Category: USGA Qualifiers

Johnson, Tjoa share medalist honors, advance to U.S. Junior Championship

The U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina is now in sight for Ankeny native, Hunter Johnson (above left) and Cedar Falls native, Maxwell Tjoa (above right). Johnson and Tjoa fired rounds of 71 to earn co-medalists at the U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier at Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny on Monday.

Johnson stuck to his game plan and played consistent, recording three birdies to only two bogeys. On his back nine, where he carded a 1-under 35, Johnson was bogey free with a lone birdie coming on hole 14.

“I knew I needed to hit fairways and attack pins when I could and just be cautious when I needed to be cautious,” Johnson said. “I know I am a pretty good ball striker, so I was able to hit through the strong winds in the afternoon.”

Tjoa had an early tee time and took advantage of it, going 4-under through his first 11 holes. A double on the tough 191-yard par-3 13th hole did not fluster Tjoa, he managed to keep his game right where it needed to be to advance to North Carolina.

“I just wanted to play my game and see how well I could play,” Tjoa said. “I wanted to play to my strengths, and I trusted my putting. I had an early tee time so throughout the entire round I played without wind, but towards the end of the round the wind started to pick up and made things a little tougher.”

North Carolina will bring some of the best golfers across the world and Johnson and Tjoa know that the experience will be unbeatable. They both have goals, but overall, they want to play the best they can against a strong field at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

Jack Dumas, of LeClaire, recorded a birdie on the fourth playoff hole to defeat Owen Mullen, of Shortts Lake. Dumas earned the first alternate spot and Mullen will be the second alternate. Both players carded rounds of 72.

Hunter Johnson – 71
Maxwell Tjoa – 71

1st Alternative:
Jack Dumas – 72

2nd Alternative:
Owen Mullen – 72

Iowa golfers chase dreams at U.S. Open Final Qualifying

The greatest players in the world will gather next June at Torrey Pines in San Diego, Calif., for the 121st U.S. Open. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

Several players from or with connections to Iowa chased the dream of the U.S. Open. Players listed below competed over 36-holes with a chance to qualify for the 121st U.S. Open to be played at Torrey Pines Golf Course (pictured above), San Diego, Calif., June 17-20. Final qualifying results and links are listed below.

Atlanta, Ga. – Piedmont Driving Club
Luke Slaymaker, Marion

Rockville, Md. – Woodmont Country Club (North Course)
Chris Baker, Iowa State University graduate – Qualified for U.S. Open
Brad Hopfinger, University of Iowa graduate
Andrew Petersen, Bondurant

Purchase, N.Y. – Century Country Club & Old Oaks Country Club
Rod Hamblin, Iowa State University graduate

Columbus, Ohio – Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club
Matthew Walker, Ottumwa
Sam Meuret, West Des Moines
Tripp Kinney, Des Moines
Nate Yankovich, University of Iowa graduate

Springfield, Ohio – Springfield Country Club
Carson Schaake, University of Iowa graduate – Qualified for U.S. Open (Medalist)
Troy Merritt, Osage (born) – Qualified for U.S. Open

Four grab spots into U.S. Open Final Qualifying

Survive and advance was the name of the game at Monday’s U.S. Open Local Qualifier at Beaver Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls. With four qualifying spots up for grabs into Final Qualifying for the U.S. Open, players battled nerves as well as the elements, which included off and on rain most of the day, in pursuit of a dream.

Des Moines’ Tripp Kinney, who was -9 at one point in his round, shared medalist honors with Andrew Petersen, of Bondurant, (both pictured above – Kinney left, Petersen right) as both posted rounds of 66 (-6) to secure two of the four qualifying spots available. Sam Meuret (right), of West Des Moines, shot 67 (-5) to elude a playoff of five players, who shot 69 (-3) chasing the final spot.

With a birdie on the first playoff hole, Ottumwa’s Matthew Walker (left)  captured the lone remaining spot. All four are now one step closer to the U.S. Open and will compete at Final Qualifying locations across the country in a couple of weeks.

“I chipped in for eagle on #2,” Kinney, who shot 30 (-6) on his opening nine holes, said. “I hit it to an inch on #7, so those were my two eagles. I made a couple of other good putts from 10-15 feet on the front (nine). I was really happy with the way I hit it all day.”

