Mike McCoy (R) with Super Senior winner Robert Pomerantz (Iowa GA photo)
The Iowa Golf Hall of Famer added another one to his resume. Norwalk’s Mike McCoy finished off the 43rd Iowa Senior Amateur Championship to win by a grand total of five shots over Curtis Holck, of Ankeny and a fellow Iowa Golf Hall of Famer, Gene Elliott, of West Des Moines.
“We have a great field, I knew with Gene, Jon, Joe and Curtis and all these good players, I was going to have to play well (to win),” McCoy said. “It was definitely one that I wanted to win, being my first Iowa Senior Am (I’ve played in). I usually had a conflict this week in the past.”
The Preserve Golf Course on Rathbun Lake played difficult during the last two rounds. The wind started to kick up and made many players rethink their shots. McCoy, who didn’t play a practice round, took it slow and played it safe at the beginning.
“I played a little defensively, but I stayed patient,” McCoy said. “I felt a little freer yesterday and got off to a good start today and I was just going to keep playing aggressively. I only made one bogey the whole tournament, so I was pretty pleased with that.”
During the week, McCoy recorded 12 birdies and one lone bogey in the first round. To maneuver your way around this golf course and with only one bogey is an outstanding achievement. Now to add to the already impressive resume, McCoy will take this win and confidence into the U.S. Senior Amateur.
Holck and Elliott, who finished in a tie for second place, played good golf all week long. Elliott was the leader after round one, shooting a four-under 68, but did not break 70 in his last two rounds. Holck fired back-to-back rounds of 71 to begin his tournament and followed them up with a 68 in the final round today.
A four-way tie to round out the top-five between Joe Palmer, Tim McKnight and another Iowa Golf Hall of Famer, Jon Brown. All three competitors finished the week at four-under-par with a 212 tally. McKnight was tied for first with Elliott after the first round, but as the conditions grew more difficult, the scores started to climb.
Palmer recorded rounds of 70, 72 and a 70 in the final round. Palmer was making noise all week, recording 11 birdies, but bogeys continued to pop up on his card. Brown was in second place after the first two rounds, but a double in each round hurt his chances at a first Senior Amateur. Brown made the most birdies out of any player this week (14) and even threw in an eagle during his second round.
In the Super Senior Division, Robert Pomerantz came back after being down two shots and defeated Rob Christensen. The course played tough, and the weather conditions did not help the players this week Pomerantz commented.
“Never having played the golf course until last Thursday when I came down here for a practice round,” Pomerantz said. “We had tornados, hail and rain during my practice round, but I got a look at the holes and what have you and obviously you want to stay out of the heathers. I did a good job, I only hit it in there one time and was able to find it and take an unplayable and proceed to not make a double bogey.”
Pomerantz posted a two-over 74 in his first round but turned it up a notch and had back-to-back under-par rounds of 71 to finish off the tournament. Pomerantz made many birdies, but a cold putter would not end his chance this week.
“This is the first tournament that I have won, and I have won a few, that I haven’t putted well,” Pomerantz said. “I putted very poorly this tournament and I gave away untold shots on the green and I made two bogeys on par-five where you can toss the ball closer.”
Heading into the last three holes, Pomerantz was tied with Christensen. He knew he had to make something happen and ended the final three hole stretch at two-under-par with birdies on holes 16 and 17.
“I felt good coming off the golf course yesterday, score wise, and I said try not to mess up,” Pomerantz said. “I did early, but I got it back and then I was pretty good for a long stretch of holes. Playing in competition is so much different than just playing with your friends.”
Christensen may have finished in second place, but he had a great week of golf. Christensen carded two rounds of 75 and fired a 68 in the second round of the tournament, giving him a two-shot lead. A rough stretch of holes early for Christensen was the downfall for his round today. After a 40 on the front nine, Christensen was able to fight back and shot one-under on his back, but it was not enough to earn the victory.
Rick Gorbell, of Cedar Falls, and Jim Butler, of Fort Madison took third place at four-over par. The two finished with a 220 tally and stayed in contention all week long. Butler was the first-round leader, but as the wind picked up in the second round, bogeys started appearing on his card. Joe Ward rounds out the top-five coming in the fifth place position with a 221 tally.
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