RIVERSIDE, Iowa – Ottumwa native, Matthew Walker in his third Professional event of his career won the Iowa Open. Walker is the first Ottumwa product since Bob Moreland won the championship in 1981.
With two holes to go, Walker held a comfortable two-stroke lead against the field. Gavin Hall of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, came blazing into the clubhouse making birdie on the 17th hole and holing out from 122 yards on the par-4 18th hole to force the playoff. Hall shot a 9-under par 63 to Walker’s 7-under par final round 65.
In the playoff, Hall hit first into a fairway bunker. Walker put his drive down the middle of the fairway and applied pressure to Hall’s 2nd shot. Hall had an awkward stance in the bunker and could only advance the ball 100 yards. Walker threw a dart to the backside of the green. Hall pitched his third shot to 15-feet. Hall two putted from there to make a bogey 5. Walker etched his name into the history books with a two-putt par from 10-feet. Walker and Hall finished the three-day tournament 13-under-par.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet”, Walker said. “It was a lot more nerve wracking than I wanted but I guess I didn’t know what to expect going into my third Professional start, so it’s really good to get the win.”
Three University of Iowa golfers played in the same tee time on the final day of the tournament. Alex and Carson Schaake joined Walker on Sunday. Alex, a current Iowa golfer put up a solid 4-under par to finish tied for fifth and won the Amateur Division by six strokes. Incoming freshman Matthew Garside out of Bettendorf, Iowa scored the best in the division on Sunday shooting 6-under-par today to finish 4-under-par for the championship.
The defending Iowa Open Champion, Dan Woltman finished third shooting even par today and 12-under par for the tournament. Woltman, birdied holes 16 and 17 to get within one-shot of the play-off. His 40-foot putt on the 18th hole finished a foot away to keep him out of the playoff.
Rob Riggins of West Des Moines, won the Pro Senior Division by three-strokes Sunday afternoon. Riggins shot 1-over-par to hold off Director of Golf at Blue Top Ridge, Bryan Haas who had tremendous day. Haas shot 3-under-par 69 to finish in second place despite a double bogey on hole-17. Bryan Luedtke shot 1-under-par for the tournament finishing tied for third with Iowa
PGA Section Champion, Judd Gibb. Johnston’s Steve Moran won the Senior Amateur shooting 5-over-par for the championship.
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