With rain in the forecast, Kinney felt like he could score well – making six birdies and a pair of eagles during his round.

“You had to figure out the course,” Kinney said. “You have a lot of wedges into these greens, but the ball would still skip somewhat before spinning back. Without the wind you can attack this course and hit it close. I had prepared really well for today and it translated.”

Kinney commented that he never looked at the leaderboard during the day.

“I just tried to keep attacking the course,” Kinney said.

Andrew Petersen, who made seven birdies against just a lone bogey, said keeping the ball in play and under control was important.

“I was able to hit every green today,” Petersen said. “I had a lot of looks at birdies. A little bit of moisture softened things up some, as it was dry when I played my practice round. I tried to take advantage of the par 5 holes when I could and everything else just fell into place.”

Petersen said he wasn’t really keeping an eye on where he stood during the day either.

“Honestly, I usually have enough going on with my own play,” Petersen said. “I just tried to keep track of my own ball. I didn’t have any idea where I stood. I set myself up off the tee well today and had a lot of wedges into greens. I could have putted better, but I gave myself a lot of opportunities.”

Kinney and Petersen both commented they hope to head to Ohio for Final Qualifying.

“Maybe I can rub elbows with some of the tour guys,’ Petersen said.

Kinney said he looked at the two Ohio options due to the simple fact he could drive to either. A total of 10 Final Qualifying sites will be used in the United States on May 24 and June 7.

Marion’s Luke Slaymaker (1st) and LeClaire’s Jack Dumas (2nd) earned alternate status into Final Qualifying on Monday as well.

Click here for final scoring results

2021 IGA Championship, USGA Qualifying Schedule announced

The Falls, in Larchwood, will host the IGA Four-Ball Championship in 2021.

The 2021 IGA Championship calendar has been released. The schedule includes a wonderful lineup of IGA Member Clubs that will serve as host sites for next year’s IGA championships.

In 2021, the Iowa Amateur will be conducted at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, July 12-14. This coming year will mark the sixth time the Iowa Amateur will be held at the club, with the first time being in 1926. The last time the classic venue hosted the Iowa Amateur was in 2005 when Brian Verudyn captured the title with a two-over par total of 218. Since 2013, the club has been home to the Principal Charity Classic on the PGA Tour Champions. The William Langford-designed golf course will provide a great stage for the state’s best amateurs.

The Iowa Women’s Amateur will be played at Dubuque Golf & Country Club in Dubuque, July 26-28. It has been over five decades since the club first hosted the Iowa Women’s Amateur in 1970, when Corkey Nydle of Ottumwa earned the title. The club has hosted the Iowa Amateur in 2001, 1988, 1968, 1962, and the Iowa Mid-Amateur in 1994. While not exceptionally long, the course requires precision shot making and good course management. It’s natural terrain and mature tree-lined fairways will challenge the experienced golfer, while providing a playable experience for many.

The men’s and women’s IGA Match Play Championship will return to Talons of Tuscany in Ankeny, June 29-July 2. Talons of Tuscany, 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 Championship was held at Talons of Tuscany 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, The Preserve on Rathbun Lake in Moravia will host the Iowa Senior Amateur. The dates of the championship are Thursday-Saturday, August 19-21. The Preserve has hosted numerous IGA Championships in the past and hosts the Southeast Iowa Amateur, an Additional Sanctioned Point Event, each year.

The Iowa Wife-Husband Championship is set to return to Sunnyside Country Club in Waterloo. The championship is set for Sept. 17-19. 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 to Johnston’s Hyperion Field Club in 2021. The ‘Sani’ has a long and storied history at Hyperion Field Club, as the event was held there every year from 1953 – 2012. Since 2013 the event rotates 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 has agreed to host again next year with plans of Echo Valley CC hosting in 2022.

Elmwood Country Club, in Marshalltown, has agreed to host the 2021 Iowa Cup, with dates of that event still to be finalized at this time.

