Weissenburger shoots 3-under to win Lake Creek Amateur

Jake Weissenburger putts for birdie on No. 16 during final-round play on Sunday at the Lake Creek Amateur at BVU Lake Creek in Storm Lake. Weissenburger defended his title by shooting 69-72.

An opening day 69 provided just enough cushion for Jake Weissenburger to hold off challenger Nate McCoy while defending his title in the Lake Creek Amateur played over the Memorial Day weekend at Buena Vista University Golf Course at Lake Creek Country Club in Storm Lake.

Weissenburger, of Clive, battled windy conditions on Saturday in opening with a 3-under par 69, good for a two-shot lead over McCoy, of Ankeny, and West Des Moines resident Grant Smith. Storm Laker Aaron Clausen, who won the 2022 Lake Creek Amateur, sat in fourth place at 1-over par after the opening round.

“I kept the ball in play and my putter got hot on Saturday,” said Weissenburger, 20. The sophomore to-be at Drake University opened play on Sunday with a birdie on the par-5 No. 1. Following a bogey on No. 3, he sank a 20-foot eagle putt to go to 5-under par. A bogey on the ninth hole was offset with a birdie on No. 12. He would three-put a pair of par threes, Nos. 15 and 17, but retained a one-stroke advantage heading into the final hole.

“I had a pretty good idea where I was at, and I just kept trying to make good swings,” he said.

McCoy birdied 16, then got up-and-down on a short-side miss on the par 3 17th hole. With Weissenburger’s three-putt, he knew he had a chance.

But when Weissenburger’s approach came to rest 15 feet left of the pin on the final hole, McCoy knew he faced a must-make putt from the edge of the green. His attempt came up a couple of inches away.

“It started dying at the hole, but came up just a few inches short,” said McCoy, the 2023 Lake Creek Amateur runner-up and 3-time IGA Men’s Player of the Year. “I knew Jake wasn’t going to three-putt from where he was on the green.”

Smith and Clausen each carded 73s on the final day to capture third and fourth place, respectively. All told, 89 players from around the Midwest descended upon the layout deemed the Iowa Golf Association’s 18-Hole Course of the Year in 2021. The windy conditions gave way to sunshine and light breezes on Sunday. 

“It was great to play with those guys on Sunday, all of them great guys and competitors,” said Weissenburger. “The course was in great condition, although the wind made it challenging. The greens kept rolling very well.”

“As player, it’s hard to believe Lake Creek had any flooding this spring,” McCoy added. “The greens still rolled great.”

“It’s a tip of the cap to Grounds Crew Manager Keith Carter and his staff in readying the course while battling wet-weather conditions the last several weeks,” said David Boles, BVU Lake Creek General Manager and Golf Professional. “Players throughout the weekend commented on the great condition of the course. We are grateful that nearly 90 players in three divisions either visited the Lake Creek Am for the first time or returned to compete in this IGA points event. We’re also thankful for Chad Pitts, and the rest of the IGA staff for the work and support they offered in helping us host ‘The Am,’ a Lake Creek tradition dating back to 1973.”

In Senior Division play, Ankeny’s Bill Matzdorff edged Kirk Macumber, of Winterset, on the opening playoff hole for the title. Both men shot 72-71 on the weekend, good for a 1-under par total. Defending champion Bret Taylor, of Booneville, and Ron Peterson, of Urbandale, were one shot back at even par.

Joel Yunek, of Mason City, bettered defending champion Bob Brooks, of West Des Moines, in the Super Senior Division for those age 65 and up. Yunek and Brooks, the reigning IGA Super Senior Men’s Player of the Year, finished the two-day event at five-over, bettering Tom Schill, of Gowrie, and Jeff Opheim, of Austin, Texas, who took third and fourth place, respectively.

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