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Iowa Women's Amateur: Hanna wins behind final round charge
18 Jul 2023
by Iowa Golf Association

see also: Sunnyside Country Club

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Kaitlyn Hanna (Iowa Golf Association Photo)
Kaitlyn Hanna (Iowa Golf Association Photo)

Undecided until the final hole, the 99th Iowa Women’s Amateur Championship at Finkbine Golf Course, Iowa City, was a nail-biter. The leaderboard was in constant flux, with five players exchanging the lead throughout the round. In the end, Iowa Hawkeye sophomore Kaitlyn Hanna of Omaha, Neb., had the last laugh, walking away with a home course victory on Iowa golf’s biggest amateur stage.

Hanna fired a final round 1-under 71, tying the lowest round of the tournament, to trump a four-stroke deficit and win by one. Playing in the penultimate pairing, her dad was the one to break the good news to her.

After a great summer working with her coaches, “It was great to cap it off with a win,” Hanna admitted.

Despite live scoring, Hanna played her round unaware of her standing in the mix. She focused on her own execution, keeping the ball below the pin and aiming for the center of the green each approach.

It wasn’t easy, however.

Hanna found herself in the rough short-right of the green on her final hole, with only a few yards of firm green to work with. Even among the final pairings there were numerous players who fell victim to that very same rough. With the tournament on the line and spectators watching, an excellent chip left Hanna with a tap-in par and a 6 over finish. Her short-game, which she considers her forte, was on full display when it mattered most.

Marshalltown’s Amber Henson entered the final hole tied for the lead, but ended up short-sided in the rough. Being pin-high, she had less green than Hanna had, and was unable to convert the difficult up-and-down. Henson finished runner-up at 7-over after her bogey on No. 18.

At the day’s break, Hannah Bermel of Cedar Fall, Iowa, Eden Lohrbach of Ames, Iowa and Henson led the field. But during the round, Dubuque’s Breanna Felderman showed her strength, playing 1-under through the first thirteen holes and claiming a narrow lead. Yet a disastrous 7-over finishing stretch in her final five holes removed her from the conversation. She finished tied fifth with Bettendorf’s Maura Peters at 13-over.

Bermel, struggling to close out on the greens, also fell to Finkbine’s final five holes, which she played 6-over. She finished fourth at 12-over. Despite netting just one birdie, Lohrbach managed to squeeze by the tail-end gauntlet 2-over and was rewarded with a third place finish.

ABOUT THE Iowa Women's Amateur

Open to female amateur golfers who maintain a residence in the state of Iowa and are members of the Iowa Golf Association. 54-hole stroke play event with two divisions: a Championship Division which will not be flighted and an Open Division which will be flighted after the second round. There are 60 guaranteed spots in each division.

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