96th Northwest Am begins next Thursday

Sunday, July 22, 2018
Last year’s Northwest Amateur Golf Tournament champion Ian Snyman, of Bellville, South Africa, holds his follow through on the 10th hole at Spencer Golf and Country Club during the Championship flight of the 95th Northwest Am. Snyman will not be returning to defend his crown against a field of 384 golfers for this year’s tournament which begins Thursday, Aug. 2.
File photo

The 96th Northwest Amateur Golf Tournament in Spencer tees off next Thursday, Aug. 2 at Spencer Golf and Country Club. The tournament has been held at SGCC since 1921. It was the second golf tournament ever played in Iowa with the Iowa Amateur being first. The field consists of 350 to 400 golfers each year and continues as the only four day, 72-hole championship played in the state of Iowa. Not only do players come from all over the state of Iowa, but there are also players coming from about 20 other states across the country in addition to two international players.

Golfing in the Northwest Am is a summer tradition for a lot of the golfers with some having played in the tournament for over 50 straight years.

Registration for this year’s tournament opened on May 1 and by June 11, the field of 384 golfers was full. The age of the golfers ranges from as young as 15 years old to 77 years old. Sixty-nine of the 384 golfers will be playing in the Northwest Am for the first time.

Players will play two qualifying rounds with their first round being on Thursday, Aug. 2 or the morning of Friday, Aug. 3. Their second round will be played on Friday afternoon or Saturday. After all qualifying rounds have been played, a cut will be made for Sunday play.

The championship flight will consist of the low 24 qualifying scores plus any ties. Championship flight scores are usually at par (144) or better. The Championship flight will play 36 holes on Sunday with prizes being awarded to the 20 low 72-hole scores.

After the championship flight has been set, there will be six more flights of 16 golfers each who will play an 18-hole final round on Sunday morning. The total of their 36-hole qualifying scores and the 18-hole final round score will determine awards for six places in each of the six flights. A total qualifying score of 155 or better will usually make the cut to play on Sunday.

This last year has been a great year for the Northwest Am and its former players. There have been international players in the tournament the last few years, including last year's champion, Ian Snyman from Bellville, South Africa. This year the two international players are from Caracas, Venezuela and Adelaide, Australia. The 2018 NCAA Division I men's golf champion, Broc Everett from West Des Moines, played in the Northwest Am in 2013 and 2014. Ryan Vermeer, the 1999 Northwest Am champion, won the 2018 PGA Professional Championship which earned him his second start in the PGA Championship. There were two former Northwest Am players playing in this year's British Open Championship. Erik van Rooyen from Oudtshoorn, South Africa who played in the NW Am in 2012, finished The Open Championship tied for 17th with a score of 2-under par. The second Northwest Am player playing in The Open this year is Brady Schnell, born in Spencer. Schnell is a Web.com Tour winner of the Wichita Open and is currently sitting inside the Web.com top 25. He played in the NW Am in 2000 through 2004.

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