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News Coverage on the 113th Iowa Amateur
Sioux City Journal
Des Moines Register
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McCoy wins 113th Iowa Amateur
SIOUX CITY, IA- After three hot days at Whispering Creek in Sioux City, Mike McCoy must now use two hands to count his six Iowa Amateur titles. McCoy defeated Gene Elliott in a sudden death playoff and will be the first new champion inscribed on the Elliott Family Trophy, which was donated by Gene’s parents, Glen and Eileen Elliott, and made it’s debut at Whispering Creek.
Spectators got the show they came to see as McCoy birdied 18 to force the playoff. The 52-year old Insurance Executive rolled in a seven foot putt that traveled nearly all the way around the hole’s edge before dropping. McCoy, of Des Moines, started the day with a three-shot lead but was down a stroke to Elliott as they stepped onto the last tee box.
After the final group members each shot 1-over par on the front, Elliott, 53 years old of West Des Moines, fired a 2-under, 34, to tie McCoy at the top. McCoy bogeyed three of the last five holes (14, 15 & 17) until the crucial birdie on 18 that forced the final twosome to go back to the first tee.
Both players found the fairway with their drives from #1 tee as sudden death began. Their approach shots sat on the fringe of the green, Elliott to the left, and McCoy on the back. Elliott would putt his past the hole approximately 20 feet and miss his par putt. McCoy calmly two-putted for his par and captured his sixth Iowa Amateur Championship.
McCoy’s sixth Iowa Amateur crown is his first since 2010 when he shot 20-under par at Bent Tree in Council Bluffs, an all-time record. His 5-under par total over 54 holes at Whispering Creek included rounds of 69, 68, and 74.
Connor Peck, of Ankeny, and Jeff Swegle, of West Des Moines, each finished just one shot out of the playoff at 4-under 212. Peck, who plays at Kansas, tied the low round of the tournament and captured the low round of the day with a 4-under 68 while Swegle, a sophomore-to-be at Stanford, shot 70.
Elliott was trying to become just the 4th individual to win the IGA Match Play Championship and Iowa Amateur in the same year. Defending champion, Nate Dunn of Cedar Rapids, accomplished the feat a year ago. Dunn finished in 13th in this year’s competition after shooting even, 72, in his final round. The other two were Jon Brown (2006) and Jerry Smith (1986).
Throughout the championship, three competitors made an ace at Whispering Creek. There were two holes-in-one on Sunday, one day after Jim Curell of Boone aced No. 6. Brian Verduyn of Clive, the 2005 champion, scored an ace on the 183-yard 11th while Collin Foster of Clive holed out on No. 17, which was playing 176 yards. Interestingly, Verduyn and Curell witnessed each other’s shots as they played together all three rounds.
McCoy fires 68, takes
SIOUX CITY, IA- Mike McCoy and Gene Elliott have good friends and household names on the amateur golf scene in Iowa for many years.
The duo will find themselves in the last group on Sunday at the 113th Iowa Amateur at Whispering Creek Golf Club in Sioux City.
McCoy, playing in the afternoon wave, fired a sizzling 68 (-4). At -7 overall, McCoy will take a three stroke lead in the final round over his good friend.
Elliott (-6), of West Des Moines, posted the low round of the morning wave with 69 (-3).
McCoy has hoisted the trophy at the conclusion of five previous Iowa Amateur Championships.
On a day in which the wind blew in every direction (and sometimes not at all), any score around par moved players up the leaderboard.
Only five players broke par on Saturday. Not one golfer shot even par.
Others near the top of the leaderboard and giving chase include Booneville’s Bret Taylor (-3), Norwalk’s Dennis Bull (-2) and West Des Moines’ Jeff Swegle (-2).
Jim Curell, of Boone also made some noise – Not only for his own 71 (-1) on Saturday, but for his ace on the 6th hole! The feat marks Curell’s 13th career hole-in-one.
The final round of the 113th Iowa Amateur will conclude on Sunday, July 26.
Crowded leaderboard after opening round of 2015 Iowa Amateur
SIOUX CITY, IA- There’s a crowd at the top of the leaderboard and birdies were a plenty at the opening round of the 113th Iowa Amateur being played at Sioux City’s Whispering Creek Golf Club.
No less than 12 players are at even par or better. Leaders include five different players at 69 (-3); including Dennis Bull (Norwalk), Joe Palmer (West Des Moines), Mike McCoy (West Des Moines), Jeff Swegle (West Des Moines) and Conner Peck (Ankeny).
Those five alone blistered the course with a combined 27 birdies.
Lurking just two shots back of the lead is West Des Moines’ Scot Glasford, John Stroud and Gene Elliott, 2015 IGA Match Play Champion. Ankeny’s Jon Olson, 2015 IGA Mid-Amateur Champion, also posted a 71 (-1).
