Category: Wmn’s Match Play

McCoy, Jensen left standing at IGA Match Play, Women’s Match Play

The 2021 IGA Player of the Year, Nate McCoy (right), earned his third win of the season at the 34th IGA Match Play Championship hosted by Talons Golf in Ankeny. McCoy dominated all week from tee to green and etched his name on the match play trophy for the first time in his career. 

“This win means almost more now than it did before only because I now realize how hard it is to win one of these,” McCoy said. “This golf course allows guys to make a lot of birdies, but also plays tough in certain spots. You have to beat some really good players.”

As the week began, McCoy earned the No. 11 seed from the stroke play portion of the competition. This put McCoy up against the No. 54 seeded Grant DeKruyf in the first round of the match play tournament, who he defeated 8&6. 

Not only did McCoy have to play tough competitors, he also had to play them in many different conditions throughout the week.

“The wind affected things a lot,” McCoy said. “The conditions were tough so you have to take it one shot at a time. Jamie Blackburn reminded me to just stay in the present and take it one shot at a time. It is easy to get ahead of yourself, so just controlling the things I can control was important.”

In his next two rounds, McCoy faced off against the No. 22 seed Scott Hart and the No. 27 seed Ben Pettitt. After three-straight dominant performances, McCoy’s next competitor was the 2020 IGA Match Play Champion and a good friend, Connor Peck. 

McCoy started 3 up in his match at one point against Peck, but the 2020 IGA Player of the Year didn’t go down without a fight. Peck brought the match to all square with four to play and made a birdie on the 15th to go 1 up over McCoy. 

Down one with three to play, McCoy needed to make something happen. An eagle on the 17th tied the match going into the final hole where McCoy made par and claimed the victory and a spot in the semifinal round. 

“It is tough playing against some of your best friends,” shared McCoy. Connor is a great competitor and we had a fun match.”

In the semifinal round, McCoy ran into yet another tough opponent in Ethan Mechling. In the quarterfinal round, Mechling battled and defeated the three-time IGA Match Play Champion, Jon Brown. Mechling was red-hot and ready to take down McCoy. 

Mechling went 1 up after the first three holes, but McCoy got the match back to all square. The two competitors were tied heading into the 11th hole where McCoy made a par to win the hole and go 1 up in the match. McCoy kept his foot on the gas pedal and won two of the last five holes to send him to the final round. 

After knocking off the No. 1 seeded Dylan Ellis, Willis Gaer and McCoy met in in the championship round, each looking for their first career IGA Match Play title. Gaer was red-hot coming into the final round, but so was McCoy. 

“Willis didn’t let up all day,” McCoy said. “I watched wrestling videos to get me pumped up. I knew I was going to have to fight in the final round, so I listened to Tom Brands hype up his team to get me ready to take on Willis. Willis is really sharp right now and he played very well recently at Fort Dodge, so I had to give him my best.”

The competitors continued to trade holes, but McCoy headed for the back nine 2 up in the match. McCoy went 3 up with a birdie on the par-five 11th hole. Gaer started to battle back with wins on 12 and 13 to bring McCoy’s lead back to one. 

That one-hole lead was the deciding factor of the match. McCoy and Gaer matched each other the rest of the way. With a two-putt par on the 18th hole, McCoy joined many great Iowan’s who have won the IGA Match Play Championship.

Anna Jensen (right) captured the 11th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship and completed her long-awaited revenge tour at Talons Golf in Ankeny. Ever since 2021, when Jensen fell to Leanne Smith in the final round, she has been waiting for a chance at redemption.

“Last year gave me a glimpse of what it would be like because the competition is really high,” Jensen said. “I had in the back of my mind that I can do this, because I made it to the championship round last year. It gave me extra motivation because I was that close and so I wanted to try to do it again.”

That she did.

Jensen began her championship run by earning the No. 2 seed in the stroke play portion of the tournament. At the start of match play, Jensen grabbed wins over Carroll Dethrow and Kathy Fortune. 

Following her first two matches, Jensen was paired against the 2021 IGA Junior Girl’s Amateur Champion, Tatum Depuydt. The match went back and forth and ended with Jensen winning 3&2. Up next was Fiona Watson. 

Watson was at the top of her game this week with wins over Jeanne Swenson and Tabitha Schumacher. In the quarterfinal round, Watson defeated the No. 3 seed Christi Imsland 4&3 and went on to face Jensen in the semifinal round.

