Riverside, Iowa – Ryan Zech, Sean Busch and Carson Schaake are all tied for first place after round one of the 85th Iowa Open. The three leaders carded 6-under-par 66, and hold one-stroke leads entering the second round.
Zech of Kearney, Missouri recorded a bogey-free first round with three birdies on each nine. A native of Lauderdale By-The-Sea, Florida, Busch carded a bogey-free front nine with five birdies, including three in-a-row on Nos. 7-9 to make the turn at 5-under-par (31). He added two birdies and a bogey on the back nine to finish at 6-under-par (66). Schaake carded a bogey-free round with five birdies (two on the front, four on the back), including two-in-a-row on Nos. 10-11 and 15-16.
“The conditions were good, the greens were soft, so you could fire right at them,” said Busch. “I got hot making the turn. I made three birdies in a row, and I was driving really well of the tee all day, so that made it much easier. I had it rolling pretty much the whole round, besides that bogey there at the end, but I saved my pars and got a good round in the clubhouse.”
“I hit the ball really well today,” said Schaake. “I didn’t have any bogeys and I hit a lot of greens. The greens were tough to read and had a lot of break to them, but I hit a lot of good putts and got some of them to fall. I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Tripp Kinney, Matthew Jennings and Kaylor Steger are all T4, one-stroke back of the leaders, with first round scores of 5-under-par 67.
Iowa PGA Member, Tracy Vest is one of three players tied for seventh place. Vest carded a bogey-free round with four birdies including two-in-a-row on Nos. 3 and 4 and 11 and 12 for a 4-under 68 round.
“I played well today. It started off with me getting pretty lucky on the first hole to make par and that kicked started the whole round,” said Vest. “I had a couple birdies on three and four and a lot pars. I had a lot of good looks for birdie today. It’s a pretty good round when I can get four birdies and no bogeys.”
Iowa PGA Member John Bermel is the Senior Division leader following a 6-under-par 66 in the first round. Bermel carded a bogey-free round with six birdies, including two-in-a-row on Nos. 14-15, to give himself a four-stroke lead over the field.
“The golf course played really well today,” said Bermel. “I hit my driver well and seemed to get into a lot of wedges. I hit a couple shots really close, so I could hardly miss the putts. I thought the course played nice.”
Iowa PGA Member Bryan Luedtke is in second place in the senior division following his 2-under par 70. Luedtke tallied four birdies, including three-in-a-row on Nos. 10-12. Joe Palmer and Iowa PGA Member, Bryan Haas are T3 at 1-under-par 71.
The first round of the 85th Iowa Open also featured a hole-in-one. Thomas Strandemo of Delano, Minnesota aced the par-3 eighth hole from 162 yards away with a 9-iron.
The second round of the 85th Iowa Open takes place tomorrow at Blue Top Ridge in Riverside, Iowa. Groups will start off Nos. 1 and 10 at 7:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. The Iowa PGA will provide tournament updates on its iowapga.com website and social media pages.