Ferrell wins PGA junior title after several close calls

WCHS senior to be fires 3-under 68 to top field at Copper Creek on Sunday

Nathan Ferrell poses with his trophy after winning the Iowa PGA Junior Tour Championship at Copper Creek Golf Club in Pleasant Hill on Sunday.

WEBSTER CITY — A summer of coming close wasn’t good enough for Nathan Ferrell. And now, it doesn’t have to be.

After a string of near misses on the Iowa junior golf circuit, the Webster City senior to be put the finishing touches on his summer season with a title at the Iowa PGA Junior Tour Championship on Sunday. He finished the 36-hole event at Copper Creek Golf Club in Pleasant Hill at even par (142) and won by five shots over runner-up Tyler Vaske of Knoxville.

“I played really well,” Ferrell, a two-time all-state golfer for Webster City, said. “I’ve played in quite a few of these tournaments and there’s some really good competition. I’ve done it too many times this summer where I’ve been in that final group and fallen short, so I wanted to end this one on top, and I did.”

Ferrell blitzed the par-71 track for a 3-under 68 during Sunday’s final round. He hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation and relied on his wedge game to get him out of several predicaments.

“I was hitting the ball well and I didn’t have any 3-putts,” Ferrell said.

It was a far cry from how the tournament began. Ferrell found himself 5-over after five holes on Saturday, but played his final 13 holes at 2-under for a 74 to position himself to make a run on Sunday.

Putting was Ferrell’s problem early in the tournament, but once he got the flat stick under control he was able to string a slew of birdies together.

“I wasn’t worried because I was hitting the ball so well,” he said. “When you go to a lot of new courses like this, all of the greens are different, so it’s tough right away. I knew once I got the speed down that I’d be fine.”

It was a bit of vindication for Ferrell, who came close to advancing to the 43rd Boys Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Ky., in early July. The top two players at the Iowa Section at Indianola Country Club advanced, but he fell in a playoff for the second spot to Ryan Rochholz of Moline, Ill.

“I wanted that one really bad,” Ferrell said. “I’m still mad about that.”

Still, the consolation prize in the form of a tournament victory isn’t bad.

Ferrell will now turn his attention to football where he’ll be the kicker for Webster City this fall.

He will enter his senior golf season next spring as one of the premier players in Class 3A. Ferrell was a top-five finisher at the state meet in 2017 when he led Webster City to a runner-up finish. He was also a member of the Lynx 2016 state championship team.