Jensen got off to a quick start, winning two of the first three holes. Watson fought back by winning the fourth and fifth hole. At the turn, the match was all square, but Watson took three of the next four holes and went 3 up going into the 14th hole.

The match seemed to be over until Jensen played 14, 15 and 16 at even par and tied the match. Jensen and Watson tied on 17 and 18 to send the match to Talon’s one of a kind 19th hole. Jensen stuck one to five feet and drained the birdie putt to put her up against Paige Hoffman in the final round. 

There were a total of 11 lead changes in their match. Neither Jensen or Hoffman were up more than one hole during the match. After four holes, the match was tied. Jensen won two holes and Hoffman fired back and won two holes. 

On the par three eighth hole, Hoffman stuck one to three feet to take the lead going into the turn. Jensen tied the match on the 11th hole with and then took the lead on the 13th. Hoffman was now down one shot, but grabbed the lead after winning the next two holes. 

Going into hole 16, Jensen was down one, but made a par to tie the match. Both competitors birdied the par-five 17th hole and the match was tied going into 18. Jensen won the match with a two-putt par and brought the match play trophy home. 

Jensen continued to praise her two opponents after two close matches. 

“Fiona was very consistent,” Jensen said. “She hits it on the fairways and greens and she was just a difficult competitor to beat. Today was really fun to play with Paige because we have been playing together since we were 12 years old.”

Now the holder of the 2022 IGA Women’s Match Play Champion title, Jensen will write her name in the IGA Women’s Match Play history book.

The 2022 season continues as the women take on the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #2 at Honey Creek Golf Course in Boone on July 16th. You can follow the players using our live scoring feature.

Down to four at IGA Match Play, Women’s Match Play

Only four remain after day three of the IGA Men’s and Women’s Match Play Championships. Dylan Ellis, Willis Gaer, Nate McCoy and Ethan Mechling are all headed to the semifinal round of the men’s championship. Defending champion, Leanne Smith, along with Anna Jensen, Fiona Watson and Paige Hoffman are also set to compete in the semifinal round. 

The No. 1 seeded Ellis knocked off Chad Tracy in the round of 16 and took down a former IGA Match Play Champion, Jon Olson in the quarterfinal round. Ellis will take on Gaer to advance to the championship round. Gaer beat the No. 4 seed Chris James and Tony Birmingham to place him in the semifinal round. 

Mechling had a tough road to the semifinal round as he had to defeat Hunter Johnson and three-time IGA Match Play Champion Jon Brown. Mechling will face off against McCoy for a chance at a final round appearance. McCoy defeated Ben Pettitt and the 2020 IGA Match Play Champion, Connor Peck. 

On the women’s side, Smith (right) continues her streak of being unbeatable as she advances to the semifinal round yet again. Smith looks to make it four-straight IGA Women’s Match Play Championship titles, but the journey will not be easy. 

Smith will take on the 2021 IGA Girls’ Player of the Year in Hoffman. Hoffman won her match over Ruby Chou, in 21 holes. The two competitors will battle for a spot in the final round.

Jensen is trying to make a return to the championship round. She defeated the 2020 IGA Girls’ Junior Amateur and will take on Watson for a chance at redemption. Watson knocked off the No. 3 sed Christi Imsland and Tabitha Schumacher to earn her place in the semifinal round. 

The semifinal and the championship rounds will take place on Friday. You can follow the final matches for the IGA Match Play Championship and the IGA Women’s Match Play Championship using our live scoring feature. 

Men’s Final Four
Dylan Ellis
Willis Gaer
Nate McCoy
Ethan Mechling

Women’s Final Four
Leanne Smith
Anna Jensen
Fiona Watson
Paige Hoffman

Sixteen remain at IGA Match Play, Women’s Match Play Championship

The Round 16 matches are set as day two wrapped up at the IGA Men’s and Women’s Match Play Championships. The No. 1 seeds, Dylan Ellis and Leanne Smith advanced to the Round of 16 with two victories on the day.

Ellis came into the championship with high levels of confidence and that has only continued to grow as he moves closer to the final round. After knocking off Gary Elli, 3&1, he defeated Shayne Allan, 3&2 and will face off against Chad Tracy tomorrow. 

