Category: Championships

Champions crowned at 62nd IGA Women’s Club Team championship

Hyperion Field Club beat out defending champion Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course in the 62nd IGA Women’s Club Team championship at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids.

Hyperion’s gross four-under finish in the tournament was led by Jennie Jackson at (+1) 71 and Jen Jemmers at (+2) 72. Erin Schaffer carded a (+4) 74 and Michaela Smith  pitched in with a (+8) 78, scoring the most birdies of the team.

While Hyperion also won the net division at seven-under, their victory in the gross division gave the net title to runner-up Des Moines Golf and Country Club at five-under.

The Des Moines Golf net scores featured Kelly Dettbarn at (E) 70, Barb Burley at (+2) 72, Leighann Larocca at (+7) 77, and Amy Fox at (+11) 81.

Glen Oaks’ Paige Hoffman ran away with a six-shot win in the individual gross tournament. Six birdies and a single bogey led to her (-5) 65 round. The short course played to her advantage as she was able to approach greens with short pitches and chips.

Irv Warren’s Lindsay Burry and Kelly Nelson tied for second at (+1) 71 along with Hyperion’s Jennie Jackson.

Noreen Christians, of LPGA Amateurs – Des Moines, won the individual net tournament with a (-2) 68. Des Moines Golf’s Kelly Dettbarn was close behind at (-1) 69, followed by Burlington Golf Club’s Lisa Griswold at (E) 70.

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Hansen battles back, wins 74th Herman Sani Tournament

Waverly’s Hogan Hansen (right) turned a three-stroke deficit into a three-stroke victory at the 74th Herman Sani Tournament presented by Coppola Enterprises, held at Hyperion Field Club. Trumping a field of amateurs and professionals, Hansen adds another title to the list of Hawkeye winners this summer. After strong performances throughout the season on the IGA circuit, Hansen finally broke through with a victory at his last tournament of the summer.

A (-10) 68-69-69, three-round total of 206 was sufficient to win with Hyperion playing more difficult than expected. Hansen was neck-to-neck with Solon’s Isaiah Zoske throughout most of the round. Although he never checked the leaderboard until he was signing his scorecard, he could tell that he was in the running.

A late bogey on Hole 17 threatened a possible playoff, but Hansen kept his cool with a par on Hole 18 and let things take their course. Zoske, who was tied for the lead heading into Hole 16, finished bogey, double, bogey and fell to T4.

Hansen, known as a long hitter, made the most of his power with Hyperion’s short Par 4s and reachable 5s. Several drivable Par 4s gave Hansen short chip shots into the green and helped to avoid the worst of the greens. Hitting second-shot irons into Par 5s and “not having to hit long clubs into the greens” obviously gave him an advantage.

Although Hansen (left) wasn’t satisfied with his putting performance, simply surviving Hyperion’s fast and tricky to read greens was enough of a challenge and essential to scoring.

“The greens are always a great test,” Hansen reflected. “I use Aim Point. Everybody says the greens break towards camp dodge, but I just stuck to feeling my feet.”

With solid putting, Hansen cracked a hot start during his final round with three birdies in his first five holes.

Zoske deserves credit for a terrific overall performance. Even after an early double on Hole 3, he found his footing and went -2 on his next twelve holes. The high school junior and long time competitor hit a growth spurt this past year and his distance reflects it, as he rivals his collegiate counterparts off the tee. While his consistency is still being refined, his performance at the Sani is auspicious despite his last-minute falter. Leading a field of collegiate, high-level amateur, and professional players deserves high praise.

Former Panther golfer Thomas Storbeck, of Ventura, tied with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) golfer Anthoney Ruthey, of Port Byron, for runner-up at (-7) 209. Professionals Andrew Petersen, of Bondurant, and Charles Jahn, of Sperry, tied for the low-professional score at (-6) 210. Overall, they joined Ankeny’s Connor Peck, Zoske, and Norwalk’s Patrick Hall at T4.

In the Senior Amateur Division, Adel’s Jon Brown triumphed over Lineville’s Jay Gregory (both pictured right) in a one-hole playoff. The pair finished at (-6) 210, seven strokes ahead of the field. Gregory, whose approach bounced over the green on Hole 17 in the playoff, drained a bomb of a putt to save par, but Brown outdid him with a birdie. Brown won the Herman Sani Tournament in the Open Overall Division back in 1993, with the exact same score.