Iowa Amateur to return to Whispering Creek in Sioux City
SIOUX CITY, IA- Whispering Creek will play host to the 113th Iowa Amateur Championship. The tournament, which will be held July 24-26, is making its second trip to the club in northwest Iowa and the first since 2006. In 2007, Whispering Creek was named Iowa Golf Course of the year and held the IGA Four-Ball Championship in 2009. It is also the home for the golfers of Morningside College in Sioux City.
Dunn wins his second Iowa Amateur Championship
Nate Dunn is the first player since Jon Brown in 2006 to win the IGA Match Play and Iowa Amateur Championship in the same year. He made a 2 1/2 foot par putt on the second playoff hole (#2) at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City to defeat George Qian and capture his second Iowa Amateur Championship. Dunn's first Iowa Amateur win came in 2004 at Crow Valley Golf Club in the Quad cities.
The 38-year old from Cedar Rapids joins Brown (2006) and Jerry Smith (1986) as the only players to win the Iowa Amateur and IGA Match Play Championships in the same year.
Dunn and Qian, who is 19 years old and plays collegiately at Carnegie Melon, finished with a 2-under-par total of 214 over the 54-hole championship. In addition to the pressure of the final round of the state's most prestigous amateur championship, a strong northwest wind gave the players extra to think about. Sustained winds near 30 mph made players think twice about club and shot selection throughout Sunday. The champion posted a 3-over-par 75 in the difficult conditions to earn his way to the playoff with overnight leader Qian. Qian, of Bettendort, posted a final round 76.
Dunn opened the championship with a scintilating first nine 29 on Friday evening. But because of a late start due to thunderstorms, he was forced to stop after 11 holes due to darkness. He was unable to keep his momentum Saturday morning and ended up posting a 3-under-par 69, without a nine in the 30s. It really was a tale of two nines for the champion throughout the week. He played the front nine holes in a total of 10-under-par and the back nine holes in 8-over-par.
Qian got off to a rough start in the final round, making bogeys at the second, third, fourth and sixth holes. But a nice birdie at the ninth got him settled and his lone blemish over the final nine holes was a bogey at 11. And then he nearly won the championship with a birdie on 18. He hit a tremendous drive and then wedged it to about 15 feet, but his up hill birdie putt stopped just on the edge of the hole, leaving him a tap-in and a spot in the playoff.
Heading into the day Qian held a one-shot lead over Dunn and Joe Palmer. Palmer struck early with a birdie at the third, but then he lost his second shot over the green on number five and that led to a double bogey. Then 51-year old from West Des Moines showed his veteran poise by continuing to grind and hang around the lead. His second shot on 18, which he needed to make to get into the playoff, came up just four feet short of the hole. He made the simple, up hill putt for for birdie to finish at 1-under-215.
Palmer finished tied for third with Davis Sutton and Grant Smith, just one shot out of the playoff. Sutton, of Cedar Rapids, was very steady in the breezy conditions, but could not get a birdie putt to drop. He made three bogeys and 15 pars en route to his final round 75. Smith, who resides in Johnston, might be left wondering what could have been had it not been for a rough stretch through 12 and 13. He made a bogey at 12 and then double at 13 as he posted a final round 74, one of the best rounds of the day.
Dustin Drenth, of Davenport, who started the day three back, made a serious run early on in the final round. He made birdies at 2, 3, 5 and 6 to vault to -7 and take as much as a three shot lead. But then his game began to let him down as he made eight bogeys and four pars over the final 12 holes to finish at 1-over-par 217 and alone in sixth.
The weather on Friday morning sent a ripple through the first two rounds of play. Rain and lightning forced a four-hour delay to the start of the first round, which forced nearly all of the afternoon wave to come back Saturday morning to finish. Due to the Saturday finish of round 1, tee times were delayed two hours for round two, meaning the last groups played their final holes with fading light.
113th Iowa Amateur
PAR AND YARDAGE:
Front 9 - Par 36
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Whispering Creek GC scorecard
Whispering Creek was designed by Todd Sapp and Larry Franzen and opened for play in 2000.
WHISPERING CREEK AND THE IOWA GOLF ASSOCIATION:
The 2015 Iowa Amateur will be the third IGA championship for the host club:
The field for the championship will be finalized after the entry deadline of July 16th.
SCHEDULE OF PLAY:
Friday, July 24th: First round, 18 holes
Saturday, July 25th: Second round, 18 holes (field cut to the low 60 and ties after second round)
Sunday, July 26th: Final round, 18 holes - Awards Ceremony following play
PAST CHAMPIONS (last 10):
2014: Nate Dunn
2009: Ben Herrera
2008: Mike Oimoen
2007: Jared Walahoski
2006: Jon Brown
2005: Brian Verduyn
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) - McCoy is second with five (5).
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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