2016 BROKERS INTERNATIONAL IOWA OPEN IN THE BOOKS
By Susan Thompson
Rain hit Lake Panorama National Friday afternoon, which impacted all three days of the 2016 Brokers International Iowa Open. Yet Nathan Stamey of Bluffton, S.C., shot 13-under-par to win the professional open division, a trophy and a $25,000 check. Scott Gutschewski of Elkhorn, Neb., was one stroke back and took second place.
The rain kept sixteen groups from finishing the first round, so those players had to return Saturday to complete their remaining holes. That pushed Saturday’s start time to 10 a.m., and despite their best effort, two groups couldn’t finish because of darkness. Those two groups returned at 7 a.m. Sunday to complete their second round.
A total of 83 players made the cut for Sunday’s third round. With a delayed start time, players were sent off both the front and back nines to ensure the tournament could be completed in a timely manner.
During an awards ceremony on the 18th green, Stamey praised the condition of the LPN golf course, local volunteers, the Iowa PGA and LPN staff, and thanked Brokers International, the tournament’s lead sponsor. He also thanked Scott and Becky Rolfes, who hosted him in their home during the tournament.
“I can’t say enough good things about this tournament. The volunteers were so helpful, and very knowledgeable about the game of golf,” he said. “The grounds crew did a great job keeping the course in good condition, despite all the rain and traffic.”
Stamey, age 30, turned pro after graduating in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He played on the pro tour for four years, but didn’t have the success he hoped. So he took a job as an assistant pro at a Hilton Head golf club, kept working on his game, and just three weeks ago decided to try some tournaments again.
“My friend, Zach Byrd, suggested I play in the Iowa Open,” Stamey said in an interview after the awards ceremony. “He has played in it several times, said Lake Panorama is a great course, and free housing was available. So I decided to give it a try.”
Although Stamey has made some money playing golf as a professional, the $25,000 Iowa Open prize is the most he has won in a single tournament. “This definitely helps,” he says. “Now I’m going to keep playing some Monday qualifiers and mini-tours, and try to get into Q-School this fall.”
Jon Brown of Clive was the low amateur in the open division with a score of 217, one over par. Brown told the crowd gathered around the 18th green he hadn’t played at Lake Panorama National for a few years. “What a treat to be back here playing in the Iowa Open,” he said. “The volunteers did a great job, and the grounds crew had the course in tremendous shape, despite the rain. I look forward to playing here again next year.”
Mike McCoy of Des Moines was one stroke behind Brown to take second place in the amateur open division.
Stuart Hendley of Midland, Texas, won the professional senior division with a 217, one over par. After his trophy presentation, Hendley said this was the first time he had played in the Iowa Open. “This golf course is beautiful, and you have the best volunteers I’ve ever seen at a tournament,” he said. “In fact, my wife and I said if Iowa could do something about your cold winters, we might just move here.”
Chuck Moran of Grinnell was one stroke behind Hendley to take second place in the senior professional division. Bill Manske of Algona took first place in the amateur senior division with a 222. Ron Peterson of Urbandale took second place.
This was the seventh year for the Brokers International Iowa Open at Lake Panorama National. During the awards ceremony, Kelly McCarty announced the company will sponsor the event again in 2017.
Gary Soreide, local tournament director, thanked the McCarty family for their support. He introduced committee chairs who led the volunteer effort, and said an estimated 175 volunteers were involved.
Troy Christensen, Iowa Section PGA executive director, praised local tournament volunteers and sponsors. “Thanks to the Lake Panorama National grounds crew, pro shop staff and volunteers. You make the Iowa PGA look good,” he said. Christensen also thanked Brokers International for their seventh year as lead sponsor, and McCarty’s announcement the sponsorship will continue in 2017.
Click Here for complete results of the 2016 Iowa Open.