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2018 Mixed Alternate Shot in the Books

June 2, 2018

NAMPA, Idaho - The Mixed Alternate Shot is one of the more entertaining events on the IGA championship calendar, but that doesn't mean the competition is lacking. Couples, friends, father/daughter pairs, or mother/son pairs arrived at Centennial Golf Course on a picture perfect Saturday morning with one round of golf to decide a champion. Kareen Markle and Scott Vermeer took home the championship trophies, shooting a bogey free 5-under 67. Runner-up was the father/daughter team of Jim McCord and Gabrielle McCord with a 2-under score of 70. In the first flight, Cindy and Randy Crayne bested runners-up Dani and Kip Andrus and Vincent Grinnell/Erin Latham by one stroke, shooting a 75.

Bayley Wins 2018 Match Play Championship in a Rematch of Last Year’s Final

May 28, 2018

CALDWELL, Idaho - In what may be the toughest championship field of the season, the top two seeds in the 2018 Match Play Championship expectedly met in the final match this past Memorial Day. Top seeded Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho won that match 6&5 against the two seed Grayson Huff of Eagle, Idaho in dominating fashion.

Play began Saturday morning at TimberStone GC with Bayley out in the first tee time, fresh off a trip to Florida for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship (making it to the first round of match play). Bayley won that first match decidedly 6&5 against Randal Cross. Not far behind was Huff, who faced Daniel Uranga, and came away with a solid opening round 3&2 victory. Bayley's next match was a little tighter, but he still won 2&1 to advance to the next round where he bounced back with an 8&6 win in the quarterfinals. Huff's path to the semifinals was a breeze, knocking off his opponents 5&3 and 7&6.

The semifinal matchups made for an exciting Sunday afternoon. Bayley, a Washington State golfer, faced off against fellow college golfer Hunter Ostrom (Notre Dame) in the top half of the bracket. Ostrom also looked impressive in his matches over the weekend, and a victory in 19 holes over Boise State's Connor Johnstone set the tone for what was to come in the semifinals. In the bottom half of the bracket Huff (who plays at Auburn University) would face 6 seed Greg Law. The semifinal matchups featured players who are all under the age of 23, but have had plenty of experience at the top of the leaderboard in IGA championships. Ostrom and Bayley both came out firing on the front nine; Ostrom took a two shot lead at the turn thanks to birdies on 5 and 8. Ostrom maintained a lead of one on the 17 tee box, with Bayley realistically needing a birdie on 17 or 18 to tie the match. Bayley's shot on 17 under pressure was phenomenal - landing perfectly on the upslope of the tiered green and rolling up to a couple feet right of the pin on top. Ostrom missed a long birdie attempt and Bayley made his short birdie putt shortly after. The Huff/Law match was close for the entire duration. A couple of bogeys by Huff on the front allowed Law to tie it up at the turn. A couple of late bogeys by Law let Huff back into the match, and the two went into 18 all square. Pars by both on 18 meant everyone in the foursome was headed to the first tee for extra holes.

On the short par 4 1st hole, Bayley went first and knocked his second shot to about 15 feet. Ostrom's massive drive set up a short wedge shot into the green, but he flew it just over the back. In the other pairing, Huff hit his approach on the green to about 15 feet as well, and much like Ostrom, Law flew his short approach just long. Ostrom's chip was nearly impossible to get close, and he was unable to get it on the green, giving Bayley the win. Law's chip landed a few feet from the pin, but Huff drained his birdie putt to advance to the final.

Monday's final was expected. Bayley won the 2017 Match Play Championship against Huff, and there was no doubt that these two had the game to meet again. What no one expected, though, was for the final to be a blowout. Bayley birdied 3 of the first 4 holes. On the par 4 5th hole, Huff's drive was locked on to the pin, rolling up and just catching the edge of the cup - almost a hole-in-one. Bayley had about 50 yards in; his approach shot landed, took one bounce and trickled into the middle of the cup for an eagle 2 to match Huff. The rest of the match was full of similar shots from Bayley and his 29 on the front left little hope for a Huff comeback. The match ended 6&5 on the 13th hole, both players showing a lot of respect for each other as they shook hands. Bayley continued to play in an attempt to best Huff's course record 61 (shot at the 2017 Match Play), and Bayley eventually tied that score.

Huff will go back to prepare for his junior season at Auburn, and Bayley plans on turning pro later this year after finishing up his final classes at Washington State.

