POLK CITY, Iowa (July 1, 2015) – Gene Elliot captured the 27th Iowa Match Play Championship Wednesday with a 2-up victory over Hunter Van Veen.
Elliot, of West Des Moines, Iowa, is very experienced in the amateur and mid-am ranks. He won the Crump Cup in 2013 against some of the best mid-amateurs in the country, has played in multiple U.S. Amateurs, and is a regular in high-profile amateur tournaments such as the Northeast Amateur and Sunnehanna. The one thing the 52-year old hadn’t accomplished in his career was winning the Iowa Match Play, until this week.
In order to advance to the finals, Elliot had to take down the defending champion Nate Dunn. Birdies on the opening two holes set the tone for what was a very well-played match by both players. The lead exchanged hands quite frequently throughout the match and going into hole 17, Dunn was 1-up.
Dunn bogeyed the par-5 17th and the pair went into the final hole all-square. Elliot rose to the occasion, making birdie on the 441 yard par-4 to win the match and advance to the finals.
Elliot would go on to face Hunter Van Veen who also advanced in comeback fashion against Josh Black. Van Veen, of Monore, Iowa, won the last two holes to win his semifinal match after being 1 down with two to play.
Van Veen kept his momentum going in the finals, making four birdies through 11 holes. Elliot, however, answered nearly every time Van Veen made birdie by winning the following hole. Thus, the pair was all square going into the final two holes.
Once again, Elliot was up to the task, making two solid pars to win both holes and take the match.
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