Elliott claims fourth IGA, second Senior POTY; Epperly tops of IGA Junior points list
Elliott claims fourth IGA POTY
For the second year in a row and fourth overall, West Des Moines’ Gene Elliott is the IGA Player of the Year.
Elliott, who edged out Urbandale’s Jon Brown by 37.5 points (1,156.76 – 1,119.17) thanks to earning his way into match play the U.S. Mid-Amateur, had another banner year in 2016. Elliott had top five finishes at the Stocker Cup, Coleman Invitational, Iowa Mid-Amateur and Iowa Masters to go along with wins at the IGA Four-Ball (with partner Mike McCoy) and the Briarwood Amateur. Elliott also qualified for the previously mentioned U.S. Mid-Amateur to earn bonus points towards his winning total this year.
Brown, who fell just short of his third IGA POTY title, had a solid year himself earning a win at the Iowa Mid-Amateur to go along with low amateur at the Herman Sani Tournament and Iowa Open. Brown also partnered with Jon Olson to qualify for match play at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball this year.
Rounding out the top five in this year’s race were J.D. Anderson, Jon Olson and McCoy.
Elliott wins second IGA Senior POTY
With the help of two wins and bonus points at two USGA events in 2016, Gene Elliott (1,435 points) outdistanced Ron Peterson (1122.5 points) for the 2016 IGA Senior Player of the Year crown. This is the second IGA Senior Player of the Year award for Elliott (2012).
Elliott won the IGA Senior Match Play and the Iowa Senior Amateur Championship and added in points for qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open and for making match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Elliott qualified for the U.S. Senior Open by earning co-medalist honors with a 68 at Vista Valley Country Club in Vista, CA. He joined fellow Iowan and close friend Mike McCoy at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, OH. McCoy was exempt into the event from being low amateur at the Senior Open in 2015.
Peterson, who gave a great effort in chasing the Senior POTY title this year, amassed three wins and two runner-up finishes in 2016. He won the Senior Division of the Iowa Mid-Amateur, Carroll Amateur and Northwest Amateur and was runner-up in the Senior Division at the Iowa Masters and Iowa Open.
Finishing just behind Elliott and Peterson were Terry Cook (3rd), Joe Bates (4th) and Curtis Holck (5th).
Epperly comes out on top of IGA Junior points list
Two wins and qualifying for the match play portion of the U.S. Junior Amateur this summer vaulted Ben Epperly to the top of the IGA Junior Player of the Year Points list.
Epperly, who accumulated a total of 1,270 points, was victorious at the Class 4A Iowa High School State Championship and the Midwest Junior Championship held at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. The highlight of his summer was his performance at the U.S. Junior Amateur at The Honors Course in Tennessee. He opened with a 1-under par 71 in qualifying and ultimately earned the #53 seed in the match play draw. He lost a tightly contested match 1 up in his opening round.
Following close behind Epperly, was Chris Cooksley who posted win at the 1A Iowa High School State Championship and the IPGA Junior Tour Championship.
Garret Jensen, who won the 2016 Iowa Masters, finished third in the standings.