Des Moines’ Rob Pomerantz took over the Super Senior Amateur Division with a (+2) 218 total, seven strokes ahead of runners-up West Des Moines’ Bob Brooks, Marshalltown’s Rob Christensen, and Polk City’s Joe Ward at (+9) 225. Pomerantz improved every round, carding 76-72-70.

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Zoske takes control at 74th Herman Sani Tournament

The second round of the 74th Herman Sani Tournament presented by Coppola Enterprises at Hyperion Field Club (above) proved just as difficult as the first day, if not more so.

Solon’s Isaiah Zoske (right) fired yet another (-5) 67 to take the lead at 10-under heading into Sunday’s final round. Port Byron’s Anthoney Ruthey sits in second at -9 after also carding a (-5) 67. Norwalk’s Patrick Hall, Ventura’s Thomas Storbeck, and Waverly’s Hogan Hansen are tied for third at -7.

The Open Overall field was cut to 53 players at +7.

The Senior Amateur Division is led by Adel’s Jon Brown, who seized the lead with a (-1) 71. Lineville’s Jay Gregory falls to second with a (+2) 74, sitting at -1 after two rounds. Ottumwa’s Jeff Collett and Waukee’s Dave Cunningham are within striking distance at even-par.

Eighteen players remain in the Senior Amateur Division with the cut at +12.

Des Moines’ Robert Pomerantz leads the Super Senior Amateur Division at +4 after a strong (E) 72, the lowest round of the tournament in his division. Day one leader Rob Christensen, of Marshalltown, follows at +5 with Polk City’s Joe Ward next at +6.

The Super Senior Amateur Division cut at +16 trims the field down to twelve competitors.

The final round on Sunday will feature Zoske in the final pairing as he attempts to protect his lead from the four current or former collegiate golfers hot on his heels.

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Hall leads after opening round of 74th Herman Sani Tournament

Norwalk’s Patrick Hall leads the 74th Herman Sani Tournament presented by Coppola Enterprises after the opening round. The annual tournament named after Herman Sani, an inspiring figure in Iowa golf history, is being contested this year at Hyperion Field Club in Johnston.

Hall, a former Iowa State golfer, took advantage of a still day by firing a (-6) 66 in a nearly bogey-free round. Seven birdies and a single bogey earned him his solo lead heading into round two. Hall, an amateur, leads the Open Overall Division which includes professionals and amateurs.

Hyperion’s own Tommy Vining (p) is tied for second at (-5) 67 with Solon’s Isaiah Zoske. Vining submitted an incredibly uneventful scorecard with six birdies and twelve pars.

On the other hand, Zoske kept spectators entertained. Three bogeys, six birdies, and an eagle peppered his scorecard with squares and circles. Regardless, Zoske got the result he wanted, all the more impressive as he is one of the youngest competitors in the field.

Fourteen players finished within three strokes of the lead. At this point, it’s anyone’s game. Hyperion’s infamous fast and tricky greens will undoubtedly cause trouble down the stretch, but it will reward those who can adapt quickly by separating the leaders from the pack.

In the Senior Amateur Division, Lineville’s Jay Gregory and Urbandale’s Ron Peterson share the low score of (-3) 69. Not to be outdone is Adel’s Jon Brown at (-2) 70 and Ankeny’s Curtis Holck at (-1) 71. Several familiar winners follow not far behind.

The race is just as tight in the Super Senior Amateur Division. Marshalltown’s Rob Christensen holds the first position with a (+2) 74, despite a lackluster front nine with four bogeys. Ankeny’s Mike McDonald and Polk City’s Joe Ward sit at (+3) 75 and Urbandale’s John Brown and Des Moines’ Robert Pomerantz at (+4) 76.

After the second round of the Herman Sani the field will be cut to the low sixty players and ties.

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Leszczynski makes it three in a row, wins fourth career Iowa Women’s Senior Amateur title

Laura Leszczynski (above), of Saint Mary’s, wins her third consecutive and fourth career Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, this time at Prairie Links Golf Club in Waverly. Leszczynski, who had claimed a seven-stroke lead after the first day, beat Dubuque’s Rose Kubesheski in a one-hole playoff to clinch her title. Both competitors finished at (+16) 160.

“The squirrel in me showed up (in the final round),” Leszczynski said. “It was a restless night. I was so excited to play. (In round one) I forced myself to stay focused on one shot at a time. Staying dry. Swinging in a rain suit   Keeping my grips dry. That’s it.”

Leszczynski began her final round with a front-nine 46 while Kubesheski fired a 38, putting the two neck-to-neck. Leszczynski mustered out a back-nine 40 to force a playoff en route to her win.

