Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Lonnie Nielsen passes away
Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Lonnie Nielsen, originally from Belle Plaine, passed away on Wednesday, January 20, 2020, at the age of 67.
Nielsen is remembered for his enjoyment of music, playing cards, telling jokes, and eating ice cream. To know him was to love him. He was known for his infectious smile, quick wit, and sense of humor.
Nielsen grew up playing on sand greens in Belle Plaine and went on to attend the University of Iowa. He won several amateur events in Iowa, including the 1975 Iowa Amateur, and was named Iowa Player of the Year that year.
He turned pro in 1976 and competed for a brief time on the PGA Tour highlighted by two top ten finishes before pursuing a career as a club pro. Nielsen was a dominant player in the Western New York Section PGA winning its Section Championship nine times and the Match Play Championship 10 times from 1984 through 2002
Nielsen played the PGA Champions Tour beginning in 2006 through 2017, winning two titles and has amassed almost $5 million in winnings. Nielsen’s best year was 2008 when he finished 11th on the money list with over $1.2 million in cash.
He was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2010.
Nielsen’s family plans to honor him at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. EST) on Monday, January 25th, in New York (you can find details by clicking on the obituary link below). You can view a live stream of the service by visiting www.kaczorfunerals.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to PGA REACH WNY (www.westernnewyork.pga.com/foundation/donate) or the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration (www.theaftd.org)
Click here to view an online obituary for Nielsen.