early days of the Iowa Women’s Golf Association was written by 11-time Iowa Sportswriter of the Year Rick Brown and shared recently with Iowa Golf Association. The early history of the IWGA celebrates Women’s History Month in March and reminds ourselves of the accomplishments of women throughout the years to our culture and society.

Representatives from seven cities came to Waterloo on August 29, 1922, to make history. The Iowa Women’s Golf Association was formed, with Mrs. L.W. Bryant elected president.

Later that day, the first IWGA-conducted championship teed off. Margaret Addington of Waterloo was the low qualifier, shooting 96. She would go on to win the championship, beating Mrs. Frank C. Byers of Cedar Rapids, 4 and 3.

“Miss Addington apparently got the better of her opponent throughout, though the Cedar Rapids woman played a remarkable game,” read the newspaper dispatch.

Hyperion Field and Motor Club, outside Des Moines, hosted the second championship in August of 1923. Ruth Harwood of Des Moines won the title match, 6 and 5, over Mrs. Ward E. Baker of Cedar Rapids.

“Fully 500 eyes watched the pretty Country club girl ascend the championship throne on the thirteenth green when she dropped a neat putt into the cup, ending the title battle and defeating Mrs. Baker by a 6 and 5 score,” wrote Iowa Golf Hall of Famer Bert McGrane.

Both the 1922 and 1923 events were invitationals. The first true Women’s State Amateur championship took place in August of 1924 at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. The entry fee was 50 cents. Mrs. C.D. Waterman (pictured right) of Davenport beat Byers in a dramatic 19-hole match.

On the decisive hole, a 485-yard par-5, Waterman followed a 200-yard drive with a 150-yard brassie. Her third shot stopped 2 feet from the hole, and she knocked it in for the championship The Women’s State Amateur has been contested every year since, with the exception of a three-year break (1943-1945) because of World War II.

But women in Iowa were playing for championships as far back as 1902. The men’s Iowa Amateur included a women’s championship from 1902 to 1905. Ruth Crapo of Burlington won three of those five titles. A women’s championship was also conducted independently twice, with Jennie Jones of Sioux City taking the title at Waveland in Des Moines in 1913 and Elizabeth Allen of Davenport taking top honors in 1916 at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

Fourteen women entered the 1902 event at Burlington Golf Club. Nine were from Des Moines, three from Burlington and one each from Marshalltown and Keokuk. Rain was so heavy during the semifinals that Mrs. George Douglas of Cedar Rapids forfeited her match to Crapo. The Burlington Gazette called it “a wet and disagreeable course.’

Crapo captured the 1902 title, beating Anne B. Davis of Keokuk in the championship match, 6 and 5.

Davis was right in the middle of a major controversy a year later at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club. Davis was playing Mrs. W.E. Stalter in one of the semifinal matches. Davis had Stalter 4 down on the 13th, but Stalter won the next three holes. Here is a first-hand account of what happened next from the Des Moines Register and Leader:

“At the seventeenth hole Mrs. Stalter’s caddie was holding the flag while Miss Davis made a short approach from off the green. The caddie failed to get the flag staff out of the way in time, although he had it in his hands, and Miss Davis’ ball hit the staff and was deflected a short distance from the hole. Her approach was perfect as far as direction was concerned and possibly might have holed out had the flag staff been removed.”

Stalter immediately filed a protest as they headed to the 18th tee.

“Upon arriving at the club house a decision, said to have been unauthorized, was made in Mrs. Stalter’s favor, thus giving her the seventeenth hole,” the newspaper’s first hand account continued. “As the last hole was halved, the match was even, under this ruling, and the playing of an extra hole was necessary.”

They headed to a 19th hole, and again controversy joined the party. Mrs. Stalter sliced her approach and her ball hit Davis, who tried to get out of the way. Stalter was awarded the hole and the match.

But when they returned to the clubhouse, what happened on the 17th hole remained in question “and no one felt qualified to pass upon the question and there the matter rests and a decision will be announced this morning.”

Stalter was awarded the match the next day, after a decision by the grounds committee of the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.The committee ruled it would be “unsportsmanlike to penalize for a technicality which did not seem to be covered satisfactorily by the United States golf rules.”