Smith won her first match in dominating fashion over Rebecca Schroeder, 8&7. The three-time defending champion will move on to the round of 16 and take on Janece Schwartzkopf, who won her match over Des Moines, Kelly Grimes.  

The men’s championship will feature a rematch between defending champion, Joe Palmer and Jon Brown. Palmer bested Brown in the quarterfinal round at the Senior Match Play. The match went to the 19th hole where Palmer made par to take the victory. Brown looks to get his revenge over Palmer during tomorrow’s round. 

Connor Peck, the 2020 IGA Match Play Champion, advanced to the round of 16 where he will take on Sam Vertanen. Peck claimed wins over Cooper Hanson and Garrett Tighe to push him closer to another match play title. 

Last year’s runner-up, Anna Jensen, knocked off Carroll Dethrow to inch closer to that final round. Jensen will play Kathy Fortune, who defeated Jen Nemmers in a close match that was decided on the 17th hole.

The No. 3 seed Christi Imsland won her match over Jennifer Judge and is set to play Ann Slechta tomorrow. Coming off an NCAA Championship appearance, Ruby Chou advanced to the round of 16 with a win over Cindy Morrison. Chou is set to take on the No. 20 seed, Taylor Sedivec. 

Both men and women will be playing the Round of 16 and the quarterfinal rounds Thursday morning. You can follow the matches for the IGA Match Play Championship and the IGA Women’s Match Play Championship using our live scoring feature. 

Men’s, Women’s IGA Match Play bracket set

The stroke play portion of the IGA Match Play Championship concluded Tuesday evening. One half his year’s Four-Ball Champion team, Dylan Ellis, took home medalist honors and the No. 1 seed for the match play tournament with a five-under round of 67.

Ellis recorded five birdies in his first nine holes. At the turn, Ellis made a double on the hole one, but that did not stop him. In his final eight holes, Ellis went two-under par to take a three-shot lead over the field. 

Defending champion Joe Palmer will receive the No. 2 seed. Connor Peck, the 2020 champion, will go into the 64-player bracket with the No. 3 seed. Christ James will take the No. 4 seed and Joshua Manske rounds out the top-five. 

Anna Jensen and Leanne Smith shared stroke play medalist honors after firing rounds of 77. Last year, Smith defeated Jensen in the final round to earn her third-straight IGA Women’s Match Play Championship.

Christi Imsland earned the No. 3 seed with a 79 and Ruby Chou grabbed the No. 4 seed. The 2021 IGA Girls’ Player of the Year, Paige Hoffman holds the No. 5 seed to finish the top-five. 

The men will play the round of 64 and the round of 32 on Wednesday. The women will only play their first round. Follow the matches at the IGA Match Play Championship and the IGA Women’s Match Play Championship using the live scoring feature. 

Men’s Stroke Play Medalist
Dylan Ellis -5 67

Women’s Stroke Play Medalist
Anna Jensen +5 77
Leanne Smith +5 77

IGA Match Play, Women’s Match Play returns to Talons Golf

The prestigious 34th IGA Match Play Championship begins this week at a venue like no other, Talons Golf located in Ankeny. This event is a place where many of the best amateur golfers in the state compete for one of the most sought-after titles in Iowa, to be named the IGA Match Play Champion. 

The event consists of an 18-hole stroke play portion on Tuesday to decide the 64-player field. The Round of 64 begins on Wednesday with the Round of 32 to follow. The Round of 16 and the Quarterfinal Matches are set to take place on Thursday, with the Semifinal and Championship Matches to be played on Friday. 

Many questions remain coming into this week. Will Joe Palmer defend his title? Does Iowa Golf Hall of Famer Jon Brown capture his fourth victory at this event? Can the 2021 IGA Player of the Year, Nate McCoy take home his first IGA Match Play trophy?

With one of the strongest fields the championship has ever seen, the 2022 IGA Match Play title could end up in anyone’s hands. To keep up with one of the best amateur competitions in the state, use our live scoring feature for the 34th IGA Match Play Championship

A strong field is set for the 10th IGA Women’s Match Play. Coming off an NCAA Championship appearance, YiTing (Ruby) Chou is a force to be reckoned with. Chou will be paired alongside the 2021 IGA Junior Girls’ Amateur Champion, Tatum Depuydt. The three-time IGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year, Paige Hoffman will also be competing this week, and she is searching for her first IGA Women’s Match Play title. 

