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Elliott wins third Iowa Amateur
Unconventional move bolsters Gene Elliott's Iowa Amateur title
Gene Elliott won his third Iowa Amateur title on Sunday at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames. Elliott, of West Des Moines, posted a 54-hole total of 3-under 210 to finish one stroke ahead of Dane Worley of Cedar Rapids. Elliott also won the Iowa Amateur in 2000 and 2011.
Worley came into the final round with a two stroke lead but a few early bogeys brought him back to the field. Elliott, meanwhile, played steady over the front nine. He posted 1-under par to make the turn with a one stroke lead. Both players made bogey on 10 and Worley followed with another bogey on 11, giving Elliott a two stroke lead. A birdie at 12 got Worley back to within a stroke but he was only able to match Elliott on the remaining six holes, finishing one shot shy.
Tanner Kesterson finished in third on the strength of his championship best 6-under 65 in the final round. Kesterson, who plays collegiately at Oklahoma State and lives in Fort Dodge in the summers, had seven birdies and a bogey in his first 9 holes on Sunday. He turned in 30 and then played even par on the back nine, finishing two strokes behind Elliott.
The Scottish-inspired links at Coldwater proved to be an ample test for the 155 players that teed it up to start play Friday. The fairways were firm and fast, greens slick and the winds blew, making scoring difficult for the field.
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Worley takes two-shot lead into final round
Drake golfer Dane Worley shot an even-par 71 on Saturday to take a two-shot lead after 36-holes of the 111th Iowa Amateur Championship. He opened with a 5-under par 66 on Friday. Two-time Iowa Amateur champion Gene Elliott will join Worley in the final group on Sunday. Elliott followed up his opening round 70 with a two-under 69 on Saturday.
Worley, of Cedar Rapids, canceled out three bogeys on his first six holes in round two with an eagle at the third and a birdie at eight. He then played steady golf on the back nine carding a birdie, a bogey and seven pars to post his two round total of 5-under 137.
Elliott made bogey on his opening hole Saturday and then played mistake free the rest of the way to post the low round of the day. The 2000 and 2011 Iowa Amateur champion made birdies at 3, 4 and 14 to earn his spot in the final group.
Joe Palmer, who won the Iowa Senior Amateur a month ago, will be paired with defending champion Jon Olson in the penultimate group. Palmer opened with a 66 but stumbled a bit to 75 in round two and sits four strokes behind Worley. Olson also went backwards a bit on Saturday, following his opening 69 with a two-over 73. He sits at even par and five back.
The field once again had to navigate the firm and fast fairways at Coldwater Golf Links in cool, blustery conditions. Overall 65 players made the cut at 155 (+13) or better. The final round begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning with the leaders set to go at 12:02 p.m.
Palmer, Worley lead at Iowa Am
After the first round of the 111th Iowa Amateur Championship, Joe Palmer of West Des Moines and 2011 Herman Sani Scholar Dane Worley of Cedar Rapids are tied for the lead at five-under-par 66.
Both Palmer and Worley have been playing good golf lately. Worley recently finished second low amateur at the Waterloo Open and Palmer won the Iowa Senior Amateur at the end of June.
"I've been playing well for a month and today I finally saw some putts go in", said Palmer.
Worley played a practice round with Zach Johnson prior to the recently completed John Deere Classic and obviously took some inspiration from the Cedar Rapids pro. Johnson posted an opening round 66 at The Open Championship at Muirfield which Worley matched on Friday at the Scottish Links-inspired Coldwater Golf Links.
Behind them is a three way tie for third place at two-under-par between Curtis Holck of Ankeny, Justin Weber of Bernard, and last year’s Iowa Amateur champion Jon Olson of Ankeny. One shot behind are Ben Peters of Bettendorf, Sam Daley of Ames, Collin Foster of Clive, and Gene Elliot of West Des Moines. Breezy conditions remained steady throughout the day to challenge the field on the wide open layout at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames.
The second round begins tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. After tomorrows round, the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties.
Coldwater set to host state's best amateur golfers
The 111th Iowa Amateur Championship will be contested at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames on July 26-28. A strong field of 156 amateurs from all regions of the state will compete for Iowa’s oldest and most prestigious amateur golf title.
A one of a kind design for Central Iowa, Coldwater opened in 2003. Designed by Tripp Davis and Associates, the course emulates the links style courses in Great Britain. Since opening, Coldwater has hosted several USGA qualifiers and IGA championships, including the 2010 IGA Match Play and the 2007 Iowa Senior Amateur. The course should provide a formidable test for the Championship, especially if dry, windy conditions prevail.
“We think this will be a very interesting venue for the Iowa Amateur, said IGA executive director Bill Dickens. “To simulate genuine links conditions in the middle of Iowa is quite an achievement. Coldwater and the Randall family have been tremendous supporters of the IGA and amateur golf and we are excited and pleased to be at Coldwater Golf Links for the Iowa Amateur.”
Defending champion and Coldwater member Jon Olson of Ankeny will lead a field that includes four former champions and ranges in age from 15 to 63. Eighteen of the top 25 in the current Player of the Year Standings are scheduled to compete.