In addition to those championships already listed, the IGA will conduct events at the following venues – Finkbine Golf Club (Iowa Mid-Amateur), The Falls (IGA Four-Ball), Geneva Golf & Country Club (IGA Senior Match Play), Hillcrest Golf & Country Club (Iowa Forever 39 Match Play), Jester Park Golf Course in Granger (Father/Son, Parent/Child), Coldwater Golf Links (Iowa Junior & Girls’ Junior Amateur), Sioux City Country Club (IGA Women’s Four-Ball), Elmcrest Country Club (Women’s Club Team), Indianola Country Club (Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur) and The Meadows Golf Club (IGA Club Team).

The IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series events and IGA Member Play Days will be scheduled and announced at a later time.

The IGA will also conduct and administer several USGA Qualifiers throughout the state in 2021. Here are the sites for this year’s qualifying events:

  • Beaver Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls – U.S. Open Local Qualifier
  • Briarwood Golf Club, Ankeny – U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier
  • Lake Panorama National Golf Course, Panora – U.S. Amateur Qualifier
  • Stone Creek Golf Club, Williamsburg – U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier
  • Stone Creek Golf Club, Williamsburg – U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier
  • Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny – U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier
  • Blue Top Ridge, Riverside – U.S. Four-Ball Qualifier

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.



Iowa’s Snyder, partner Beqaj qualify for 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball

Britta Snyder (above left), of Ames, and Sarah Beqaj, of Toronto, ON, teamed up to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball on Monday, Oct. 7, at Blackberry Oaks Golf Course, Bristol, IL. The duo posted 69 (-3) to earn the second qualifying spot. Their round consisted of four birdies and a lone bogey. This marks the third time Snyder and Beqaj have qualified for the championship and the sixth time Snyder will participate in an USGA championship.

The 6th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be played at Quail Creek Country Club, Naples, Fla., April 25-29, 2020.

Click here to see a scores from the qualifier

Clark / Christensen earn medalist honors, McCoy / Herrera advance in playoff

Brad Clark (Durham, NC) and Michael Christensen (Minneapolis, MN) earned medalist honors at Monday’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Sectional Qualifier held at Des Moines Golf & Country Club. The side of Clark / Christensen (pictured right) posted a round of 65 (-7), which included seven birdies and no bogeys.

A quartet of sides finished at 66 (-6) but would have to wait almost 24 hours to determine the second qualifying spot due to severe weather that rolled through West Des Moines on Monday evening into Tuesday morning.

The side of Nathaniel McCoy (Ankeny) / Ben Herrera (Adel) would make birdies on the first two playoff holes on Tuesday to earn the final spot into the championship. The First Alternate position went to the side of Ben Pettitt (West Des Moines) / Nate Pettitt (Urbandale) and Jon Brown (Adel) / Jon Olson (Ankeny) took Second Alternate.

“We punched our ticket,” McCoy said. “Ben is one of the best there is.”

The 2020 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with be held at Philadelphia Cricket Club, May 23-27.

Click here for a recap of scoring from the Sectional Qualifier

Olson, Anderson earn spots into U.S. Mid-Amateur at Glen Oaks CC

Jon Olson (right) and J.D. Anderson (left) earned the two qualifying spots at today’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Sectional Qualifier a Glen Oaks Country Club.

Olson put together a round of 69 (-2) to earn medalist honors. Olson made a total of seven birdies on the day. Anderson posted 71 (E) to secure the second qualifying spot by a shot over four other players.

“I played well and I made a really good putt on #1 to get started.,” Olson said. “I didn’t look where I stood until #17. The weather was great today and golf course was as good I has ever seen it. I had a good lesson with Mark Atchison last week that really helped me today.”

Scot Cook was earned 1st alternate and Topher Baron was 2nd alternate by way of a playoff following the qualifying round.

The 39th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship will be held at Colorado Golf Club, Parker, CO, September 14-19. CommonGround Golf Course, in Aurora, CO, will serve as the Stroke-Play Co-Host venue. Olson and Anderson will join Iowa’s Mike McCoy and Gene Elliott who are exempt into the event already.