“After nine holes, I stopped myself,” Leszczynski said. “I tried to slow down my pace physically and mentally.  Deep breathes and get myself refocused. I put my mental blinders on. My biggest takeaway from victory is knowing I need to be good to me while out there. Stay positive, let thing go and look at only the shot in front of me. Believe in me and tell myself I got this. I was inspired by a good friend, who had just shot 68 a week ago.”

Not far behind was a three-way tie for third at (+17) 161 between Altoona’s Geri Huser, Ankeny’s Jennifer Corkrean, and Des Moines’ Kelly Grimes. Corkrean won the Super Senior Division and was only one stroke away from joining the Senior Division leaders at the top. Grimes took home the Net Division title with a net score of (+3) 147.

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Benson wins 2023 Northwest Amateur in playoff

It was Brett Benson, of Bird Island, MN, who weathered the rain and came out on top at this year’s edition of the Northwest Amateur. A total of 18 birdies in regulation at the event didn’t hurt either for Benson

But it took a while at Spencer Golf & CC.

Benson needed five playoff holes to dispatch fellow Minnesota competitor, Conor Schubring, before capturing the rain-shortened 54-hole event with rounds of 68-68-70 (-10). Florida’s James Preston and Norwalk’s Dennis Bull finished in the tie for third place at 207 (-9), just a shot out of the playoff.

In the Senior Division (50-59), Chris Kramer, of West Des Moines, won by two shots over Johnston’s Jeffrey Johannsen, with scores of 70-71 (-3). Kramer, who cut his teeth at Spencer Golf & CC, made a total of nine birdies over 36 holes.

In the Super Senior Division (60+), Dave Gaer, of Des Moines, was the winner by a single shot over Omaha’s Jay Muller. Gear shot rounds of 73-75 for the win.

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Leszczynski leads 58th Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur, seeks fourth career title

Even a rainy day couldn’t keep Laura Leszczynski away.

The first round of the 58th Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Prairie Links Golf Course, Waverly, was contested under a constant drizzle. Despite the conditions, a 74 (+2) earned Leszczynski (right), of Saint Mary’s, a seven-stroke lead heading into the final day. One birdie on the front nine and two birdies on the back stood out. She alone was responsible for three out of only thirteen birdies in the field, nearly 25 percent.

Tied for second are Cedar Falls’ Jeanette Fredericksen, Urbandale’s Nicki Miller, and Dubuque’s Rose Kubesheski at (+9) 81.

In the net division, Cedar Rapid’s Nancy Olberding leads at 71 (-1), with Leszczynski one stroke behind at 72 (E). Fredericksen and Greenfield’s Julie Hartman are tied at third with (+1) 73.

Competitors look forward to calmer conditions and the opportunity to go low for Monday’s final round. They’ll need every opportunity they can find in order to challenge Leszczynski’s dominance as she seeks her fourth career Iowa Women’s Senior Amateur title.

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Hoyle cruises to 121st Iowa Amateur title

It was smooth sailing for Coralville’s Charlie Hoyle’s final round as he captured the 121st Iowa Amateur Championship title at Glen Oaks Country Club. At the very least, that’s what it looked like as he rolled in a bomb of a putt on his finishing hole to clench his six-stroke victory in fashion.

Hoyle (pictured above) never checked the leaderboard.

“Looking at the leaderboard won’t change anything,” Hoyle believed.

The Lytham, England native admitted that he had a sense that he had a few strokes of cushion.

“It was really hot, but there weren’t many people out there,” Hoyle confided, smiling. There’s more than one way to get a feel for the standings.

With one bogey on the front and four birdies on the back, Hoyle was never in danger of losing his position. He was propelled by a tournament-low second round (-7) 64 where he birdied #17, the hardest hole on the course, and finished birdie, eagle on #8 and #9. Hoyle finished the tournament at an even (-13) 200.

His biggest focus throughout the day? Staying fed and hydrated. “I couldn’t drink enough water today,” he said. Temperatures in the high 90s and unrelenting humidity that pushed the “feels like” well above 100, created a mental battlefield of its own. Several spectators resorted to finding shelter in the clubhouse due to the heat. There was some added strategy, though. While some players turned to rain gloves, Hoyle’s rotation of four gloves helped him to keep a grip on the club. It pays to be prepared.

After a slow one-over par first nine, a great birdie on #10 kickstarted Hoyle’s round. He pulled his driver into the left fairway bunker. 107 yards to the pin, he stuck it to eight feet, and found his first birdie of the round. More than anything, it was his terrific putting that set him apart from the field.

