Category: Iowa Women’s Amateur

Hoffman fires final round 68 (-3), wins 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur by four

West Des Moines’ Paige Hoffman (pictured right) left little to chance in the final round of the 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship. Hoffman, who entered the final round at Otter Creek Golf Course, fired a 68 (-3) to pull away from the field and win by four shots.

“It was just one of those days when everything works out,” Hoffman said. “Actually on the front nine I was hitting my irons really well and missed a couple birdie putts (I should of made). I didn’t get mad, I was one under on the front and was still happy.”

Hoffman, who admitted she made some putts when she really needed to, especially on the back nine to keep her momentum going, made a total of five birdies on the day.

“The (birdie) putt on #10 got me to -2,” Hoffman said. “I was starting to think I could win this, but then I remembered I needed to just take it one shot at a time. It wasn’t time to think about winning. You can’t get ahead of yourself, that’s where the big numbers come from.”

A trio of players tied for runner-up, including defending champion Sierra Hargens (Cedar Rapids), Joy Chou (Ames) and Amelia Mehmet-Grohn (Ames), who all shot +1 for the three-day event.

In the Open Division, Waterloo’s Kelly Nelson (right) posted a final round 78 to finish two strokes ahead of Janece Schwartzkopf, of Stuart.

Click here for a full recap of scoring

Hoffman leads 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur, several give chase

Paige Hoffman had never played in the Iowa Women’s Amateur prior to this year. It didn’t take long for the rookie to in a groove – One she didn’t even expect.

Hoffman, following consecutive rounds of 71, leads the way at Otter Creek Golf Course in the 95th playing of the event.

“It was definitely a different of a 71 today,” Hoffman said compared to her round yesterday. “There was no wind practically through the whole round. I didn’t hit my irons as well today, so it was more of a scramble. I made a lot of longer putts. It was nice to have the wind die down.”

Hoffman said a win tomorrow would be mean a lot.

“I am just going to stay focused,” Hoffman said. “It would mean a lot (to win). I would be surprised as I wasn’t expecting to play this well. It would be an experience I would never forget.”

Sitting just a shot back of Hoffman’s lead is defending champion Sierra Hargens. Hargens, who shot 72 (+1) in the second round, said she is ready to go out and defend her title tomorrow in the final round. Ames’ Joy Chou is tied with Hargens and trails by just one stroke heading into the final round.

“I hit my irons really close yesterday and today I didn’t hit them as close,” Hargens said. “I had a lot more 15-footers. I managed to two-putt those and went on with my game. I knew it was playing hard out there. It was hard to club today, you didn’t know which way the wind was going at time, but I was able to manage (it). I am going to just keep chipping away and not put any results in my head. I know I can do this.”

In the Open Division, Kelly Nelson of Waterloo leads Janece Schwartzkopf of Stuart by four shots. Nelson posted a round of 73 (+2) on Tuesday, which included an eagle 2 on her opening hole.

Final round action will conclude tomorrow.

Click here for a full recap of 36-hole scores.

Hargens, Hoffman lead 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship

A pair of even par rounds lead the 95th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship being held at Ankeny’s Otter Creek Golf Course.

Cedar Rapids’ Sierra Hargens and West Des Moines’ Paige Hoffman posted 71 to take an early lead in this year’s championship. Both players admitted the wind was tough to handle during their round.

“I started off bogey-bogey,” Hargens said. “I hit a couple bad iron shots. I was tense and winning this event last year I felt (early on) like I had to play perfect. I settled down after a little bit. I tried to pay good attention to the wind. I actually clubbed down (on some holes). I just played my game.”

Hoffman also commented that wind was a factor in today’s play.

“You definitely had to think about (the wind) it on every shot,” Hoffman said. “The course played completely different that it normally does. It played longer today I thought. It seemed the holes that were already short, were downwind. I made some long putts and my lag putting was good.”

Ames’ Joy Chou sits just a shot off the lead, shooting 72 (+1) today.

