Midwest Junior Championship
June 30 - July 1, 2014
University of Iowa Finkbine Golf Course
Iowa City, Iowa
GOLFWEEK ranked - AJGA PBE Stars* - Junior Golf Scoreboard ranked
Holmgren & Seiser Outlast Weather, Strong Fields for Wins
University of Iowa signee Jack Holmgren (Wayzata, MN) and Class of 2016 member Paige Seiser (Waukee, IA) both outlasted strong fields and Mother Nature to capture victories in the 2014 Midwest Junior Championship. Due to weather conditions, the tournament was shortened to 36 holes with 18 holes being played on both Monday and Tuesday. Players were originally scheduled to play 36 holes Monday with the final 18 being played Tuesday morning. A small storm delayed the start Monday morning, but the skies cleared and allowed most players to finish their first round and get started on their second round. Around 3:00pm, play was stopped as another storm approached the area. What was originally thought to be an hour or so delay, turned into a stoppage of play for the first day as Iowa City received winds of up to 80 mph at one point and 4.25" of rain in a short time.
Holmgren got off to a quick start with birdies on 4 of his first 5 holes during Monday's first round. The 2013 MJC Runner-up made 2 more birdies and 2 bogies to post a first round score of 4-under 68 and take a 3 shot lead over Jack Kennedy of Bettendorf, IA and fellow Hawkeye signee Sam Meuret of Brunswick, NE. Brady Quakenbush (Normal, IL), John Walsh (Des Moines, IA) and Arizona High School State Champion Ben Harden (Phoenix, AZ) were another shot back at even par 72. Quakenbush and Kennedy had to come back Tuesday morning to finish their first rounds on Tuesday morning due to rain stopping play Monday afternoon.
Holmgren started the final round with a birdie on the par-5 2nd hole while many of those in close pursuit made early birdies on what turned out to be an amazingly dry course given the circumstances. Despite a double bogey on #7 and a bogey on #10, Holmgren birdied #15 and #18 to finish the second round at even par 72 and a 6 shot victory. The round of the day was produced by Iowa commit Matthew Walker (Ottumwa, IA) with his 3-under par 69, which included an eagle 3 on the par-5 15th hole. His great second round was good enough to propel him into a tie for 3rd place with Quakenbush, 1 shot behind Meuret. 2013 MJC Champion and Stanford signee Jeff Swegle (West Des Moines, IA) finished 1 shot behind them in 5th place after posting two rounds of 74.
The Girls Division produced some solid play on the 5,995 yard layout as well. University of Northern Iowa signee Paige Van dyk (Tama, IA) and Iowa State University signee MJ Kamin (Cedar Rapids, IA) joined 2013 MJC Champion Sydney Bormann (Parkston, SD) atop the leaderboard with scores of 77. After being 3-over after 5 holes, Kamin got things going with an eagle 3 on the par-5 15th and a birdie on the par-4 16th. Two shots behind that trio were University of Oklahoma commit and 2-time Oklahoma State Champion Sydney Youngblood (Durant, OK) and Waukee standout Paige Seiser.
The 23 girls players got started on their second round and played anywhere from 3-7 holes before play was halted for the day.
Starting on #10, things really started to heat up during the final round with 9 girls within 4 shots of the lead. After the turn, Bormann and Seiser were tied for the lead with Kamin one shot back and Youngblood and Samantha Smith (Bellair, TX) only two shots back. Kamin took a quick lead with a birdie on #1 coupled with bogies by the two leaders. A bogey by Kamin on #3 and a birdie by Seiser on #4 gave Seiser the lead back. Kamin quickly tied things up with a biride on #5 though. Seiser made key pars on #6-8 to regain a two shot lead going into the final hole. Despite a bogey on the last hole, Seiser finished with a great 75 in the final round and earned a one shot victory over Kamin. Bormann finished two shots back of Seiser in 3rd place. Rounding out the top 5 was class of 2017 member Emma Whitaker (Wichita, KS) and Smith, four and six shots back respectively.
The tournament staff would like to thank all of the players, their families, and our wonderful partners for all of their support to make the 2014 Midwest Junior Championship so successful. The heros of the week were without a doubt the talented grounds crew at Finkbine Golf Course as they worked extremely hard to give us such a great golf course in less than ideal circumstances. We wish everyone a great finish to 2014 and hope to see you June 29-30, 2015 at Finkbine for another exciting addition of the Midwest Junior Championship