Semifinals set at IGA Match Play, Women’s Match Play

There was no shortage of action on the third day of the IGA Match Play Championships. Despite another gloomy morning and weather delay, the skies cleared over Talons Golf (above) in Ankeny.

Since the beginning of match play, Algona’s Joshua Manske has consistently defeated higher seeded opponents. He continued his trend, winning over previous champion Joe Palmer (3&1), of Norwalk, and Marshalltown’s Kelly Brown (2&1), in order to earn a spot in tomorrow’s first semifinal match.

His opponent will not let him by easily. Ankeny’s Connor Peck, 2020 Match Play Champion, outlasted 5-seed Sioux City’s Samuel Storey in the Round of 16, winning after 19 holes. A strong showing against Clive’s Jake Weissenburger (4&3) netted Peck a tee time on the final day.

Still in the mix is defending champion Ankeny’s Nate McCoy. Despite a tight match against Waukee’s Chad Tracy (19 holes), McCoy defeated Waverly’s Hogan Hansen (3&1) to advance to the semifinals.

McCoy will play Ames’ Zach May (right) in an Iowa State vs. Iowa State face off. May, a rising sophomore from New Zealand, will challenge one of ISU’s all-time greats in what should be an exciting match. May proved his stamina after besting New Sharon’s Trent Lindenman (19 holes) and Decorah’s Jay Fjelstul (3&2).

On the women’s side, ‘old’ Pleasant Valley teammates Erika Holmberg and Maura Peters set aside their friendship as they faced each other in the Round of 16.

“We’re always pushing each other and supporting each other,” Holmberg said before the round, “but in a match format you’re really pulling for yourself to win. I think it will be an exciting day.”

It evidently was an exciting match as Holmberg pulled off a 2&1 win over Peters. But at the end of the day, the seedings held true as the 1 through 4 seeds advanced to the semifinals.

1-seed Marshalltown’s Amber Henson played true to expectations, beating Kelly Nelson (7&6) and Tatum Depuydt (4&3).

Henson will face 4-seed West Des Moines’ Paige Hoffman, who defeated Chase Doland (3&2) and Leanne Smith (4&3). After a slow start in the morning, Hoffman cleaned up her game and will be dangerous as she looks to forward her momentum come Friday.

2-seed Anna Jensen defeated young Natalie Henson (5&4) and veteran Fiona Watson (4&3) on her way to the semifinal match.

She will face 3-seed Hannah Bermel (right), also a University of Northern Iowa Panther, in another former-teammate duel. Bermel won over Taylor Sedivec in 19 holes and over Erika Holmberg 2&1.

Heading into the semifinals, defending champions Nate McCoy and Anna Jensen look to defend their titles, Connor Peck attempts to return to the winner’s circle, and new names will try to cement their place in IGA history. It’s every man and woman for themselves.

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