Waterloo’s Kelly Nelson leads the Open Division following a round of 78 (+7). Janece Schwartzkopf, of Stuart, gives chase, just a shot back of Nelson in the three-day event.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Hargens wins 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship

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July 21, 2018


BURLINGTON, Ia. – In the face of self-imposed adversity Saturday, Sierra Hargens finished like a champion.

Hargens, 19, opened the door with a double bogey on Spirit Hollow’s 16th hole, but rebounded with a pair of closing birdies to win the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur by four shots.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Hargens, a junior-to-be at Indiana State, said after a final-round 76 and a three-day total of 228.

Emily Snelling of Clear Lake, playing in the second-to-last group, closed with a 76 and finished second at 232. Hannah Bermel of Cedar Falls, who started the final round one shot behind Hargens, closed with an 81 to finish third at 234.

Hargens went to the par-4 16th hole with a three-shot lead over Bermel, whose 71 in the first round was the lowest score posted for the championship. But Hargens had no idea how big her lead really was.

“I knew I was playing pretty well,” Hargens said. “I thought maybe I had a one-shot lead because that’s what I started with. But I didn’t know.”

In the first two rounds, Hargens hit perfect drives but bladed her second shot over the green at No. 16 both times.

“Today I said to myself, “I’m not going to blade it this time,’ ” Sierra said.

She overcompensated, hitting her second shot fat and into a fairway bunker.

“I had a pretty gnarly lie in that bunker,” Hargens said.

Standing with one foot in the bunker and the other foot out, she hit her third shot heavy and then left her approach short of the green.

Staring disaster in the face, she got up and down for a double-bogey 6. The damage was minimal when Bermel three-putted for bogey.

“Managing to salvage a double bogey calmed me down,” Sierra said.

She took matters into her own hands over the final two holes. A pair of good drives left her with one of her favorite clubs, her 54-degree wedge, in her hands. Hargens hit it to 5 feet on No. 17 and 2 feet on No. 18 to add her name to the distinguished and time-tested Iowa Women’s Amateur trophy.

Hargens took to golf at a late age. She played softball growing up, starting at 7 years of age. She was on the varsity team at Cedar Rapids Kennedy as a freshman, seeing most of her action at third base.

A year later, she had dropped softball and was playing varsity golf at Kennedy.

“I always played softball,” Hargens said. “But I didn’t really like it anymore. My dad (Scott) had always been a golfer. He’d say, “Come out and golf.’ I’d say, “No, I hate it.’ But I finally did and I was pretty good at it. So I kept on going with it.”

Sierra said that softball still makes a mess of her golf swing on occasion.

“It’s been tough to switch from softball to golf,” said Hargens, who turns 20 next month. “I’ve always struggled with quick hips. Sometimes I miss it left, right, who knows where. But I can hit it far. That saved me a lot of times out there.”

Her short game was another savior at Spirit Hollow. Hargens has spent a lot of time in the past year at Indiana State working on that short game.

“I didn’t hit the ball very well the first or second day, but I got up-and-down from everywhere,” she said.

Hargens said that over the course of her brief golf career, she usually bounces back from adversity in a positive manner. On Saturday, that double bogey was followed by pair of birdies.

“Take it one shot at a time, and things should work out,” Sierra said.

It did on Saturday, when she responded to adversity with a pair of radar approaches to the 17th and 18th pins. Thanks to that deadly 54-degree wedge.

Robin Webb captures Open Division

In the Open Division, Robin Webb of Clive shot 78-82-79 to capture the title over runner-up Kathy Fortune of Rockwell City.  Webb came into the final round with a six shot lead and doubled that on Saturday to finish 12 shots clear of the field.  Tying for third were Kelly Grimes of Indianola and Michelle Klein of Jesup.

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July 20, 2018

On day two the players at the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship were treated with difficult conditions once again, but this time it was due to a strong breeze rather than the heavy rains that left their mark on day one.