The 2021 IGA Women’s Player of the Year, Leanne Smith is ready to make it four-straight IGA Women’s Match Play victories. Since 2019, Smith has yet to lose a match in the tournament. Last year, Smith defeated Anna Jensen to claim her third match play title, but Jensen is in the field again and is looking for redemption. 

Smith and Jensen have been paired together in the stroke play portion, along with the 2022 IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event #1 winner, Fiona Watson. You can follow this powerful group and many other strong competitors using our live scoring feature during the 10th IGA Women’s Match Play

Defending IGA Match Play Champion
Joe Palmer

Defending IGA Women’s Match Play Champion
Leanne Smith

Smith wins 10th Iowa Women’s Match Play, defends her crown

Leanne Smith (pictured above) did it again at the 10th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship at Talons Golf in Ankeny. Smith has now won the last four IGA match play events she has entered (2019, IGA Women’s Match Play, 2020 IGA Women’s Match Play, 2021 Forever 39 Match Play and now the 2021 IGA Women’s Match Play).

“I really enjoy match play,” Smith said. “I know that I am going to mess up some holes and that I can recover on the next hole, so I just take it one hole at a time.”

The journey to back-to-back titles was not easy for Smith. In her earlier matches, she defeated Jolee Belzung, Kelly Grimes and Laura Leszczynski. Smith continued to dominate the competition as she made her way around the course.

Up next after dispatching Leszcynski on Thursday afternooon, Smith had to play two young competitors, Hannah Bermel and Anna Jensen, in her last two remaining matches. Smith was able to save par on the 18th hole to close out the match against Bermel in the morning after a back and forth battle.

“Hannah was so fun to play with and it is fun to watch her, and other players grow into who they are now,” Smith said.

After the match against Bermel, Smith knew would be playing Anna Jensen (right), who was the youngest player in the field (19). Jensen won her match against the No. 1 seed and stroke play medalist, Brooke Newell, and advanced to the final round.

The Smith and Jensen match started to heat up right away after Jensen won the first hole. This showed Smith that Jensen was there to compete, and that was exactly what she did. The two players battled back-and-forth all the way to the 16th hole where Smith made par to seal the victory and win her second straight IGA Women’s Match Play.

“Anna is super talented and will be a tough competitor for a long time and she is great for Iowa golf,” Smith said.

Smith’s match play record continues to grow in a positive manner, as she has added three new trophies to her collection in the last two years. However, her match play record is not the only thing growing as the Iowa Golf Association continues to host more and more talented women golfers.

Next up on the IGA schedule will be the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Lake Panorama Golf Course in Panora This event will take place on Tuesday, July 6th with the IGA Women’s Four-Ball to follow.

Semifinal matches set at 10th IGA Women’s Match Play, 33rd IGA Match Play Championship


Only four players are left at the IGA Women’s Match Play at Talons Golf in Ankeny. The stroke-play medalist’s chances are still alive in Brooke Newell, who defeated Niki Clayton and Ardrae Parmenter today.

Newell will face off against Anna Jensen who claimed victories over Janece Schwartzkopf and Tabitha Schumacher in the round of 16 and the quarterfinal round. Jensen, the No. 4 seed, had a back-and-forth with Schumacher, but made par on 18 to close out the match.

Defending Champion, Leanne Smith secured wins over Kelly Grimes and Laura Leszczynski today. Smith will have the opportunity to take on University of Northern Iowa’s fifth-year senior, Hannah Bermel. Bermel won her two matches over Renee Buckner and Mikayla Olson.

The final day of the IGA Women’s Match Play Championship will begin tomorrow morning and you will be able to follow live scoring by using this link.

Players Advancing
Brooke Newell
Anna Jensen
Leanne Smith
Hannah Bermel

One day is left remaining at the IGA Match Play at Talons Golf in Ankeny. The round of 16 and quarterfinals concluded this afternoon, and four players remain. Nate Vance, the No. 5 seed, is the highest remaining seed left in the field.

Vance took down Scot Cook this morning and followed it up with a win over Scott Hart in the quarterfinal round. In both matches, Vance was down going into the back nine. He caught fire towards the end of both his matches and claimed two victories.

Willis Gaer will be Vance’s opponent tomorrow, after defeating Bret Taylor and Felipe Pedraza. Gaer, the No. 8 seed, got off to a quick start in both of his matches. This helped Gaer seal two victories and make his way into the semi-final round.

