Category: USGA

College players nab spots into Final Qualifying for U.S. Open

From left – Mac McClear, Jack Lundin and Garrett Tighe.

Warm, windy and tough conditions were the story of the day at Monday’s U.S. Open Local Qualifier held at Blue Top Ridge at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort.

With only five scores at par or better, it was safe to say the day was simply that of survive and advance at a course that usually sees buckets of birdies during the annual Iowa Open in recent years.

Those passing the test and advancing to Final Qualifying for the U.S. Open included University of Missouri’s Jack Lundin (-3) and a pair for University of Iowa players, Mac McClear (-3) and Garrett Tighe (-2). Lundin’s round included four birdies, an eagle and an uncharacteristic triple bogey. McClear made five birdes against just two bogeys, while Tighe added five birdies (including three in a row to start his back nine holes) and two bogeys as well.

Earning alternate positions included Blaine Buhr (1st) and Zach Steffen (2nd).

Click here for full results

Iowa’s Mike McCoy named 2023 Walker Cup Captain

Mike McCoy during the flag raising ceremony at the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. (Copyright USGA/John Mummert)

Iowa’s Mike McCoy will lead the 2023 U.S. Walker Cup Team as Captain the USGA announced this morning. McCoy, who participated in the Walker Cup in 2015 as a player following his win at the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, will captain the Walker Cup Team at the Old Course at St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland, Sept. 2-3, 2023.

The Walker Cup Match is a 10-man amateur team competition between the USA and Great Britain and Ireland. The birthplace of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews, has hosted eight previous Walker Cups, more than any other venue.

The news comes on the heels of another Iowan, Zach Johnson, being named as Captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team in 2023. As previously reported, PGA of America President Jim Richerson recently announced that Johnson will serve as Captain for the 44th Ryder Cup, which will be played September 25-October 1, 2023, at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy.

“Quite a deal, huh,” McCoy said. “It’s very exciting. I had to pinch myself when I got the call. I knew I was under consideration, but you never know. There are a lot of worthy candidates (for Captain). I am just honored for this opportunity and very fortunate.”

McCoy joins Dr. Ed Updegraff, originally from Boone, as the second Iowan to captain the Walker Cup Team. Dr. Updegraff was the 1975 Walker Cup Captain and was selected to the team as a player three times. The 1975 Walker Cup was also hosted at the Old Course at St. Andrews, when the USA defeated GB&I, 15½-8½, led by future U.S. Open champions Jerry Pate and Curtis Strange. .

“It’s a fairytale stuff when you start to think about it,” McCoy said of being a Walker Cup Captain from Iowa. “I am looking forward to getting to know these young players we will take over there. I just want it to be a great experience for them. That’s a big part of the job – make sure it’s a memorable time. It’s an honor to play for your country and that’s the message I am going to try and convey.”

An 11-time Iowa Golf Association Player of the Year, McCoy was a collegiate golfer at Wichita State University and has competed in 65 USGA championships, including 20 U.S. Amateurs.

“We’ll put together the best team we can and competes hard over there,” McCoy Said. “We’ll try to keep the Walker Cup in the U.S.”

‘Up and Down’ the Iowa Golf Scene – R&A, USGA Champion Gene Elliott

Iowa’s Gene Elliott poses with his winners medal, trophy and wife Dalena following victory in the R&A Senior Amateur Championship at Ganton Golf Club in Scarborough, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/R&A)

Championships in U.K., U.S. Catapult Elliott to the Top of Senior Amateur Golf in 2021

For Gene Elliott, the view from the summit of senior amateur golf is a majestic one. His journey to the mountaintop has been a long and steady climb, compiling season after season chock full of achievements and distinction at local, regional and national levels of golf.

But a magical 2021 season is set apart from the others, one that propelled him to the pinnacle of senior amateur golf.

“I’m not sure this has sunk in yet,” Elliott said. “The 2021 year was the most rewarding and most memorable in my 45 years of playing tournament golf.”

Elliott became only the second player to claim both the R&A Senior Amateur Championship and the U.S. Senior Amateur Championships in the same season, joining Paul Simson of Raleigh, NC, who accomplished the feat in 2010. Only one other Iowan has claimed the U.S. Senior Amateur title, that being Boone native Dr. Ed Updegraff in 1981. He is also one of only three players to win the U.S. R&A (United Kingdom) and Canadian senior amateur championships.

