Olson wins Iowa Match Play Chapminship

BURLINGTON, IA (ULY 2, 2011) – Jon Olson lost to Jon Brown in a playoff for the 2010 Iowa Masters. Saturday gave the 31-year old reinstated amateur a bit of payback. Olson defeated Brown 4&3 in the finals of the 23rd IGA Match Play Championship at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington. It is the second IGA title of the season for Olson. He also won the Iowa Mid-Amateur this spring.

A win on the first hole when Brown lost his tee shot left gave Olson an early advantage that he would not relinquish. After going 3 up through five holes, Olson nearly found himself back to all square after the eighth. Brown had fought back to 1 down after 7 and then nearly holed his second shot on the eighth leaving a tap-in. With the momentum clearly in Brown's corner, Olson responded with an approach to about 6 feet and then knocked that in to tie the hole and remain 1 up.

The 1 up margin remained through the tenth hole and Olson was able to win 11, 12 and 13 to take control of the match. Brown gave himself a breath of life with a birdie on 14 to get back to 3 down, but lost the 15th to Olson ending the match.

Spirit Hollow provided a terrific venue for the 23rd edition of the Match Play. The golf course was in fantastic shape and the hospitality shown by the ownership, staff and membership of the course was second to none. The golf course will host the Iowa Amateur Championship next season.

Brown advanced to the finals with a thrilling, 20-hole match with Zach Steffen. Brown was 3 up through 14 holes, Steffen won the next three to square the match and then both parred the 18th to go extra holes. On the 19th hole, after an official determined who was away, Steffen drained a 30 foot putt for birdie and then Brown made his nearly identical length putt to halve the hole and keep the match going. Brown then made birdie on the par-5 second hole to win the match and advance to the finals.

Olson had a hard fought match with Blake Waller in the other semifinal. The match was tight throughout when Olson caught fire on the back nine. A birdie at 10 put him 1 up, a birdie at 11 halved the hole and, after losing the 12th to a par, birdies at 14 and 15 put him 2 up with three to go. Waller came back with a birdie on 16 to get within one but a routine par on the long par-4 17th was enough to win the match for Olson.

Steffen earned his way to the final day of play first by defeating his Indian Hills Community College teammate Matt Solis 4&3 and then outlasting decorated mid-amateur Gene Elliott in 19 holes in the quarterfinals. Waller defeated Spirit Hollow employee Kyle Menke in the round of 16 2&1 and then caught fire in the afternoon against Michael Wuertz. Waller defeated Wuertz 7&6 and, with the traditional match play concessions, was six-under par through the 12 holes played.

While no player would call any match "easy", Brown did manage to cruise to victory in his two matches Friday with both ending on the 15th hole. He defeated Mike Patzia 4&3 in the morning and then got by Iowa Hawkeye golfer Ian Vandersee 5&3 in the afternoon. Olson won a hard fought match against Grandview University player Mike Slavin 2 up in the round of 16 and then defeated Ben Peters 4&3 in the afternoon match.

The field played 18 holes of stroke play qualifying on June 29th to determine the 64 players who advanced to the match play bracket. Two rounds of matches are played on June 30th, July 1st and the semifinals and finals are contested on July 2nd. Click the links below to follow along.

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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