RIVERSIDE, Iowa – The Iowa PGA Section hosted the Professional Championship at Amana Colonies Golf Club on July 23 and 24th. The field was competitive as ever throughout the top-10 in the Open Division resulting in three different playoff scenarios.
After day one of the tournament, you saw the usual names atop the leaderboard with the likes of Sean McCarty, Jeff Schmid, and Chad Proehl. McCarty held a one-stroke lead heading into the final 18 holes but one name lingered, Judd Gibb.
Gibb was on the outside looking in as he was 3-over par but there was still an outside chance he could make a move for the title. Gibb had never finished outside the top-13 in this event, winning the 2009 Iowa PGA Professional Championship.
Schmid, who had already qualified for the 53rd PGA Professional Championship was right in the mix all day long. Schmid closed out the front nine on the final day with four straight birdies. Three total players finished under-par on the final day of the tournament, Gibb and Schmid among them.
Lakeside Municipal’s Gibb put together the most impressive round of the championship when it mattered. Gibb fired off five birdies and zero bogeys for the lowest score of the tournament. When it was time to turn in scorecards close to all 57 Iowa Section Professionals huddled around scoring to see where they sat and if there would be a playoff. Anticipation grew.
Iowa PGA Tournament Director, Casey Harvey announced that there would indeed be a playoff for first place and alternate spots. Gibb and Schmid would try their hand on hole-6, a par five that had been troublesome throughout the two days of competition.
Both players hit great tee shots and approach shots but everyone knows short game is everything. Gibb chipped up onto the green for eagle and slid it past by two feet. The pressure was on Schmid as he was on the fringe a couple of feet off the green with his putter in hand. Schmid took his time to dial up the perfect a shot for the chance to win. His ball eventually rolled six feet past the cup and he missed the comeback putt for birdie.
10 years removed from Gibb’s last Iowa PGA Professional Championship he knocked down the putt to secure the Open Division and Senior Division title to earn an outright spot in the 53rd PGA Professional Championship at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas, April 26-29th.
Jay Giannetto, McCarty, Ryan McClintock, and Chad Proehl also qualified.
In the Senior Division, Gibb and Schmid went 1-2 while Proehl finished third after the first round leading the field with a 3-under-par 69. He ended up going 76-76 over the last two rounds to card 5-over-par for the tournament. In the Super Senior Division, Curt Schnell from Okoboji View GC finished first shooting 8-over-par 224, defeating the field by six strokes. Harvest Point’s Jeff Smith was runner up carding 14-over-par for the tournament. Joe Butler from Burlington GC finished third coming back to shoot 79-78 to edge Jim Henry and David Edwards by three strokes.