“I went to college in Colorado, so this has been on my radar,” Olson said.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

U.S. Senior Amateur, Senior Women’s Amateur Sectional Qualifier held at CRCC

Sam Billmeyer (above), of Ankeny, IA, punched his ticket to the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur after firing an even par 72 at Cedar Rapids Country Club. Billmeyer’s round was highlighted by four consecutive birdies on holes three through six which helped him make the turn in 3 under par 33. James Butler, of Fort Madison, IA, also shot 72. Butler had two birdies on the day, coming on the 3rd and 8th holes. With his runner-up finish, he claims the first alternate spot.

The U.S. Senior Amateur will take place August 24-29 at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, North Carolina.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.


From left – Leeann Fairlie, Therese Quinn and Susan Marchese.

Heidi Person (left)

Sixteen women from across the United States teed it up today for a chance to make it to the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur. With four spots on the line, Therese Quinn, Jacksonville, FL, Heidi Person, Pauma Valley, CA, Leeann Fairlie, Oklahoma City, OK, and Susan Marchese, Omaha, NE, all punched their tickets to the national championship. Therese Quinn fired a 7 over par 79 to claim medalist honors. Her round was highlighted by a birdie on the 10th hole. Heidi Person shot a 9 over par 81, Leeann Fairlie and Susan Marchese both shot 10 par over 82.

The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur will take place August 24-29 at Cedar Rapids Country Club.

Click here for a full recap of scoring

Feldick, McCoy qualify for U.S. Amateur at Wakonda Club

When the dust had settled at Wakonda Club after 36 holes of golf, Cedar Falls’ Jonathan Feldick (69-72) and Ankeny’s Nate McCoy (71-71) grabbed the two spots available into the U.S. Amateur on Monday.

Each player took different roads to earn their spot to Pinehurst however.

Feldick (pictured above), who was medalist, rode a rollercoaster for most of the afternoon finishing with 11 birdies over his 36 holes. Meanwhile, McCoy settled for a bushel basket of pars, making 32 on the day. McCoy then survived a playoff against Sam Vincent, of Ames, to secure his spot into the U.S. Amateur.

“I just tried to keep it in play off the tee,” Feldick said. “I struggled with that though, but I putted well today and I finished strong. I birdied the last two holes (this afternoon). It has been a life-long dream of mine to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. Wakonda Club has been good to me, I qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur when I was 17 here. I can’t be happier, I am shocked to be honest.”

Feldick, who opened with 69 (-3) in the morning, said he didn’t really have a number in mind in the afternoon, he just knew he couldn’t let up.

“I didn’t have a number in mind,” Feldick said. “Luckily I birdied the last two holes to finish even (for the afternoon round). I just wanted to get back to even and finish strong, other than that I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could.”

McCoy (right) admitted he simply could not get a birdie putt to find the bottom of the cup

“I had 32 pars today,” McCoy said. “I was getting frustrated out there actually, I just couldn’t get a putt to fall. When you’re stuck around even par you feel like people are passing you. I gave myself a lot of opportunities, but I just couldn’t get any to drop. The greens were tough and I was grinding a lot.”

McCoy admitted that playing with Vincent (1st Alternate via the playoff loss) was enjoyable and kept his mind sharp the whole day.

“I had a ton of fun playing with Sam,” McCoy said. “I knew he was going to be tough. I just tried to stay even with him most of the day.”

Nate will also join his dad, Mike, who is exempt into the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst. It is believed to be only the fourth time a father/son dou has played in the same U.S. Amateur. Nate commented that it will be a special week for sure in North Carolina , August 11-18.

“He (my dad) kept telling me to go punch your ticket,” Nate McCoy said. “I hope we can play a few practice rounds together. Hopefully it will make my hotel rental a little cheaper. It might be a win-win for me.”

Earning Second Alternate was Ankeny’s Jon Olson.

Click here for a full recap of scoring.

Iowa’s Garside, Bowser grab U.S. Junior spots in Illinois

Bettendorf’s Matthew Garside (above left) and Urbandale’s Jarred Bowser (above right) grabbed two of the three qualifying spots at the U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifier held at Urbana Country Club, Urbana, IL on Thursday, June 20.

Garside earned medalist honors with a round of 69 (-3), which included a blistering 31 on the front nine. Bowser earned the third and final qualifying spot with an even par round of 72, which included a trio of birdies.

The U.S. Junior Amateur will be played at Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio, on July 15-20.

Click here to see a recap of all scores

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