Olson wins 31st IGA Match Play Championship, joins Brown in elite company
Coming into the 31st IGA Match Play Championship at Tournament Club of Iowa Jon Olson (pictured right) had little expectations. After a solid qualifying round and six match victories later, Olson found himself hoisting the trophy after a 1 up victory over Tyler Smith. Olson, who also won this event in 2011, joins Iowa Golf Hall of Fame member Jon Brown as the only other player to win the event more than once.
“I found something this week,” Olson said. “I had no expectations. This week was good.”
Olson, who defeated Ben Epperly (3&2) earlier on Thursday, was impressed with Smith’s game. Smith defeated upstart Dylan Ellis (6&5) in the semifinal round to reach the final match.
“Tyler is a really good player,” Olson said. “I played about as good as I could the last nine holes (in the morning match against Epperly). It’s an exclusive club with Jon Brown, so this means a lot to me.”
To say the final match was back and forth would be an understatement. In the first 12 holes only two were halved, including a total of five holes for the whole 18-hole match. Neither player stretched their lead to more than 2 up at any point.
“I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to that,” Olson admitted regarding the final match status as the round progressed. “It had to be exciting, but I didn’t pay a lot of attention. He got off to a really good start and impressed me. This is a really important win for me.”
Olson, who preaches controlling what you can control, commented that sometimes in match play certain situations can impact a players decision.
“Sometimes you want to hit first out of the fairway, sometimes you don’t,” Olson said. “I only went at #13 once this week, during the qualifying round. I never went after #14. It’s always about focusing on what you can control. I try to control my thoughts and if that’s going well I am happy. This one is for my family and I am really thankful.”
Click here for a full recap of scoring and match results.