Smith, Leszczynski tough to beat on the course this year

Indianola’s Leanne Smith (above) did it again and won the 2021 IGA Women’s Player of the Year award. After a season filled with wins, Smith’s performance was nothing short of spectacular this year.

Smith started the season with a win at her first ever Iowa Women’s Forever 39 Match Play. She defeated Laura Leszczynski in the final round to earn the first victory of the season. Smith now had to defend her title for the second-straight time at the IGA Women’s Match Play. 

Beginning the tournament, Smith had dominating wins in the early rounds. She continued to battle and ended up taking down the No. 4 seeded Anna Jensen for her third consecutive IGA Women’s Match Play victory. 

Next up, Smith helped Echo Valley Country Club win the IGA Women’s Club Team Championship and she was crowned the Individual Gross Champion. Smith followed that up by qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur to send her to South Carolina for the 2021 championship.

Smith played well in the stroke play portion of the USGA championship and made match play, but was defeated by Kaylin Crownover in the round of 64. Smith also participated in the IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series Event No. 3 and won the event with fellow Echo Valley member, Erin Schaffer, to wrap up her season on a high note. Smith finished the Player of the Year race 625 points ahead of Ames, Joy Chou.

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

Laura Leszczynski (above), of Saint Mary’s, has been crowned the 2021 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year after a back-and-forth race between the 2020 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year, Rose Kubesheski. 

This season, Leszczynski recorded three victories, including a win at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier. Another win came at the 3rd IGA Women’s Mid-Am Series event where she teamed up with Cindy Morrison to win the senior division.

One of Leszczynski’s most difficult challenges happened on her home-course. The 56th Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship was played at Indianola Country Club, where Leszczynski is a member.

The pressure of wanting to win a championship filled with a history of great amateur golfers was immense. Now add the pressure of accomplishing this feat at your home-course and that was what Leszczynski had to battle. 

Through the first round, she was inside the top-10. An impressive final round score of 70 gave Leszczynski the outright victory and she completed a four-shot comeback. After two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and three wins, Leszczynski earned the 2021 IGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year.

Leszczynski finished 242.5 points ahead of Kubesheski.

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

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