Elliott’s extraordinary year propelled him to the number one position as the globe’s top-ranked senior amateur player, according to the World Amateur Golf Rankings and

“I don’t feel like I’ve reached a plateau yet,” Elliott said. “This year was so special in so many ways. Yet I feel like there’s more out there. I still want to compete. Golf is such a hard game, you have to battle the course, your swing, your emotions and your body. You’re only as good as your last event, last round and last shot.”

He tuned up for a red-hot summer season by capturing the Golfweek Senior Amateur Championship in April at PGA West. In early July, Elliott captured the R&A’s Senior Amateur Championship, overcoming a difficult Ganton Golf Club layout, Covid- 19 protocols that included self-isolation for several days, and Ireland’s fast-closing David Mulholland by a single shot.

The victory qualified Elliott for the Senior Open Championship two weeks later at England’s Sunningdale Golf Club, where he was one of two amateurs to survive the cut. He eventually tied for 70th in a field filled with the best of senior golf professionals.

After spending nearly one month in England, the 59-year-old Elliott and his wife/caddie Dalena returned to the United States in time to prepare for the 66th U.S. Senior Amateur contested at the Country Club of Detroit. A steady145 total qualified Elliott for the match play segment of the tournament but earned the 38th seed and a challenging bracket draw.

His path to the finals would include matchups with some of senior amateur golf’s top players, including fellow Iowan and close friend Mike McCoy. Elliott needed an 18-footer to force extra holes against McCoy in the round of 32, then won the first extra hole. He nipped former Senior Amateur champion Doug Hanzel of Savannah, GA, in the round of 16 and dispatched local favorite Tom Gieselman of Commerce Twp. MI, in the quarters. Elliott defeated another nationally ranked and familiar foe Craig Davis of Chula Vista, CA in the semifinals to set up the championship final with another fan favorite Jerry Gunthrope of Ovid, MI.

Elliott never led in the closely contested championship match until Gunthrope failed to convert a 12-foot putt for par on the final hole, rallying from one down with two to play.

“To win my first USGA championship in this fashion is just a capstone to a fantastic season,” Elliott said. “Going into the championship, I felt loose and relaxed. I knew I had a tough side of the bracket, including Mike, but didn’t get ahead of things. Match play is such a grueling format, you have to survive and endure.”

The U.S. Senior Amateur victory comes with a basket full of rewards. Elliott will be exempt from sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, two U.S. Amateurs, two U.S. Mid-Amateurs and a ten-year exemption into the U.S. Senior Amateur. Plus, he is an automatic qualifier into the 2022 U.S. Senior Open, where he will be paired with defending champion Jim Furyk.

A dominant force in Iowa golf for decades, Elliott’s career can be expressed in segments of junior and collegiate golf, professional, amateur and senior amateur. His 29 major Iowa tournament victories include three Iowa Amateur titles, four Iowa Senior Amateur titles, six Iowa Mid-Amateur victories, six IGA Four-Ball victories and two Iowa Open championships.

In 1998, he captured the Porter Cup and Terra Cotta Invitational on the national amateur stage and holds two Canadian Senior Amateur titles. He’s played in 37 USGA championships and competed at high levels in U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur competitions. He was the stroke play medalist at the 1999 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.

The competitive fires burned early.

Born in Fairfield, IA, Elliott started grooving his swing as a preschooler with plastic clubs. The home of Glen and Eilene Elliott backed up to a city park, where eight-year-old Gene moved on to junior clubs and would hit shag balls as a youngster from one end of the park and back, a distance of about one hundred yards.

“One day Dad came out and challenged me to really take a rip at it and I responded with a 150-yard bullseye, right through the neighbor’s picture window as they were having dinner. It took an apology and a new window to set things straight,” Elliott said.

