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Chou wins Iowa Women’s Am, Henson 13th

PHOTO COURTESY THE IOWA GOLF ASSOCIATION - Iowa State senior-to-be Joy Chou holds the trophy after winning the 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur golf tournament on Wednesday at Elmwood Country Club. Chou shot a 7-over-par 217 over the three-day, 54-hole tournament to outlast her sister, Ruby, by one stroke.

Joy Chou didn’t know where she stood on the leaderboard most of the day in the final round of the 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur, but the person she was locked in a duel with she knew all too well.

Joy and her sister and fellow Iowa State University golfer Ruby Chou battled back and forth all day Wednesday at Elmwood Country Club before overtaking her on the final hole with a two-stroke swing.

Joy, with a birdie on the par-4 18th hole, passed up Ruby to win the 96th Iowa Women’s Amateur and lead a Cyclone sweep across the top four spots of the tournament.

Ruby took the lead from her sister midway through Wednesday’s final round, thanks to a 3-under-par 32 on the front nine. Joy carried a three-stroke advantage on her sister going into the final 18 holes, but that disappeared after a double-bogey 6 on the 10th hole.

Joy buckled down to record seven-straight pars to remain just one shot back of her sister heading into the home hole.

Ruby’s long birdie putt on No. 17 looked to be the difference, giving her a one-stroke head, but after a wayward tee shot she found herself scrambling to make par on 18. Meanwhile Joy hit a drive to just short of the green and chipped to almost tap-in distance.

When Ruby’s par attempt came up short, Joy calmly rolled in her birdie putt for a two-shot swing on the final hole and the win. Ruby’s 2-under 68 was the low round of the tournament, but just one shot shy of taking her sister into a playoff for the title.

“I wasn’t really paying attention to the scoreboard,” Joy said. “I didn’t want to think too much. I knew Ruby, my sister, was playing well today.”

Joy, who tied for second last year in this event, finished with scores of 71-76-70–217 on a golf course that didn’t give up good scores easily.

“This is pretty cool,” Joy said. “I was guessing we were close (going into 18). I had to be aggressive and maybe have a chip to make a birdie to win the tournament. The course is really nice, tough, but it was fun (to play).”

Amelia Mehmet-Grohn shot 223 to finish six strokes back for third place, and fellow Cyclone golfer Taglao Jeeravivitaporn tied for fourth with a 228.

Marshalltown High School sophomore-to-be Amber Henson tied for 13th place over the three-day, 54-hole tournament. Henson finished at 30-over-par with her rounds of 79-81-80–240.

The Bobcat standout carded 12 pars during her opening round, and she managed to birdie No. 11 on day two and No. 7 on day three. Henson parred four holes — 5, 9, 17 and 18 — all three rounds.

Conrad native Lauren Anderson, who will be a sophomore at Grand View University in the fall, placed 30th in the championship division as well. Anderson finished at 79-over 289, closing with her best round of 88 on Wednesday.

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