Kelly Brown, the No. 39 seed, will play this year’s Senior Match Play Champion and No. 30 seeded, Joe Palmer. Brown had to play a tough stretch of competitors to make it to the semi-final round. Brown knocked off the defending IGA Match Play Champion, Connor Peck in the round of 16, and followed it up with a win over the red-hot Ben Epperly in the quarterfinals.

Palmer is marching in uncharted territory as he has a chance to win the Senior Match Play and the IGA Match Play in the same season. Palmer defeated the No. 14 seeded Dennis Bull in the round of 16 and then had to face J.D. Anderson in the quarterfinals. Anderson’s last two matches went into extra holes with his match yesterday finishing on the 26th playoff hole.

The final day of the IGA Match Play Championship will begin tomorrow morning and you will be able to follow live scoring by using this link.

Players Advancing
Willis Gaer
Nate Vance
Kelly Brown
Joe Palmer

Smith wins second consecutive IGA Women’s Match Play title

Indianola’s Leanne Smith (right) was in familiar territory entering Thursday’s semifinal match at the 9th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship.

Smith, who won the title last year at Tournament Club of Iowa, was in the hunt for another title in 2020 at Talons of Tuscany Golf Club in Ankeny. Following a 5&3 up victory over Ankeny’s Karli Kerrigan, Smith met 2018 IGA Women’s Match Play Champion Sydney Eaton, of Mason City.

Eaton, who prevailed in her morning semifinal match against Samantha Knight (3&2) got off to a quick 2 up advantage early in the final match. Smith, who admitted she was ‘searching’ for her game most of the week leading into Thursday’s play, rallied to win three of the last holes on the front nine to take a 1 up lead and command of the match.

“I didn’t really find my game until today,” Smith admitted. “The greens are quick and the rough was thick – I was all over the place. I knew if I stuck with it, I could make some things happen.”

Smith, who won 7 of the last 9 holes of the match before closing out Eaton 4&3, commented she wished more events were match play – they seem to suit her well.

“You always know you have the next hole (in match play),” Smith said. “I try not to get too down or up emotionally. You can have a blow-up hole and still get the next one. As long as you keep yourself together you can come back.”

With the win, Smith hopes her success will continued into next week’s Iowa Women’s Amateur being held at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown.

“I have played there a few times,” Smith said. “They have narrow fairways and lots of trees, so I need to get some work in on the range.”

Click here to view Smith’s post-round interview

Click here to review the complete
9th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship bracket

Things move quick at 9th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship, Semifinals set

Things moved quick at Talons of Tuscany Golf Club in Ankeny on Wednesday as Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches took place in the 9th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship.

Mason City’s Sydney Eaton, who won this event in 2018, did the ‘quickest’ work on Wednesday as she defeated Carroll Dethrow, of Nevada, 6&5 and then dismantled Indianola’s Kelly Grimes 8&7 in the afternoon. Eaton, the #1 seed, will face Onawa’s Samantha Knight, the #5 seed, in the semifinals, who quickly defeated Ila Gilbert 9&8 and then bested Brooke Newell 1 up to move into Thursday’s semifinal.

The other semifinal match will see Indianola’s Leanne Smith, the defending champion, who defeated Margene Grady (7&5) and Nicki Clayton (2&1), face off against Karli Kerrigan, of Ankeny. Kerrigan took down Jan Sewright in the Round of 16 (5&4) and then battled Jordan Amelon, coming out on top after a marathon 22 hole fight in the afternoon. Smith earned the #2 seed as defending champion and Kerrigan earned the #3 seed following stroke play qualifying.

Click here to view the brackets

9th IGA Women’s Match Play sees mixed bag of results in Round of 32

With the top seven seeds earning byes in the the Round of 32 of the 9th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship, a mix bag of results was the story of the day – some close matches and some lopsided victories at Talons of Tuscany Golf Club in Ankeny.

In the category of nail-biters – Carroll Dethrow (2 up), Ila Gilbert (1 up) and Jan Sewright (1 up) all earned wins into the Round of 16 to be played on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile Kelly Grimes (8&6), Kathy Fortune (9&8), Leighann Larocca (5&4), Margene Grady (8&7), Nicki Clayton (9&8) and Rose Kubesheski (9&7) has less stress to deal with in earning their spot in the Round of 16.

Click here to see Round of 16 matches

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