The family moved to Bettendorf, IA where Glen Elliott’s business, Elliott Equipment Company, began to expand. Today, Gene is the CEO of a second-generation family business that provides garbage trucks and street sweepers to municipalities. While in the Quad Cities, Gene’s game started to develop as a junior member of Crow Valley Golf Club. In the mid-1970’s, the club hired a new golf professional, Butch Harmon, who would later move on to become one of the game’s legendary instructors and swing coach for Tiger Woods. Harmon sparked Elliott’s competitive spirit to new levels.

“Butch was the Dan Gable of golf in those days,” Elliott said. “He was such a great motivator and had the magnetism to push you beyond your limits. Besides the swing, he worked on your confidence, your course management and the ability to trust yourself.”

Harmon and Elliott played together in several pro-junior events, winning a prestigious title in Chicago and the Iowa state event in 1976 at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. None other than Arnold Palmer was on site to give an exhibition that day and presented the winners with their trophy, and a photo opportunity as Harmon’s father, Claude Harmon, the 1948 Masters Champ, was a close friend of Palmer.

As a prep senior at Bettendorf High School, Elliott captured the 1980 Class AA state medalist although the team title went to Clinton, led by future PGA Tour member Greg Ladehoff. He was a solid performer on the University of Iowa golf team from 1980-84 and played two seasons with Guy Boros, the son of three-time major champion Julius Boros. Elliott played professionally for several years in the US, Canada and internationally before regaining his amateur status in the mid-1990’s. His professional career included 12 starts on the PGA Tour and three made cuts, including a T7 at the 1986 St. Jude Classic in Memphis.

Looking forward, Elliott is anxious for the 2022 season. He’d like to add the Australian Senior Amateur to his lengthy list of titles, defend his two major amateur championships and continue to play at the highest levels of senior amateur golf.

“There are so many correlations to the game of golf and the game of life,” Elliott said. “Talent can take you only so far – you have to work for the rest of it. And you need a team to be successful in golf, in business, at home and in life.”

“Up and Down” the Iowa Golf Scene

A regular feature column written by IGA Foundation board member Mark Gambaiana, Up and Down the Iowa Golf Scene is designed to take the reader beyond the headlines and scoreboards to share stories of those who help make Iowa golf so rich and rewarding. Profiles will spotlight those who advance the game through volunteerism, service, extraordinary achievement, competition, human interest and the many other dimensions of golf in Iowa.

Model Local Rule to Further Limit Use of Green-Reading Materials

Golf’s governing bodies have made available a Model Local Rule (MLR) to further limit the use of Green-Reading Materials. MLR G-11 enables a committee to limit players to using only the yardage book that it has approved for use in the competition.

This local rule is intended only for the highest levels of competitive golf and, even then, only for competitions where it is realistic for the committee to undertake an approval process for yardage books. It will be available starting January 1, 2022.

The local rule gives a committee the ability to establish an officially approved yardage book for a competition so that the diagrams of putting greens show only minimal detail (such as significant slopes, tiers or false edges that indicate sections of greens). In addition, the local rule limits the handwritten notes that players and caddies are allowed to add to the approved yardage book.

The purpose behind the local rule is to ensure that players and caddies use only their eyes and feel to help them read the line of play on the putting green.

The USGA and The R&A developed MLR G-11 in response to feedback from several professional tours.

The MLR, along with question-and-answer guidance, can be found here.

As the local rule should only be adopted at the highest levels of competitive golf, all other golfers will continue to be able to use green-reading tools so long as they meet the requirements established in 2019. For more information on the current rule, see

2022 IGA, USGA Qualifying Schedule announced

The 2022 IGA Championship calendar has been released. The schedule includes a tremendous lineup of IGA Member Clubs that will serve as host sites for next year’s IGA championships.

In 2022, the Iowa Amateur will be conducted at Crow Valley Golf Club (pictured above) in Davenport, July 18-20. This coming year will mark the third time the Iowa Amateur will be hosted by the club, previously hosting in 1990 (Brad Klapprott) and 2004 (Nate Dunn). The club has also been the site of many other IGA Championships and USGA Qualifiers including the Iowa Senior Amateur (2020), Iowa Cup Matches (2019) and IGA Match Play (2016). The John N. Cochran designed layout will be sure to test the best players from around the state from tee to green.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur is set to be played at Cedar Rapids Country Club, July 25-27. Cedar Rapids Country Club has hosted a total of six previous Iowa Women’s Amateurs and 10 Iowa Amateurs. The course, as many know, hosted the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and was honored as the IGA 18-Hole Course of the Year that same season. Designed in 1915 by the internationally renowned architect Donald Ross, and immaculately restored by famed “Ross Restorer” Ron Prichard beginning in 2011, the course at Cedar Rapids Country Club has been called one of the prettiest pieces of land in the Midwest.

