Top-seed Dusty Drenth wins Iowa Match Play
Dusty Drenth (L) with IGA's Bill Dickens (R) <br>(Iowa Golf Association Photo)</br>
Dusty Drenth (L) with IGA's Bill Dickens (R)
(Iowa Golf Association Photo)

DAVENPORT, IA (June 30, 2016) -- Davenport’s Dusty Drenth knew the 28th IGA Match Play Championship would be a test both physically and mentally. Drenth passed both tests and won the title with a 3&1 victory over Ankeny’s Tanner Randall.“It’s nice to play and then be able to go home and sleep in my own bed,” Drenth said of winning in his hometown. “My dad (Mark) being there (as a caddie) was special.”

After falling behind early in the championship match, 2 down through three holes, Drenth was able to win the fourth and ninth holes to square the match.

“There are so many good players in this event,” Drenth said. “It’s a marathon. If you are off your game just a little bit, you are going to lose. No match is easy. In the final, I didn’t play bad early on, I hit it ok. I just didn’t make putts.”

Drenth and Randall would exchange hole victories on #10-13. Following a halved hole on #14, Drenth would win the next three holes to close out the match 3&1. His up and down on the fifteenth hole after his drive leaked right was the turning point in the match the eventual champion would admit. A two-putt birdie from the back fringe on the drivable par four (16) didn’t hurt either.

“The big turning point was the putt on #15,” Drenth said. “It was 22 feet or so. That’s when I knew I was going to win this thing. Sixteen sets up perfect for me and all I needed to do was hit the green on the par-three seventeenth.”

Drenth also commented that after the seventh hole he knew he needed to be more aggressive.

“I started being more aggressive after seven. I was able to make pars on the back and made some birdies that helped. With all the matches it’s a grind.”

Randall and Drenth both took their own paths to the final match earlier in the morning.

Randall, who is a junior at Wartburg College, was able to come out on top of a slugfest with Norwalk’s Dennis Bull. After falling behind 3 down through seven holes, Randall fought back to square the match with a birdie on #14. With wins on #17-18, Randall punched his ticket into the finals.

Drenth, a 2010 St. Ambrose graduate, on the other hand had an easier time reaching the final. He raced out to a 5 up advantage after six holes, including three birdies, and cruised to a 6&5 win over Booneville’s Bret Taylor, who battled into the semifinals as the #60 seed.

“Everything came together this morning,” Drenth said. “When I am hitting my driver well and putting well, I am scary. I got off to a great start. Bret is a good player.

ABOUT THE Iowa Match Play

18 holes of stroke play qualifying to determine a 64- player match play bracket. The defending champion is exempt from the 18-hole qualifying round. The defending champion may choose to compete in the qualifying round to earn medalist honors but is assured of no lower than the #2 seed in Match Play. Must be an IGA member.

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