Birdies were difficult to come by as winds kicked up to 15+ mph throughout the day. The best score of the day was a 6-over par 78, shot by a quintet of players: Sierra Hargens (pictured above), Maddie Hawkins, Karli Kerrigan, Rachele Miller and Emily Snelling.

Hargens’ 78 vaulted her into the lead heading into the final round, as first round leader Hannah Bermel struggled to an 82 on Friday. But, thanks to her first round 71, Bermel sits just one shot back. Kerrigan will join Hargens and Bermel in the final group, as she is just two off the pace.

Making up the penultimate group will be Snelling, who is four back, Miller, who sits six behind and 2018 Women’s Match Play champion Sydney Eaton, who will start the final round seven shots off the lead.

Robin Webb is still in control of the Open Division. Firing an 82 today, with two birdies, brings her combined score total to 160. The closet competitor to her is Rockwell City’s Kathy Fortune who sits 6 strokes back.   She’s been consistent with an 83 both days for a 166.

With the third and final round starting at 7:30 a.m., tomorrow morning, everyone will be using the knowledge they’ve gained over the past two days. Stay tuned to see who will be named Champion of the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur.


July 19, 2018

Spirit Hollow Golf Course hosts the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur in Burlington.

Day one of the 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship proved to be difficult. Not only did the players face the stern test of Spirit Hollow Golf Course, Mother Nature threw them a curveball.

A two-hour rain delay early in the round made a difficult course play even more so. When all was said and done, only one player broke par.

Hannah Bermel, of Cedar Falls, was that player. She converted four birdies on the way to a 1-under par 71. Just three strokes behind is Sierra Hargens. She mixed four birdies against six bogeys to post a 74 for the day.

After day 1, Robin Webb leads the Open Division with a 78, including three birdies (+6). Kathy Fortune tails in second with an 83. Current Senior Player of the Year leader Janece Schwartzkopf finishes tied for seventh at 89.

Day 2 begins at 8:00am with the Championship Division teeing off first followed by the Open Division.

Click here for a recap of scoring


July 18, 2018

The 94th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship will be played at Spirit Hollow Golf Course (pictured above) in Burlington on July 19-21. This marks the second Iowa Women’s Amateur held at Spirit Hollow, the last taking place in 2007.

The terrain at Spirit Hollow is diverse with frequent elevation changes. The 18-hole track is carved into rolling bluffs and lined with over 15,000 native trees. Natural streams meander throughout the course impacting 11 of the 18 holes. These dramatic features have earned Spirit Hollow the rating of #1 Best Course You Can Play in Iowa by Golf Week and also a Golf Digest ranking as one of the Best Places to Play.

“We created Spirit Hollow to allow golfers the opportunity to use every club in the bag,” said Rick Jacobson (course architect).  “Throughout the course, you have options to execute different shots. It’s about Risk/Reward; after a bogey hole, you want the option to make par and get back on track.”

A strong group of amateurs from across the state will take on the 5,900 yard layout next week. The current leader of the IGA Women’s Player of the Year race Sydney Eaton, of Mason City, will look to add to her 2018 IGA Match Play win. Eaton recently completed her freshman year at the University of Northern Iowa this spring and where she tallied six tournament starts.

The UNI Panthers are well represented in the Championship Division with five current members of the university’s squad. Hailey and Hannah Bermel (So.), who are twins, have proven their ability to “go low” with their runner-up finish at the IGA Women’s Four-Ball where they had 10 combined birdies and one eagle. Emily Snelling (So.) and Sarah McMichael (Sr.) have a strong history of top finishes in IGA championships and will look to string three solid rounds together at Spirit Hollow.

Other experienced IGA players include Julie Buerman (2017 Women’s Player of the Year), Maddie Hawkins (2016 Junior Girls’ POY) and Karli Kerrigan (2013 Junior Girls’ POY). All are expected to be in the hunt coming down the stretch on Saturday afternoon.