The men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championships will return for the third time to Talons Golf (formally Talons of Tuscany) in Ankeny, June 28-July 1. Talons Golf, is a privately-owned course routed between beautiful rock walled streams and covered bridges. In 2020, the men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championships were held at Talons Golf for the first time, when 2020 Men’s Player of the Year Connor Peck and IGA veteran Leanne Smith took home the hardware. In 2021, Smith repeated as champion of the event and Joe Palmer captured the title in historic fashion. As a popular venue for this event, many players, both men and women, will look to add their name to the list of IGA Match Play champions.

In 2022, Ames Golf & Country Club will host the Iowa Senior Amateur. The dates of the championship will be Monday-Wednesday, August 22-24. Ames G&CC last hosted the Iowa Senior Amateur in 2016, when Gene Elliott took home the crown over ‘newcomer’ Jay Gregory. The club also hosted the event in 2003, when Dan Naughton claimed victory.

The Iowa Wife-Husband Championship is set to return to Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo. The championship is set for Sept. 16-18. The tournament will remain a 3-day format in which couples choose to play their two rounds on Friday & Saturday, Friday & Sunday or Saturday & Sunday.

The Herman Sani Tournament will return August 12-14, to Norwalk’s Echo Valley Country Club in 2022. Since 2013 the event has rotated between Echo Valley Country Club and Hyperion Field Club and continues to feature the state’s best amateur and professional golfers vying for the trophy. The 2021 edition of The Sani was slated to be held at Echo Valley CC, but due to anticipated course projects at Echo Valley CC, Hyperion Field Club agreed to host, with Echo Valley CC hosting in 2022.

In addition to those championships already listed, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Spencer Golf & Country Club (Iowa Mid-Amateur – May 20-21), Coldwater Golf Links (IGA Four-Ball – May 6-7), Fort Dodge Country Club (IGA Senior Match Play – June 1-3), Pella Golf & Country Club (Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play – June 8-9), Veenker Memorial Golf Course (IGA Women’s Four-Ball – June 16-17) , Jester Park Golf Course in Granger (Father/Son, Parent/Child – June 18-19), Finkbine Golf Course (Iowa Junior & Girls’ Junior Amateur – June 20-22), Elmcrest Country Club (IGA Women’s Club Team – Aug. 15), Lake Panorama National Resort (Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur – Aug. 8-9) and The Preserve on Rathbun Lake (IGA Club Team – Oct. 3).

The IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series events, IGA Member Play Day(s) and Iowa Cup dates and locations will be announced at a later time. Those updates can be found by checking back to this release.

The IGA will also conduct and administer several USGA Qualifiers throughout the state in 2022. Here are the sites for this year’s qualifying events:
Blue Top Ridge at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Riverside – U.S. Open Local Qualifier – May 9
Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny – U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier – June 6
Hyperion Field Club, Johnston – U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier – July 12
Hyperion Field Club, Johnston – U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier – July 12
Davenport Country Club, Davenport – U.S. Amateur Qualifier – July 25
Geneva Golf & Country Club, Muscatine – U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier – Aug. 1

Entries to all IGA Championships will be available in March. Entries will be available for USGA Championships at a later date, which will be determined by the USGA and announced on their website.

Gladson/Dunn, Brown/Mechling earn spots into 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

From left – Nate Dunn, Marc Gladson, Jon Brown and Ethan Mechling.

Marc Gladson, of Cedar Rapids, and Nate Dunn, of Marion, took home the medalist honors and a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, for the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Gladson and Dunn fired an impressive 12-under round of 60 at Blue Top Ridge Golf Course in Riverside and were medalists of qualifier by three shots on Monday. 

The duo started off red-hot with three birdies and an eagle in their first five holes. Dunn knocked in another eagle on the seventh hole, making the team seven-under through seven holes. With a birdie on the ninth hole, Gladson and Dunn closed out the front nine with an eight-under scorecard.

