Smith wins 10th Iowa Women’s Match Play, defends her crown

Leanne Smith (pictured above) did it again at the 10th IGA Women’s Match Play Championship at Talons Golf in Ankeny. Smith has now won the last four IGA match play events she has entered (2019, IGA Women’s Match Play, 2020 IGA Women’s Match Play, 2021 Forever 39 Match Play and now the 2021 IGA Women’s Match Play).

“I really enjoy match play,” Smith said. “I know that I am going to mess up some holes and that I can recover on the next hole, so I just take it one hole at a time.”

The journey to back-to-back titles was not easy for Smith. In her earlier matches, she defeated Jolee Belzung, Kelly Grimes and Laura Leszczynski. Smith continued to dominate the competition as she made her way around the course.

Up next after dispatching Leszcynski on Thursday afternooon, Smith had to play two young competitors, Hannah Bermel and Anna Jensen, in her last two remaining matches. Smith was able to save par on the 18th hole to close out the match against Bermel in the morning after a back and forth battle.

“Hannah was so fun to play with and it is fun to watch her, and other players grow into who they are now,” Smith said.

After the match against Bermel, Smith knew would be playing Anna Jensen (right), who was the youngest player in the field (19). Jensen won her match against the No. 1 seed and stroke play medalist, Brooke Newell, and advanced to the final round.

The Smith and Jensen match started to heat up right away after Jensen won the first hole. This showed Smith that Jensen was there to compete, and that was exactly what she did. The two players battled back-and-forth all the way to the 16th hole where Smith made par to seal the victory and win her second straight IGA Women’s Match Play.

“Anna is super talented and will be a tough competitor for a long time and she is great for Iowa golf,” Smith said.

Smith’s match play record continues to grow in a positive manner, as she has added three new trophies to her collection in the last two years. However, her match play record is not the only thing growing as the Iowa Golf Association continues to host more and more talented women golfers.

Next up on the IGA schedule will be the U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Lake Panorama Golf Course in Panora This event will take place on Tuesday, July 6th with the IGA Women’s Four-Ball to follow.

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