Collett wins 20th IGA Senior Match Play title, Norton takes Super Senior bracket

It was a revenge tour for this year’s IGA Senior and Super Senior Match Play champions. Jeff Collett prevailed in the Senior Division, earning his first IGA (Senior Division) victory. On the Super Senior side of the bracket, Tom Norton was unbeatable, winning his first career event as well.

Collett’s road to the final match was not easy – with many of the top seniors standing in his way, Collett focused on one match at a time.

“It was pretty difficult, considering I had to play Curtis Holck in the first match,” Collett said. “He is one of the best seniors around, so I knew that it was going to be a long tournament. I barely got through him and I barely got through Jay (Slings). It was survive and advance for me, it was a grind.”

New to the Senior Division, Collett had been looking for his first breakthrough. Collett has always been competitive, but with many high finishes he knew a win was due. 

“I have been close,” Collett said. “I was second in the Mid-Amateur the last two years and second in the four-ball last year. I have always thought I needed to do something just to get over the hump, and I think it was my putting that was going to get me over the hump just to start winning.”

Putting and strength stood out this week for Collett. In the championship match, Collett faced off against a former IGA Senior Match Play champion, Ron Peterson, who gave Collett high praise for his short game.

“I’d say we have kind of similar games for as old as we are,” Peterson laughed. “We still have enough speed and we hit it farther than most of the players we face, so I would say that is a strength of his game, not just off the tee with driver, but it helps out of the rough with irons. He also had a lot of really nice short game moments.”

Peterson completed one of the most challenging feats out of anyone. In his quarterfinal match, Peterson knocked off the 2021 IGA Senior Player of the Year, Joe Palmer. Since Palmer’s victory at the 2021 IGA Senior Match Play, he has recorded 14-straight match play wins, including a win against Collett last year.

“Someone like Joe, a player of his caliber you have to have your best and fortunately I did,” Peterson said. “That mentality started with my win against a good friend of mine, Chris Kramer. That mentality continued into my match with Joe.”

The championship match between Collett and Peterson was tied through the first four holes. Collett proceeded to fire back-to-back birdies on five and six to go 2 up in the match. Peterson threw in a birdie on nine to start the back nine one down. 

Collett would not let his lead slip away. He carded an eagle on the 10th hole to take back his two-hole lead. Not long after, Collett won the 12th hole to go 3 up in the match. Peterson got one back on the 13th, but Collett was too comfortable and closed the match out 3&2. 

On the Super Senior side, Tom Norton (above) grabbed his first win on the IGA circuit as he took down Tom Schill in the championship round. Norton was the IGA Senior Match Play runner-up twice to Iowa Golf Hall of Famer Gene Elliott and the five-time IGA Senior Match Play Champion, Palmer. 

“Winning this tournament feels really good,” said Norton. “I think the golf course suits me, I have always liked this golf course and I have played good here. The course is in great shape and the greens are in great shape and fairly fast.”

Norton praised Schill as a strong competitor who would not back down. That showed in the final round as Schill was down three holes early in the match, but brought it back to one down going into the 11th hole. 

“Playing someone like Tom is a grind; you know you can’t hit any bad shots,” Norton said. “Fortunately, I rolled in a few putts on him today, but he played really well and he is a great competitor.”

Norton wrapped up the match with a conceded birdie on the 17th hole and the two competitors shook hands as their road came to an end. Schill left with great sportsmanship and a chip on his shoulder for next year and Norton headed home as a winner for the first time. 

IGA Senior Match Play Champion
Jeff Collett def. Ron Peterson 3&2

IGA Super Senior Match Play Champion
Tom Norton def. Tom Schill 3&1

President’s Bracket Champion
John Justus def. Tim McKnight 5&3

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