Another quick start for Gladson and Dunn began the back nine. Gladson’s birdie on the 11th hole gave him a boost of confidence and he made his second eagle of the day on the 12th hole. At this point, Gladson and Dunn were 11-under after 12 holes, but a cool stretch on holes 13 through 16 opened the door for the second-place finishers, Ethan Mechling (Des Moines) and Jon Brown (Adel) to make a run. 

Mechling and Brown made up three shots in that stretch of holes, but it was not enough to overcome Gladson and Dunn’s round. Although they did not earn medalist honors, Brown and Mechling still came away with the second qualifying spot into the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. 

In a four-team playoff, Aaron Ahrendsen and Joshua Manske came away with first alternate honors after making eagle on the first playoff hole. Benton Weinberg and Jake Rowe will be the second alternate after birding the third playoff hole. 

U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifying
1. Marc Gladson + Nate Dunn -12 60 *Qualifier
2. Ethan Mechling + Jon Brown -9 63 *Qualifier
T3. Aaron Ahrendsen + Joshua Manske -7 65 1st Alternate
T3. Benton Weinberg + Jake Rowe -7 65 2nd Alternate

Iowa’s Elliott wins 66th U.S. Senior Amateur at Country Club of Detroit

(Jeff Hayes/USGA)

There’s still some golf left in the season, but what a way to potentially cap things off for 2021 for Gene Elliott. The Iowa Golf Hall of Famer, of West Des Moines, rallied during the final two holes of the 66th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship and defeated Michigan’s Jerry Gunthorpe Thursday morning at the Country Club of Detroit. Elliott had started in 35 USGA Championships without a victory, but today was the day and his 36th start ended the drought.

“I’m relieved. I’m very proud. I didn’t do it by myself,” Elliott said. “I had a lot of help from a lot of different people, so it is a team win, really.”

At the beginning of the season, Elliott claimed the Golfweek Senior Amateur Championship in April at the PGA West Stadium Course. This win started the fire to the rest of Elliott’s season, including a win in May at Finkbine Golf Couse in Iowa City at the 36th Iowa Mid-Amateur (Mid-Am Division) as defending champion. He went on from there to post two second place finishes in the next four tournaments.

After a second-place finish at the George C Thomas Invitational, Elliott traveled to the R&A Senior Amateur Championship in Ganton, England. During his trip, he had to quarantine and remain in his hotel until his first round. All the nights in the hotel led Elliott to post a final round score of 70 and took the R&A Senior Amateur Championship trophy back home with him.

With the win at the R&A Senior Amateur Championship, Elliott was eligible for The Senior Open Presented by Rolex. The 59-year-old amateur made the cut and finished second in the low-amateur race. It was a successful trip out of the United States for Elliott, but it was also nice to be back home.

A couple weeks off refilled Elliott’s energy and he traveled to Talamore Golf Resort located in Southern Pines, South Carolina, to compete in the Golfweek Senior National Match Play Championship. A fifth-place finish in South Carolina helped Elliott find a second-place position in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Back in his home state, Elliott traveled to The Preserve on Lake Rathbun to try and win his sixth Iowa Senior Amateur. He earned a second-place finish and fell to a fellow Iowa Golf Hall of Famer and close friend, Mike McCoy. The two Iowa legends battled all week and little did they know, this wouldn’t be their last battle this summer.

The week after the Iowa Senior Amateur, seven Iowans qualified for the 66th U.S. Senior Open and Elliott transitioned his focus to the Country Club of Detroit. The format of the championship is like all the USGA events, stroke play and then a 64-player cut into a match play portion. Elliott knew it would be difficult, but once you get to match play anything can happen.

“It was tough, but match play is a tough format,” Elliott said. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. You can shoot 75 and win and shoot 67 and lose. Like I said before, I just try to keep doing the things that I’ve had some success with. I don’t know how it worked out, but somehow it did.”

(Jeff Hayes/USGA)

Elliott (right) finished stroke play tied for 28th place with rounds of 74 and 71 for a 141 tally. He claimed the #38 seed in the match play portion of the championship and faced off against the #27 seeded Randy Hicken in the first round.