Stalter advanced to the championship, where she defeated Mrs. F.W. Chamberlain of Burlington, 2 and 1. Davis did get some revenge that summer. She beat Stalter, 3 and 2, in the Trans-Mississippi title match in Omaha.

Eight women entered the 1904 event at Happy Hollow in Dubuque. One of the entires was Myrtle Travis, a cousin of three-time U.S. Amateur champion Walter J. Travis.

Crapo won her second title, beating Genevieve Ryan of Dubuque in the final. She added a third crown the following year at Burlington Golf Club, but controversy was again part of the story.

“(Chamberlain) was runner up and would probably have won had it not been for a misunderstanding of rules,” the Des Moines Register and Leader reported.

On the first extra hole, Crapo drove into a pond. Instead of taking a drop where her ball entered the hazard, she took a drop from the side of the pond. She went on to win the hole and the match.

No rules breach was reported.

The men’s championship stopped conducting a women’s event in 1906. But organizers held a championship in 1913 at Waveland. It was touted as the “first women’s title ever contested in Iowa.”

Jones (pictured left) beat Mrs. W.F. Moore of Des Moines, 8 and 6, in the final.

Another championship took place in 1916, but Jones wasn’t there to defend her title. She was killed in an automobile accident in downtown Sioux City on May 18, 1916.

Alen won the 1916 championship at Des Moines Golf and Country Club by beating Mrs. Fred Letts of Cedar Rapids, 2 up.

Allen had been 2 down at one point in the match. Over tea afterwards, one fan asked Allen how she had kept her nerve when she fell behind.

“This is a lesson I learned long ago,” Allen told her. “You never can tell what is going to happen and now I always play as well as I can, no matter how the score stands.”

More than a century later, that remains good advice.

Estabrooks, Robinson remembered for pivotal moment in Iowa golf history

The following feature on Edith Estabrooks and Lucile Robinson was written by 11-time Iowa Sportswriter of the Year Rick Brown and shared recently with Iowa Golf Association. The legacy of both Iowa Golf Hall of Fame members celebrates Women’s History Month in March and reminds ourselves of the accomplishments of women throughout the years to our culture and society.

It was a pivotal moment in the history of the Iowa Women’s Amateur golf championship, bringing together a 14-year-old girl and a five-time champion. Both would end up in the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame.

Lucile Robinson (left) of Des Moines came to the 1935 championship at the Davenport Country Club as an overwhelming favorite. She’d won her first title in 1929, was a runner-up in 1930 and then won the next four championships. That gave her a 20-match winning streak. Fourteen of them didn’t get past the 14th hole.

Her only loss in 30 matches going back to 1929 was a 1 up decision to Dorothy Klotz Pardue in the 1930 final.

Robinson looked to be in top form, too, shooting a 77 in qualifying that was 11 shots better than anyone else in the field, established a new course record for women and was the lowest qualifying round in the history of the championship.

“With a defiant challenge to rivals who question her position as Iowa’s No. 1 woman golfer, Lucile Robinson of Des Moines stormed into her campaign for another state championship by smashing two records in the state tournament qualifying round here Monday,” wrote Des Moines Register reporter Bert McGrane.

Robinson’s first match the next day was against Mrs. Neil Kennard of Des Moines. Said McGrane, it was the “first of the matches which tournament followers believe will bring her the crown for the sixth time in seven years.”

Kennard had required 26 more shots than Robinson to get around the Davenport Country Club in the qualifier. Eighteen players posted a score better than her 103. It looked to be a walk in the park for Robinson.

Lucile had a 2-up lead with four holes to play, but bogeyed the 14th and 17th holes. The match was all square headed to the 18th, where Kennard made a four-foot birdie putt to win. And readers of the Des Moines Register woke up to this headline the next day: “Mrs. Kennard tosses bomb at Davenport.”

McGrane sat down and hammered this out on his typewriter: “The all-time upset in Iowa golf, engineered Tuesday when Mrs. Neil Kennard of Des Moines split the women’s state tournament wide open with a first-round victory over Lucile Robinson, left spectators stunned when they attempted to choose a successor to the heavily favored Des Moines girl. In a gigantic reversal of the dope that fairly rocked the hills of the Davenport Country Club, Mrs. Kennard’s deadly short game shoved Miss Robinson into the discard with a 1 up victory and opened a free-for-all struggle for the championship held for four straight years by the dethroned titleholder.”