“The course should play firm and fast, said Olson. “Straight driving will be very critical because the fescue grass is really long. If the wind doesn’t blow much there could be some pretty low scores.” When asked what it feels like to be defending on his home course Olson just smiled and said: “It’s pretty cool”
Olson’s primary rival could be two-time champion Gene Elliott of West Des Moines. Elliott won the Amateur in 2011 and was third in 2012. He is very familiar with the course having won his third of four Iowa Mid-Amateur titles at Coldwater in 2009. Elliott was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.
Other former champions looking to add a second title include Jon Brown of Urbandale and Brian Verduyn of Clive. Brown, the 2006 champion and a 2013 inductee into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame, finished tied for third at this year’s Iowa Masters and finished 6th at the Iowa Mid-Amateur in May. Verduyn won the 2005 Amateur at Wakonda.
Dennis Bull of Norwalk should be another strong contender. The 2012 Player of the Year, just came off a 2nd place finish in the Iowa Masters. Last year Bull made it to the quarterfinals of the U. S. Mid-Amateur and teamed with Olson and Elliott to finish second in the USGA Men’s State Team Championship.
One of the most interesting things to watch every year is the cast of newcomers who rise to compete with the veterans like Olson, Elliott and Bull. Mitch Tucker of Oskaloosa, who currently plays for Indian Hills Junior College, came from behind to win the Iowa Masters over Bull earlier this month with some sterling play down the stretch, including a hole in one in the final round.
Several other collegiate golfers will likely be in the mix. Hawkeye Ryan Marks (Iowa City) was a finalist in the IGA Match Play in late June. Blake Waller (Iowa State) of West Des Moines was one half of the 2013 IGA Four-Ball champion team, while Collin Pearson (Indian Hills) of Fort Dodge blew away the field at the Fort Dodge Amateur in June. Justin Livingston (Central) of Winterset and Dane Worley (Drake) of Cedar Rapids have been regulars atop leader boards this year.
Several Junior Players could also challenge for the title, including 4A High School State Champion Matthew Walker (Ottumwa) and three-time U. S. Junior Amateur qualifier Jeff Swegle (West Des Moines). Other 2013 High School State champions in the field include Ty Hanna (1A - Sibley Ocheyedan) and Carson Whittington (3A - Creston/Orient Macksburg).
There are several other veteran players who could make some noise come Sunday. Former Match Play Champion Joe Palmer captured the Senior Amateur at TCI in June. Josh Black of Olewein finished second to Olson in 2012 and was a semi-finalist in this year’s IGA Match Play. Top seniors to keep an eye include Bill Manske (Algona), Jim Curell (Boone), and former Player of the Year Ron Peterson (Johnston).
A year later, Olson is Iowa Amateur Champion
Jon Olson led heading into the final round of last year's Iowa Amateur Championship but lost in a playoff to Gene Elliott. This year, he made certain he wouldn't suffer the same fate.
Olson, trailing by a stroke to Josh Black of Oelwein heading into the final round, tied the competitive course record at Spirit Hollow with a 64 on Sunday. That gave the Ankeny resident an eight shot win. His round was highlighted by a hole out for eagle on the par-4 9th hole.
In addition to his eagle Olson made six birdies and no bogeys during his record-tying round. He had a 20 foot eagle putt on the last hole to set the record but burned the edge and simply tapped in for a birdie and the easy win. It was the first Iowa Amateur title for Olson, who was the 2011 Iowa Mid-Amateur and 2011 IGA Match Play champion.
Black fired a final round 73 to finish as the runner-up, while defending champion Elliott posted a 69 to finish in third. Five-time Iowa Amateur champion Mike McCoy ended up in fourth after a 68 on Sunday.
111th Iowa Amateur
PAR AND YARDAGE:
Front 9 - 3,404 yards Par 36
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Coldwater GL scorecard
Coldwater was designed by Tripp Davis and opened for play in 2003.
COLDWATER AND THE IOWA GOLF ASSOCIATION:
Coldwater has hosted multiple IGA Championships and USGA qualifying events since 2003, including:
IGA Match Play (2010)
Iowa Senior Amateur (2007)
The IGA has accepted a full field of 156 entrants into the 111th Iowa Amateur. Click the links on the left of this webpage to see results and pairings.
SCHEDULE OF PLAY:
Friday, July 26th: First round, 18 holes
Saturday, July 27th: Second round, 18 holes (field cut to the low 60 and ties after second round)
Sunday, July 28th: Final round, 18 holes - Awards Ceremony following play
2012: Jon Olson
2009: Ben Herrera
2008: Mike Oimoen
2007: Jared Walahoski
2006: Jon Brown
2005: Brian Verduyn
2004: Nate Dunn
2003: Scott Hart
2002: Bo Anderson
2001: Bo Anderson
2000: Gene Elliott
1999: Matt Gatchel
1998: Mike McCoy
1997: Chris Emanuel
Mike McCoy holds the record for lowest score relative to par (-20) in an Iowa Amateur, established in 2010 at Bent Tree GC in Council Bluffs.
Art Bartlett holds the record for most Iowa Amateur victories with seven (7).
Rod Bliss Jr and Rod Bliss III are the only Father-Son combo to each win the Iowa Amateur
John Jacobs and Bob McKee are the only players with titles in three different decades
Jack Webb defeated brother Don Webb in the 1949 Iowa Amateur Championship Match
The Iowa Amateur switched from Match Play to Stroke Play in 1960
The Iowa Amateur was not held from 1943-1945 due to World War II.
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