A 3&2 win pushed Elliott into the round of 32, where he would have to go up against Iowa Golf Hall of Famer and a friend in McCoy. In the stroke play, McCoy finished in a tie for sixth place and earned the #6 seed. The two competitors knew what needed to be done and they put on a show.

With a quick start, Elliott went up two in the first three holes. McCoy fought back and tied the match after the seventh hole. The match was tied at the turn, but Elliott made a birdie on the 10th hole and went up one. Elliott remained one up after trading holes with McCoy on 12 and 13, but McCoy stuck it on the par 3 16th to tie the match.

On 17 and 18 the Iowa Golf Hall of Famers parred, including a nifty up and down for par from the bunker on the 18th hole for Elliott, and went into extra holes. It didn’t take long for a winner to appear as Elliott made birdie and claimed the match in 19 holes. A round of 16 appearance was on the horizon for Elliott and Joe Jaspers, who currently lives outside of Iowa, but was originally from Waverly.

Only two Iowans remained after the round of 32, and Jaspers ended up falling to the No. 46 seeded Tom Gieselman. Elliott’s match with Doug Hanzel was close, but Elliott went one up on the 13th hole. Hanzel and Elliott ended up matching each other on the remaining five holes and Elliott won the match.

In the quarterfinals match, Elliott (left)had to face off with Gieselman, who recently knocked off Jaspers. Elliott brought it to him early, winning the first three holes of the match, but his lead started to dwindle away. Their match went back-and-forth until Elliott sealed it with a win on the 17th hole.

Approaching the semi-final round you would think there would be some nerves kicking in, but not for Elliott. He handled Craig Davis and won the match 5&4, with five birdies and an eagle to move on to the championship match of the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.

(Jeff Hayes/USGA)

What a match this was, the No. 9 seeded Jerry Gunthorpe and Elliott (both right) gave the crowd what they wanted. They battled all morning and stayed close together with many pars and a sprinkle of birdies. Gunthorpe never gave Elliott a lead a majority of the way, but in the final two holes Elliott came through. Winning the last two holes gave Elliott a moment he had been waiting for.

“That match was so tough that I am not sure, did I win?” Elliott said. “I guess it just hasn’t sunk in yet. Just so much goes with that USGA title that maybe that’s why I haven’t won it in the past. It’s just so important and so meaningful to win a USGA championship.”

It was a week Elliott (right) will never forget. Whether or not he came out on top, Elliott was going to be sure he recognized his accomplishments this week.

“We both played well. We both should hold out heads high,” Elliott said. “I said to him earlier whether I won or lost I was probably going to cry. Just honored to be in the final.”

With the win, Elliott joins Paul Simson and Chip Lutz as the only three to have ever won the U.S. Senior Amateur, The R&A Senior Amateur and Canadian Men’s Senior Amateur in their career.

Next up for Elliott will be the 40th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, hosted by Sankaty Head Golf Club, Siasconset, Mass. and Miacomet Golf Course, Nantucket, Mass., Sept. 25-30.

Read recap from the USGA

Click here to view photos of the Championship Match

Click here to read feature in Golfweek

A look at how Elliott claimed the 66th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship…

Gene Elliott def. Jerry Gunthorpe 1 up

Gene Elliott def. Craig Davis 5&4

Gene Elliott def. Tom Gieselman 2&1

Round of 16
Gene Elliott def. Doug Hanzel 1 up
Tom Gieselman def. Joe Jaspers 1 up

Round of 32
Gene Elliott def. Mike McCoy 19 Holes
Joe Jaspers def. Sean Knapp 2&1

Round of 64
Mike McCoy def. Jim Sweeney 5&4
Gene Elliott def. Randy Hicken 3&2
Joe Jaspers def. Rick Woulfe 7&6

Stroke Play Results (Iowans)
T6. Mike McCoy -3 69-72-141
T28. Gene Elliott +1 74-71-145
T28. Joe Jaspers +1 70-75-145
MC. Joe Palmer +5 73-76-149
MC. Jim Ihm +7 77-74-151
MC. Gary Ellis +10 79-75-154
MC. Scott Briggs +12 80-76-156