The Open Division has several decorated players as well, including four-time Senior Women’s Player of the Year winner Rose Kubesheski of Dubuque and two-time Open Division champion Janece Schwartzkopf. Both have had success in 2018 with top finishes in IGA championships. Schwartzkopf captured the Forever 39 Match Play at Mason City CC while Kubesheski topped the Senior Division of the Women’s Four-Ball with partner Margene Grady at Otter Creek GC.

Beth Duenow of St. Ansgar, the 1995 Iowa Women’s Amateur champion, will also make the trek to Burlington in search of another victory. Two-time Senior Women’s POY, Carroll Dethrow of Nevada and Robin Webb of Clive (2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur qualifier) are in the field too and look to finish high on the leaderboard.

Click here for opening round pairings

Click here for a recap of scoring once rounds are complete


Snyder captures 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur title

Gilbert’s Britta Snyder (pictured above) left little doubt early on in the final round of the 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur who would be hoisting the trophy at the end of the day. Her lead extended to 10 strokes after the first hole today at Hyperion Field Club and she never looked back.

“It was nice to make a putt (for par) on one and get some momentum going,” Snyder said. “I didn’t want to start with a bogey.”

Snyder, 15, who posted 73 (+1) to finish the championship at even par, became the youngest winner of the Iowa Women’s Amateur since Edith Estabrooks who won the tournament as a 14 and 15 year-old in the 1930s.

“I think sticking to my game plan worked,” Snyder said. “I didn’t very many drivers. I just tried to hit fairways and keep it under the hole on these greens. Today, I just hit a lot of shots to the middle of the green and two putted from there. It was boring, but good golf.

Adding her name to the Fladoos Trophy, brought a smile to her face after the final round.

“It feels pretty cool to win a tournament with such special history,” Snyder said. “I’m excited (to have won).”

Finishing in the tie for runner-up were Leanne Smith and first round leader Maddie Bartsch who both posted 229 (+13) for the three-day event.

In the Open Division, Janece Schwartzkopf held off Kari Manning to win by a single stroke.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Snyder sticks to the plan, takes commanding lead at 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur

Britta Snyder (pictured above), of Gilbert, knew she left more than a few shots out there yesterday during the 93rd Iowa Woman’s Amateur at Hyperion Field Club.

Today, she didn’t.

Snyder fired a sizzling 70 (-2) to take the lead by seven shots over opening round leader Maddie Bertsch. Snyder made a total of four birdies, all on the front nine (her second nine holes of the day).

“I made some putts today,” Snyder said. “Going into today I wanted to be under par, it’s out there on this course. It’s a challenge (out here), but you know there are birdie opportunities out there. I wanted to finish strong. I had a double bogey yesterday (on #4) and almost birdied that hole today. It was just a matter of figuring out a few things.”

The game plan for Snyder won’t change she said, no matter how big of a cushion she may have entering the final round.

“That doesn’t change (my mindset),” Snyder said. “(Today) I wanted to get the lead and increase it. I want to stick to my game plan, step on the gas and hopefully get the win.”

Sitting just a shot back of Bertsch in the race for the top three is a trio of players including Allison Olberding, Paige Van Dyk and Leanne Smith.

In the Open Division Kari Manning leads followed closely by several golfers looking to make a move in tomorrow’s final round.

Click here for a full recap of scores from today.

Bertsch leads 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur

Pretty simple day.

That’s exactly what Maddie Bertsch (pictured above) made it look like in the opening round of the 93rd Iowa Women’s Amateur being contested at Hyperion Field Club, Johnston, under calm and scorable conditions.

Bertsch, from Robins, will be a senior at the University of Northern Iowa this fall. She made 14 pars on the day to go along with a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys in route to 72 (E).

Gilbert’s Britta Synder sits just a shot back at 73 (+1), while Iowa State University golfer M.J. Kamin posted 74 (+2).

In in the Open Division, Kari Manning, a Hyperion Field Club member, opened with 78 (+6) and is followed by Kelly Grimes who shot 81 (+9).

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

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