FULL AMATEUR DIVISION RESULTS

In the Womens Championship, Kristin Fenwick defeated Sharon Faylor 2&1 for the title. FULL RESULTS

In the Senior Division, Dan Pickens won 2&1 over Jay Sutton. FULL RESULTS

2018 Four-Ball Champions Crowned

May 21, 2018

NAMPA, Idaho - The Idaho Four-Ball Championships were held May 19-20 at RedHawk Golf Course in Nampa. The largest championship event of the year had full fields in the Amateur, Womens, and Senior Divisions.

Defending champions Hunter Ostrom and Phil Kennedy took home the Amateur Four-Ball Championship in a playoff against Dean Park and Kenny Walker. Ostrom and Kennedy started Sunday's final round 2 shots back of the leaders, and knew they would have to score well to win. Starting on 7, the team didn't have a perfect start, but bounced back from a bogey on 10 with birdies on the tough 12th hole and the 14th hole. An eagle on the Par 5 1st hole brought them to -5, and a long string of pars by Kennedy kept the team in contention down the stretch, culminating in a birdie by both players on 6. Behind them were Dean Park and Kenny Walker, who were playing in the final group. Walker's eagle on the second to last hole of the day proved to be crucial, and a final round 66 was enough to force a playoff. Park and Walker made par on the first playoff hole and Ostrom, a sophomore at Notre Dame, was left with a 5-foot birdie putt for the Championship which he delivered.

In the Womens Division, Kareen Markle and Stacey Camara came from behind to force a playoff with Kris Fenwick and Anne Williamson where Markle & Camara won on the fourth playoff hole. Markle and Camara came out hot, shooting -3 on the front nine. A rough back nine start was mitigated by birdies on 14 and 17, and a solid round of 67 gave Markle and Camara the lead in the clubhouse. The final group of Fenwick/Williamson and Henley Rauch had final rounds of 70 and 69 respectively, which was enough for a 3-way playoff. All groups had pars on the 1st playoff hole, but on the 2nd hole a tough break proved too much to overcome for Henley and Rauch as they could not match the pars of Markle/Camara and Fenwick/Williamson. Pars again at the 3rd hole sent the playoff to the challenging par-3 4th hole. Camara's shot landed to about 5 feet, and she was able to sink the birdie putt to win the Womens Four-Ball Championship. 

The Senior Four-Ball Championship was closely contested, and it was the team of Jay Sutton and Dan Pickens who came out on top over their final pairing opponents Mike Rawls and Rod Skyles. A -3 start on the first 12 holes by Sutton and Pickens sent the duo into the final 6 holes up by one stroke. A Rawls eagle on 1 tied the match back up, but it was a 30-foot bomb for birdie on 4 by Sutton to take the lead that was the highlight of the day. The two teams matched birdies on 5, and Sutton and Pickens were able to make par on the 6th hole to seal the victory.

For full results please click here.

For a photo gallery of the champions click here.

 

Travers and Mitsunaga Advance Through US Open Local Qualifier

May 15, 2018

CALDWELL, Idaho - Conditions were perfect at Timberstone Golf Course in Caldwell for Monday’s US Open Local Qualifier. Scores in the red were plentiful, but it was Boise’s Kyle Mitsunaga and Nick Travers who came out on top- each shooting a 6-under par 66 to claim spots in the US Open Sectional Qualifier.

Mitsunaga, a former Boise State golfer, was red hot on the front nine, carding four birdies and an eagle to make the turn at 6-under. Scoring slowed on the back nine for Mitsunaga with only one birdie and one bogey, but a key putt on hole 15 to save par kept the lead intact. 

Travers also had an impressive start. After an eagle two on the par 4 first hole, Travers was able to string together 3 more birdies to close out the front nine with a 33. On the back nine, Travers bounced back from a double-bogey on the par 3 13th hole with birdies on 4 out of the last 5 holes. Travers currently works as a teaching instructor at Hillcrest Country Club in Boise.

Two alternate spots were available, and a playoff was needed for three players tied at 67 to claim those spots. Donny Hopoi of Aiea, Hawaii claimed the first with a birdie on the third playoff hole and Zach Rawls of Boise claimed the second alternate spot.

Local Qualifying is the first step towards acquiring a spot in the US Open. Monday’s qualifiers will advance to one of 12 sites for Sectional Qualifying. The US Open is held in June this year at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY.

Click here for complete scores and results.

  • PGA Rocky Mountain Section
  • GHIN
  • USGA
  • First Tee
  • PNGA