IGA Player of the Year announced – Men’s
J.D. Anderson (above) has been a model of consistency. His 13 top-ten finishes in the IGA Player of the Year standings since 2002, including 3rd place in 2014 and 2016, can attest to that.
When the dust had settled in 2017, Anderson’s consistency paved the way to his first IGA Player of the Year honor. The 43-year old from Johnston started the year strong with a win at the 32nd Iowa Mid-Amateur, then followed that up with a victory at the Briarwood Amateur and medalist honors at U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying. Anderson also added top-5 finishes at the Southeast Iowa Amateur, Northwest Amateur and Herman Sani Tournament.
Two-time defending and four-time overall IGA Player of the Year Gene Elliott of West Des Moines finished runner-up in the standings this year. Elliott, who is 55 years old, continues to more than hold his own against the younger set. His run to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Mid-Amateur kept the race for player of the year interesting down to the wire. Elliott notched wins at the Iowa Masters and 22nd IGA Four-Ball (with partner Mike McCoy). Elliott also finished T5th at the Stocker Cup and T9th at the George L. Coleman Invitational in 2017.
Rounding out the rest of the top five in the IGA Player of the Year were Jon Brown of Clive (3rd), Dusty Drenth of Davenport (4th) and Trevor Ullestad of Jewell (5th).
For the second year in a row and third overall, Gene Elliott (above) earned his way to IGA Senior Player of the Year, but it wasn’t decided until the final hour.
Elliott’s performance (Round of 32) at the U.S. Mid-Amateur gave him enough ‘bonus’ points to overtake Joe Palmer for the award. Elliott won the IGA Senior Match Play, the Iowa Senior Amateur and made it to the Round of 32 of the U.S. Senior Amateur. While not counting towards his point total for IGA Senior Player of the Year, it should be noted that Elliott also won the Canadian Men’s Senior Championship (Montreal, Quebec) and was T2nd at The (British) Seniors Amateur Championship (Sunningdale, England).
Palmer, 55 of West Des Moines, who won the award in 2014, had an extremely successful summer of his own. He won the Senior Division of the 32nd Iowa Mid-Amateur, 22nd IGA Four-Ball (with partner Terry Cook), Fort Dodge Amateur, Waterloo Open and Herman Sani Tournament.
Terry Cook of West Des Moines (3rd), Bret Taylor of Booneville (4th) and Ron Peterson of Urbandale (5th) made up the rest of the top five in this year’s standings.
Rob Christensen (above) won the 2017 IGA Super Senior Player of the Year, a new honor started by the IGA this year.
Super-Seniors are those that are 65 and older and have seen an increased level of participation in recent years, therefore the IGA felt it was time to recognize the top players from that division.
The first year of the award was a tight race that came down to the final event, the Iowa Senior Amateur. Heading into that championship in early September, Christensen, Dave Sergeant and David Studer were all within 10 points of each other. Christensen prevailed and won the Super Senior Division of the Iowa Senior Amateur to take the POTY award. The 66-year old from Marshalltown also won the Super Senior division of the Carroll Amateur and Briarwood Amateur. He finished second in the Super Senior Division of the Iowa Masters.
Sergeant, 72 of Fort Dodge, finished just behind Christensen in the standings. He won the Super Senior Division of the Fort Dodge Amateur and finished second in that division of the Briarwood Amateur. He was 4th at the Iowa Senior Amateur (SS division) and 3rd at the Carroll Am (SS division).
Other top finishers in the Super Senior Division were Studer of West Des Moines (3rd), Tim Taylor of Ankeny (4th) and Mike Mumma of Jefferson (5th).
The players will be honored at a ceremony in mid-December. Details on the event will be released in the coming weeks.