A posed photo of a smiling Mrs. Kennard, holding a golf club, accompanied the story. She had cut 22 strokes off her qualifying score to send Robinson home.

Mrs. Kennard lost the following day, 4 and 2,  to 18-year-old Eleanor Stevens of Salem, Iowa. Stevens was a sophomore at Iowa Wesleyan who played most of her golf on a nine-hole course with sand greens.

Stevens met a 14-year-old ninth-grader from Dubuque, named Edith Estabrooks, in the quarterfinals.

Estabrooks had started playing golf at six years of age at the Bunker Hill course in Dubuque operated by her father, Louis. McGrane called her “a plucky little Dubuque miss who discarded dolls and turned to woods and irons at the age of 6.”

Estabrooks (right) ended her first-round match on the 12th hole. Her second ended on the 16th. And she dispatched of Stevens, 6 and 5. Her semifinal foe was Charlotte Ames of Clear Lake, who attended the University of Minnesota.  Estabrooks won, 7 and 6.

Her foe in the 36-hole title match was Jennet Jones of Des Moines, who had lost to Robinson in the 1931 final. A student at Monmouth College, Jones got off to a fast start that had Estabrooks on the ropes.

After they halved the opening hole, Jones won the next five. But Estabrooks battled back, got the lead and won the match, 5 and 4. It ended on the 32nd hole when Estabrooks made a 50-foot eagle putt.

And Iowa celebrated a 14-year-old champion. The banner headline on the Des Moines Register Iowa News Section read, “GIRL OF 14 WINS IOWA GOLF TITLE.”

“Feminine golfers of Iowa pay tribute today to a 14-year-old girl of Dubuque who is 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 123 pounds,” wrote John O’Donnell of the Davenport Democrat. “The “baby’ of Iowa golf succeeds Lucile Robinson of Des Moines, who had held the title for five years.”

Robinson would never play in another Iowa Women’s Amateur championship. Shortly after she married Russell Mann, he was transferred to Milwaukee, Wis. Three months after her stunning defeat in Davenport, Robinson was representing her country as a member of the Curtis Cup team.

Estabrooks was just getting started. She won the Iowa championship again in 1936 at the West Okoboji Golf Club, then added the Women’s Western Junior title at Oakland Hills to her resume.

Her third straight Iowa title, in 1937, came at Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo.

Estabrooks passed on a chance at four straight Iowa crowns to play in the 1938 Women’s Western Amateur.

She returned to win her final Women’s State Amateur in Cedar Rapids in 1939. That was the same year she won the Women’s Western Amateur, back at Oakland Hills.

She didn’t defend her Women’s State Amateur crown in 1940 because she was taking summer classes at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif. She would never play for the Iowa title again, getting her college degree in 1943 and joining the Navy as a member of the WAVES.

Robinson was elected to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 1995. Estabrooks joined her in 2013.

Robinson’s distinguished career included success on a national stage. In addition to that Curtis Cup appearance in 1934, she won a pair of Women’s Western Amateur titles, in 1933 and 1941, and the Trans-Mississippi in 1941.

She faced the greatest players of her era. She lost to Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the finals of the 1940 Women’s Western Amateur, 4 and 3, but defeated Patty Berg, 2 and 1, in the finals of the 1936 South Atlantic Championship.

She also won five Des Moines city titles, three Wisconsin state amateur titles and five Nebraska state amateur titles.

Robinson became the 78th member of the Des Moines Sunday Register Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. She was the first woman to be enshrined.

Joy Chou makes birdie on last hole, wins 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur

Ames’ Joy Chou (pictured above) didn’t know where she stood on the leaderboard most of the day in the final round of the 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur, but the person she was locked in a duel with she knew all too well.

Joy, along with sister and Iowa State University teammate YiTing (Ruby) Chou, battled back and forth all day long. Truth be told, Joy was just happy to be back out on the course and playing in a tournament.

“After three months of quarantine at home this was my first tournament,” Joy Chou said. “I am just trying to get myself back on track. I was just trying to come out (here) and have fun.”

Ruby, who would take the lead midway through the round, put herself in position for the title following a 32 (-3) on the front nine at Elmwood Country Club.

