The three events that make up the IGA Match Play Championships produced three first-time winners of their respective divisions at Tippecanoe C.C. in Monticello.
In the IGA Match Play Championship, it was Zach Schroeder who came through stroke play qualifying as the medalist and went on to win five matches en route to his first career Indiana Golf Association victory on a course he’s familiar with. “I was very confident,” said the rising Junior at Fort Wayne about playing a familiar layout. “I know the course, so I could be aggressive in spots which gave me a leg up on some of the lines and course knowledge.” Schroeder trailed in each of his final three matches. “All those guys had me down,” said Schroeder about playing from behind, “so I had moments where I had to persevere.” In the end, Schroeder did persevere defeating Nathan Cunningham in the final match 1up. As for capturing his first career IGA victory, “It feels really great to get a win under my belt and do what I knew I was capable of doing,” said Schroeder. “This assures me that when I have my game I can definitely do some damage out there.”
In the Senior Match Play, the winner’s name was familiar, but the format was different. “Up until this year I hated match play,” said newly crowned champion Terry Werner with a grin, “but apparently I like it now.” Werner was coming off a win at the Chicago District Senior Amateur Championship and rolled that match play success into his first ever IGA Senior Match Play title. Werner, the reigning IGA Senior Player of the Year defeated Pete Swanson in the final and credited his success to great ball striking all tournament long. “I hit the ball really well,” said Werner. “I putted just okay and chipped okay, but I hit the ball really well and kept it in play all the time.” As usual, the Senior field was littered with some of the best players in the state. “Any time you can win with this caliber of field it means a lot,” said Werner. “I’ve been fortunate.”
The winner of the 2005 Senior Match Play, Mike Bell notched his first ever win in the Super
Senior Match Play for players 65 and older. Bell, an Indiana Golf Hall of Fame member, has won many IGA events, but this was his first since 2013. “It’s always great to win a tournament against good opponents,” said Bell. “At 70 years old it is still fun to compete and get nervous.” Defending Champion Jerry Crouch led Bell 1up with three holes to play in the final match, but a birdie on 16 helped Bell force a 19th
-hole where he made another birdie to win the match. “I knew Jerry wasn’t going to make any bogeys, so I knew I had to make birdies to win,” said Bell.
IGA Match Play Bracket
Super Senior Bracket