Two advance to U.S. Junior Amateur from Otter Creek GC qualifier
Following qualifying out of Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny, Nate Stevens (right) and Michael Takacs are headed to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort for the USGA Junior Amateur Championship, July 25-30. Stevens fired an impressive 64 (-7) to earn medalist honors and Takacs conquered a three-person playoff to seal the second qualifying spot.
Stevens, of Northfield, MN, carded a 33 on the front nine with three birdies and he caught fire as he turned to the back nine, recording four-straight birdies on holes 10, 11, 12 and 13. Stevens posted a 31 and took medalist honors by five shots.
“I hit driver on all the par fours and fives, it was pretty open” Stevens said. “I was expecting the wind to blow a little more to toughen it up a little, but it didn’t. I was able to free-wheel it a little and hit driver everywhere so that was nice.”
Even with a rain delay pausing his red-hot round, Stevens did not let that affect him. He made pars on 17 and 18 to secure the win and his spot in the 2022 USGA Junior Amateur Championship.
“I just finished up on 16 (prior to the delay) and I was the only guy in my group to finish it before the delay,” Stevens said . “When we got back out there, I just took a couple practice swings and just belted a driver on 17. Every bone in my back cracked, but we made it through.”
Takacs (left), of Iowa City, began his round with a clean 35 that included a birdie on the 8th hole. As the round went on, Takacs continued to stay at one-under par, but he knew he needed to snag another birdie.
“I thought four-under par was going to do it,” Takacs said. “I was just thinking when you make a birdie you have to make another one. You can’t be satisfied with one birdie.”
On the 18th hole, Takacs made birdie to get him to two-under par right before the horn blew for the delay. This birdie pushed Takacs into a playoff with Davis Wotnosky, of Wake Forest, NC, and Brock Snyder, of Ames.
“I finished right as they were blowing the horn.,” Takacs said. “I had a long wait for everyone to finish and also the thunderstorm to clear through. I wanted to keep the ball in play during the playoff and just give myself a chance.”
That he did, Takacs made a four-foot tester to save par and earn the second qualifying spot on the first playoff hole.
Wotnosky was able to take the 1st Alternate honors with a bogey on the first playoff. Snyder earned 2nd Alternate honors.
Nate Stevens – 64
Michael Takacs – 69
Davis Wotnosky – 69
Brock Snyder – 69