The biggest threat to Hoyle was, happily for Hoyle, one of his newest additions to the Hawkeye golf team, Cedar Falls’ Maxwell Tjoa. The previous IGA Boys’ Player of the Year and rising Iowa freshman showcased his ability in a leading pack saturated with collegiate golfers. Tjoa, who finished second at (-7) 206, was followed by Cedar Falls’ Owen Sawyer (soon to be Cyclone freshman) in third, Norwalk’s Dennis Bull and Waverly’s Hogan Hansen (rising Hawkeye sophomore) tied for fourth, and Ames’ Zach May (rising Cyclone sophomore) in sixth.

“I wasn’t really watching [the leaderboard],” Tjoa shared after the round, “I was just aiming at pins, really acting like I had nothing to lose.”

A competitive mindset considering that he entered the final round sitting at third place. Regardless, it paid off as four birdies and two bogeys carried him to a (-2) 69 and the runner-up title.

Tjoa entered the tournament with confidence, having played Glen Oaks several times in the past and always performing well. A strong short game and solid iron play were the keys to his success.

“I didn’t miss a lot of greens, and when I did I was able to get up and down,” Tjoa said. “With his go-for-it mentality, he focused on getting every putt to the hole and “giving [himself] a chance.”

It was a good day for the Hawkeyes.

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Hoyle takes charge, leads 121st Iowa Amateur at Glen Oaks CC

Nothing was easy at Glen Oaks Country Club in the second round of the 121st Iowa Amateur Championship. A hot and stuffy morning gave way to a cloudy yet breezy afternoon, bringing temperature relief but elevating the challenge.

Overall, scores rose. Only thirteen competitors finished the round under par. As with the first round, Holes 17 and 18 were played the most over par with Hole 5 not far behind. Only eleven players remain below par after the second round.

Despite the difficulty, some competitors still made it look easy. Coralville’s Charlie Hoyle takes the lead with a stellar (-7) 64, outdoing previous leader Owen Sawyer, of Cedar Falls, who fired an impressive (-5) 66. Hoyle stands at -10 and Sawyer stands at -9 heading into the final round.

For Hoyle, understanding greens and ‘where you can miss’ are crucial to succeeding on a new course. This week has been Hoyle’s first time at Glen Oaks, but paying attention to ridges and tiers has helped him to secure birdie positions throughout the first two rounds.

“Making sure you’re on the correct level of those greens,” was a key factor in choosing approach shots and managing the large greens, Hoyle said.

Cedar Falls’ Maxwell Tjoa did his best to stick with the leaders with a (-4) 67. He stands third with -5. Waverly’s Hogan Hansen comes in fourth at -4, followed by Norwalk’s Dennis Bull in fifth at -3.

Hoyle, who is an assistant golf coach at the University of Iowa, doesn’t get the chance to play competitively as often as he used to. He looks forward to a final pairing with Cyclone commit Owen Sawyer. The pair will attempt to fend off Hawkeye sophomore Hogan Hansen and Hawkeye commit Maxwell Tjoa — and several seasoned players close behind — as they battle it out during the final round.

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Olson, Sawyer set the pace at 121st Iowa Amateur with 67

The first round of the 121st Iowa Amateur Championship was contested at Glen Oaks Country Club on Monday, July 24, just as Iowa’s typical summer heat returned from its mysterious vacation.

A sunny day with a high of 92 degrees only added to the difficulty of the beautiful course. Although the heat prevented the greens from rolling at their typical speed since care was taken to protect the grass in the high temperatures, the greens remained challenging. There was little wind to push balls wayward, yet fescue and penalty areas still saw heavy traffic.

Ankeny’s Jon Olson and Cedar Falls’ Owen Sawyer lead the field at (-4) 67. Sawyer continues his hot streak after winning the amateur division of the Waterloo Open last Sunday. In close pursuit are Coralville’s Charlie Hoyle, Norwalk’s Dennis Bull, and Waverly’s Hogan Hansen with rounds of (-3) 68. Ames’ Zach May comes in at sixth with a (-2) 69.

As expected, holes 17 and 18 played the most over par today, and it wasn’t even close. The penalty-lined holes ate up tee shots left and right, and the sloping greens left little to chance. Par 4 #17 averaged 4.95, and Par 4 #18 averaged 4.80 on the day. And the next hardest hole? The Par 4 #6 at 4.53.

Eighteen players sit at even-par or better on the day. We look forward to two more days of competition as things begin to heat up. Just take a peek at the forecast…

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