|Tournament Director Mike Franey, Shirley Franey and champion Mike Eckerman|
Mike Eckerman started the championship nine one shot behind 18 hole leader Tom Duff. Eckerman surge to the lead with a birdie on the third hole and the experienced tournament player never looked back. With only a two shot deficit Jefferson Community Golf Course general manager Micah Destival had a tough downhill eagle putt on the final hole that could have applied some pressure to the leader. In the end Destival settled for birdie and a second place finish just one shot back of the former University of Iowa golfer. Eckerman has had a very successful golfing summer with wins in the Bill Franey Open and Carroll Country Club Championship, a third place finish in the Carroll City Tourney and this week a 13th place finish in the 37th Iowa Senior Amateur Championship which was held at the Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny. “This is a great event that is sentimental to me because I get to play with many of my friends that I have played golf with over the years. It is great to see that a new generation is being started with Kyler(referring to Kyler Ludwig who recently moved back to Carroll to start his career at Olsen Muhlbauer & Company). It was cool seeing Duffer(Tom Duff) play so well.” Eckerman said. Eckerman received support from wife Stacie and daughter Brandi who rode with him on the championship nine.
Scott Quandt of Carroll finished third at 110. Quandt has finished second six times and won the tournament in 2011. Jason Fisher of Des Moines finished in 4th and Tom Duff finished in 5th.
Other golfers Carroll in the championship flight were Troy Lohman 6th, Kyler Ludwig 7th, three time champion Craig Mertz 9th, Justin Yetmar 12th, former Carroll resident Eric Buttenbach 13th, and Mike Badding 14th.
Brian “Bubba” Heisterkamp won the 1st flight. Others in the first flight were Troy Auen 77, Kuemper High School golfer Jared Tigges 78, Carroll High School golfer Colby Paulson 79, former Carroll resident John Dukes 79 and Joe Pick 79.
Kuemper High School golfer Sam Auen won the 2nd flight with a 79, Lonny Lehrkamp 2nd with a 79, Tim Gute 3rd with a 80. Other in the second flight were Chad Kanne 81, Wyatt Haukap 81, Paul Tigges 81, Benet Snyder 82, Billy Badding 83, Mike Franey 83 and Kuemper High School golfer Cole Collison 84.
Third flight golfers were Todd Koehler 89, Mike McDermott 90, Tony Tigges 91, John Brockelsby 93, Ben Badding 93, Bill Badding 94, Jim Gossett 100 and Brian Widdel 107.
“I really thought the course was in great shape.” said tournament director Mike Franey. A big thank you goes to long time greens keeper Brett Madson, Jay Goughnor, general manager Micah Destival, Jermey Hinote, Cody Renwanz for all their work in the clubhouse and on the course. Jan Whitver, Vicki Copeland, Connie Hamilton and Lynda Dukes Franey provided help with scoring and registration.
The food has always been a tradition at the open and this year did not disappoint. A big thank to Lonny Lehrkamp for the smoked pork loin and beans, Market on 30 for the potato salad, chips and cookies and of course the Jefferson ladies golf league for the delicious homemade salads.
Joe Pick and the Papa Joe Classic donated $250 towards the scholarship this year.
The tournament named after Bill Franey who passed away in May of 2006 attracted 55 players. The tournament was formerly known as the Al Hoy Memorial where Bill Franey served as the tournament director for 25 years. In 2006 the Board of Directors of the golf course renamed the tournament the Bill Franey Open. Proceeds from the tournament support a scholarship given annually to a student training to be an electric lineman at
Sheldon. Franey was a lineman for the Midland Power Coop in Northwest
Community College Jefferson
for 31 years and served as line superintendent for another 10 years.
All golfers played 18 holes then the low 16 players qualified for a final championship nine. Jason Fisher of Des Moines won the final nine medalist honors with a 2 under par 34.
“We are just so grateful for the support of this tournament” said Shirley Franey.