After an uncharacteristic double-bogey on #11, Joy buckled down and would make seven straight pars to leave her just one shot back of Ruby, who made a lengthy birdie putt on #17, heading into the final hole.

“I wasn’t really paying attention to the scoreboard,” Joy Chou said. “I didn’t want to think too much. I knew Ruby, my sister, was playing well today.”

Ruby’s long birdie putt on #17 looked to maybe be the difference, but after a wayward tee shot she found herself scrambling to make par. Meanwhile Joy hit a drive to just short of the green and chipped to almost tap-in distance.

When Ruby’s par attempt came up short, Joy calmly rolled in her birdie putt for a two-shot swing on the final hole and the win. Ruby’s 68  (-2) was the low round of the tournament, but just one shot shy overall of taking her sister into a playoff for the title.

Joy, who was T2nd last year in this event, finished with scores of 71-76-70 – 217 (+7) on a golf course that didn’t give up good scores easily.

“This is pretty cool,” Joy Chou said. “I was guessing we were close (going into #18). I had to be aggressive and maybe have a chip to make a birdie to win the tournament. The course is really nice, tough, but it was fun (to play).”

Amelia Mehmet-Grohn (3rd) and Taglao Jeeravivitaporn (T4th) joined the Chou sisters in the top five of the event. All four are teammates at ISU. Sydney Eaton, of Mason City and Dana Lerner, of Iowa City, also finished T4th place.

In the Open Division, Rockwell City’s Kathy Fortune (pictured left) outdistanced Kelly Grimes, of Indianola, by five shots for the victory. Fortune posted rounds of 86-78-82 246 (+36).

Click here for a full results

Joy Chou takes lead into final round of 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur at Elmwood CC

Joy Chou (pictured above), of Ames, began the day one back at the 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur. She regrouped after a few early bogies in the second round, rallying on the backside and capturing the lead with a birdie on the par-4 18th at Elmwood Country Club, which brought her to 7-over par for the tournament with a 36-hole total of 147 (+7). She will have a one-stroke advantage heading into Wednesday’s final round.

Ames’ Amelia Mehmet-Grohn, the opening round leader, remains in the hunt and is only one stroke back after a few late bogies led her to settle for a round of 78 (+8) and a 148 (+8) total. YiTing Chou, of Ames, will begin the final round in a tie for third with Ames’ Taglao Jeeravivitaporn at a tally of 150 (+10). All four ladies from Ames are members of the women’s golf team at Iowa State University.

The low round of the day went to IGA veteran Karli Kerrigan, of Ankeny, who posted a round of 73 (+3) which included three birdies to work her way into the top 10.

In the Open Division Kathy Fortune, of Rockwell City, took advantage of moving day, propelling herself forward six spots to the top of the leaderboard with her round of 78 (+8) for a 36-hole total of 164 (+24). She carries a four-stroke advantage over 2019 IGA Women’s Senior Player of the Year Kelly Grimes heading into Wednesday.

Click here to see a recap of scores

Mehmet-Grohn leads 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur at Elmwood CC

Amelia Mehmet-Grohn, of Ames, finished T2nd in last year’s Iowa Women’s Amateur. This year she is looking to improve on that result.

Mehmet-Grohn (pictured right), the 2019 Iowa Women’s Player of the Year, got off to a nice start to accomplish that goal at Elmwood Country Club on Monday during the opening round of the 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur. An even par round of 70 leaves Mehmet-Grohn a shot ahead of Iowa State University teammate Joy Chou, of Ames. Mehmet-Grohn offset four bogeys with four birdies during the opening round.

Joy Chou, who like Mehmet-Grohn finished T2nd in last years event, finished with a round of 71 (+1) on Monday that included a healthy dose of pars (13). Mason City’s Sydney Eaton and Ames’ YiTing (Ruby) Chou both sit just three shots off the lead after posting rounds of 73 (+3).

Defending champion Paige Hoffman, of West Des Moines, shot 80 (+10) and will look to make a move in tomorrow’s second round.

In the Open Division Carroll Dethrow, of Nevada, leads following a round of 80 (+10). A trio of players sit just four shots back at 84 (+14).

Click here for recap of scores

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