McCoy, Palmer, Ryan come out on top in Player of the Year Race

The battle for the 2021 IGA Men’s Player of the Year between the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member, Jon Brown, and Nate McCoy (above) has subsided. McCoy triumphed in his final event of the season to make one last push up the leaderboard.

During the 2021 season McCoy claimed three victories that added 700 points to his overall total. McCoy’s first win came at the 2021 Carroll Amateur where he defeated the 2020 IGA Player of the Year, Connor Peck. 

McCoy continued to heat up and snagged a second-place finish at the Iowa Amateur Championship. He then went on to win an event he has won multiple times, the Iowa Masters at Veenker Memorial Golf Course. 

In his next event, McCoy won the amateur division at the Iowa Open and was close to winning the overall tournament. He dominated the amateur division and stayed near the top of the pro-am leaderboard all week.

As the season was was nearing an end, McCoy was trailing Brown by roughly 70 points. However, Brown had completed all his events and McCoy needed to make match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur in Massachusetts in order to overtake the top spot. 

Going into the back nine of his final round of stroke play at the U.S. Mid-Am, McCoy was three-over and outside of the number. Back-to-back birdies on the first and second hole of the back nine put McCoy well inside the top-64. 

A bogey creeped onto the scorecard on the sixth hole and McCoy looked to be heading into a playoff for the last couple of spots. A late birdie on the last hole pushed McCoy inside the number and away from a playoff. 

McCoy walked away that day with an appearance in the match play portion of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and the 2021 IGA Men’s Player of the Year.

Click here to view a full recap of the 2021 IGA Men’s Player of the Year standings. 

After a dominating 2021 season, Norwalk’s Joe Palmer (above) is the IGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year for the third time in the last four years. With five wins on the season, it is not a surprise to see Palmer winning this award in back-to-back years. 

The former Iowa Hawkeye began his Player of the Year campaign at Iowa City’s Finkbine Golf Course. Palmer defeated Jeff Collett and took home the Senior Division trophy at the IGA Mid-Amateur Championship. 

 A streak of four-straight wins started to develop after Palmer’s win in Iowa City. He teamed up with another Norwalk native, Terry Cook, and went on to defeat Gary Ellis and Jay Goeser in the IGA Four-Ball. 

Eastern Iowa treated Palmer well as he repeated his 2020 success at this year’s Senior Match Play at Geneva Golf Course in Muscatine. Now known as a match play stalwart to many, Palmer was able to bring that confidence back to central Iowa for the IGA Match Play.

Palmer won his fourth straight event at Talons Golf in Ankeny. He knocked off some of the best amateurs in the state on his way to becoming the first player to win the IGA Senior Match Play and the IGA Match Play.

To wrap up his stellar season, Palmer tacked on two second-place finishes at the Iowa Masters and the Herman Sani Tournament. He also added a win at the Iowa Open (Senior Division) in Riverside and finished in a tie for fourth at the Iowa Senior Amateur hosted by The Preserve on Rathbun Lake. 

With a 673.33-point lead over the second-place finisher, Gene Elliott, it is safe to say nobody could catch Palmer this season.

Click here to view a full recap of the 2021 IGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year standings. 

Pat Ryan (above left), of Marshalltown, was the definition of consistent during the 2021 season. He compiled eight top-five finishes and two wins in route to winning his first IGA Super Senior Player of the Year award in 2021. 

Ryan’s name could be found near the top of the leaderboard in all 13 tournaments he played in. Victories at the Fort Dodge Amateur and the Waterloo Open highlighted Ryan’s remarkable season. 

A slew of third place finishes pushed Ryan up the standings each week. With an impressive third place finish at the 72nd Herman Sani Tournament, Ryan could feel confident about where he stood amongst some of the best Super Seniors in the state.

In the match play events, Ryan made the cut at the IGA Match Play that was held at Talons Golf. Earlier in the year, Ryan made it all the way to the semi-final round in the Senior Match Play at Geneva Golf and Country Club. 

Another impressive finish this year by Ryan was at the Iowa Open. With eight top-five finishes and two wins, Ryan’s season was one to remember.

Consistency, along with strong play gave Ryan a 447.5-point victory over the two-time Super Senior Player of the Year and good friend, Rob Christensen.

Click here to view a full recap of the 2021 IGA Super Senior Player of the Year standings. 

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