What the Champion Receives

  • A gold medal and custody of the Frederick L. Dold Trophy for one year
  • Exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Senior Amateur Championships
  • Exemption into the 2022 U.S. Senior Open Championship at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Exemptions into the next two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships (2021 and 2022)
  • Exemptions into the next two U.S. Amateur Championships (2022 and 2023)
  • Exemption into Final Qualifying for the 2022 U.S. Open Championship

(Jeff Hayes/USGA)

Iowa’s Bull teams up with Price to qualify for U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

Norwalk’s Dennis Bull (right) and Andrew Price (left), of Lake Bluff, Illinois, qualified for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball earlier this week at Aurora Country Club in Aurora, Illinois. Bull and Price went low and fired a nine-under 63 to win the qualifier by one shot over Skylar Le Vine, of Morton Grove, Illinois, and Chicago’s Ben Johnson. 

Carding a three-under front nine, Bull and Price knew that they needed to go lower because Johnson and Le Vine were already five-under with an eagle on hole seven. A birdie on number 10 started their race up the leaderboard. On 12 and 13, they made birdies and were tied with Johnson and Le Vine. 

Johnson and Le Vine birdied hole 15 to take their lead back, but Bull and Price did not stop pilling on birdies. In the last three holes, Bull and Price made birdies on each hole and took over the tournament. The red-hot duo posted a six-under 30 on their back nine to earn medalist honors. 

The top-two spots qualify for the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, so we will see Johnson and Le Vine at the Country Club of Birmingham, Alabama alongside Price and Bull. There was a four-way tie for third place at seven-under par. Davenport’s Dusty Drenth teamed up with Michael Fastert, of Wheeling, Illinois, and scored a 65, but missed it by one shot.

The 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will take place in Alabama on May 14-18, and will be hosted by the Country Club of Birmingham. 

U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier:
1. Andrew Price/Dennis Bull -9 63 – Qualifier
2. Skylar Le Vine/Ben Johnson -8 64 – Qualifier
T3. Josh Kirkham/John Stillman -7 65 – 1st Alternate
T3. Dusty Drenth/Michael Fastert -7 65 – 2nd Alternate
T3. Andrew Kross/Josh Dupont -7 65
T3. Mike O’Connell/Ryan Anetsberger -7 65

Seven from Iowa set to complete at 66th U.S. Senior Amateur

Photo courtesy of Fred Vuich/USGA

Iowa is taking over Michigan on August 28, at the Country Club of Detroit. A total of seven fellow Iowans (one now living in North Carolina) have qualified for the 66th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship and will be headed to Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. This is the first time in recent memory, if not ever, that seven Iowans have made it to the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. A few Iowans had to qualify for a chance to compete at the highest level for Senior Amateurs, while three others earned exemptions.

Gary Ellis, of Norwalk, qualified in Williamsburg at Stone Creek Golf Club for a spot in his first ever USGA Championship. Ellis defeated Jim Butler on the first hole of a playoff. With an advantage off the tee, the long-hitting Ellis took advantage of the par-five playoff hole and was on the green in two.

Peosta’s, Jim Ihm was the second qualifier out of Madison, Wisconsin. Ihm fired a 72 at Blackhawk Country Club and earned his place at the U.S. Senior Amateur by two shots. Ihm was one shot behind Jim Doing, of Verona, Wisconsin, but he will try to one-up Doing this week in Michigan.

Scott Briggs, of Burlington, traveled to Quincy, Illinois to battle for a trip to Michigan. Briggs missed the qualifying spot by two shots, but he earned first alternate honors after defeating Harry Roberts, of St. Joseph, Missouri, in a playoff.

Briggs and Roberts were unaware at the time, but that playoff hole was the deciding factor for an entry into the U.S. Senior Amateur. Briggs was able to punch his ticket into the field at the Country Club of Detroit as an alternate.

Originally from Waverly, Joe Jaspers, who now resides in Huntersville, NC, qualified in Charlotte, NC., earning co-medalist honors with 69 (-2). Jaspers , who was a four-time all-Iowa Conference performer for Central College (IA), made three birdies against a lone bogey in his qualifying round.

Gene Elliott, of West Des Moines, earned an exemption into the championship for being the No. 2 ranked Senior in the world according to World Amateur Golf Rankings. Elliott has two impressive wins under his belt this season and would like to add a third at the U.S. Senior Amateur.

The 59-year-old won the Golfweek Senior Amateur Championship at the PGA West Stadium Course back in April. He also made the field at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex after winning the R&A Senior Amateur Championship. More recently, Elliott finished in a tie for second place at the Iowa Senior Amateur.

Back in 2018, Norwalk’s, Mike McCoy was a U.S. Senior Amateur semifinalist. Coming in 10th on the World Amateur Golf Rankings for senior qualifications, McCoy has also had a remarkable season.

In the month of June, McCoy won the George C. Thomas Invitational – Senior at Los Angeles Country Club. McCoy was able to carry over some of that confidence into the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Making the cut and finishing in 62nd place, McCoy was the fourth lowest amateur that week.

After the U.S. Senior Open Championship, McCoy began his run at the Iowa Amateur Championship that he previously won six times. He was chasing the leaders at the start of the final round, but a low-round of 63 propelled him into a fifth-place finish. He carried over that confidence into the Iowa Senior Amateur championship, where he won by five shots.

A man who knows how to win, in match play specifically, is headed to Michigan as well. Joe Palmer, of Norwalk, has been known as the match play king this season. He was the first player in IGA history to win the IGA Senior Match Play and the IGA Match Play in one season.

Palmer doesn’t just know how to succeed in match play, he has two second place finishes at the Iowa Senior Masters and the Herman Sani Senior Tournament. He is also the current leader for Iowa Senior Player of the Year and has won almost every event he has played in Iowa.

These seven Iowans are capable of making some noise in Michigan. You can follow alongside these players and the rest of the field on Saturday August 28th up until the final day of match play on September 2nd. The low 64 scores following stroke play will compete in match play to determine the 66th U.S. Senior Amateur Champion.

From left – Gary Ellis, Mike McCoy, Gene Elliott and Joe Palmer.

Click here to view stroke play qualifying tee times

Smith travels outside Iowa, grabs bid to U.S. Women’s Mid-Am

On Monday, August 16th, Leanne Smith (right), of Indianola, finished with medalist honors at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Am Qualifier held in St. Joseph, Missouri. Smith will now travel to Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton, South Carolina for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in September.

At the beginning of her round, Smith started slowing with a bogey and a double in her first four holes. Smith made a birdie on the eighth hole but followed it up with a double on nine. Sitting at four-over-par after her front nine, Smith got back on track and made four straight pars to start her back nine.

After recording par on hole 13, three-straight bogeys showed up and put Smith at seven-over. With two holes to play, Smith was on the outside looking in and knew she needed to make something happen. Two par-five remained, and Smith took advantage. She made birdie on 17 and she was now in a three-way tie for first place.

A short par-five was all that was left for Smith. She needed birdie to win and qualify for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Instead of making birdie, Smith ensured her victory and recorded an eagle on her final hole of the qualifier. Smith won by two shots over Susan Devoe, of Overland Park, Kansas, and Martha Linscott, of Mission Hills, Kansas.

Kathy Dearborn, of Anamosa, competed for her spot into the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in Waukegan, Illinois. Dearborn missed a qualifying position by one stroke, but earned the first alternate after defeating Madeline Bond in a playoff.

The tournament dates are September 25-30, at Berkeley Hall Club (North Course) in Bluffton, South Carolina.

St. Joseph, Mo. Qualifier
1. Leanne Smith 74 *Medalist*
2. Martha Linscott 77 *Qualified*
3. Susan Devoe 77 *Qualified*
4. Carmen Titus 79 *1st Alternate*
5. Carrie Bostar 80 *2nd Alternate*

Waukegan, Ill. Qualifier
1. Jacqueline Setas 72 *Medalist*
2. Hui Chong Dofflemeyer 73 *Qualified*
3. Nora Klein 74 *Qualified*
4. Elizabeth Payne 80 *Qualified*
5. Heather Penn 81 *Qualified*
6. Erin Varner 82 *Qualified*
7. Kathy Dearborn 83 *1st Alternate*
8. Madeline Bond 83 *2nd Alternate*

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