Sports

Jason Urdahl finds his groove after slow start, moves into 2nd after 1st day of Iowa City Am

Iowa City's Jason Urdahl hits out of a sand trap on hole 15 during the CR-IC Ryder Cup at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa C
Iowa City's Jason Urdahl hits out of a sand trap on hole 15 during the CR-IC Ryder Cup at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City on Sunday, August 27, 2017. (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Jason Urdahl had to feel like he was losing against himself Friday morning at Pleasant Valley Golf Club.

He followed a bogey on hole No. 1 with a double-bogey on No. 2 during the first round of the Iowa City Golf Association’s Men’s City Amateur event.

“Maybe I just needed more coffee to wake up a little bit,” he joked. “The first couple of swings I just wasn’t ready to go.”

Eventually, Urdahl, an insurance agent who moved to Iowa City from Mason City after graduating from North Iowa Area Community College in 2009, found his groove and posted a 2-under-par 70 that put him toward the top of the leaderboard.

Urdahl trails Coby Thompson (68) of North Liberty by two strokes.

“It’s great to be there,” Urdahl said, “but I’d rather be leading on the third day.”

Urdahl, an ICGA board member who said he has been “golfing since birth,” grew up playing at Highland Park in Mason City with his dad Jay and his brothers Jacob and Derrick.

“We play a lot of tournaments together as a family during the summer,” Urdahl said. “We jokingly call it the Urdahl family tour.”

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Urdahl will need to channel some of his tournament experience from traveling the state with his family if he hopes to come out on top with the Men’s City Am, which today moves to Saddleback Ridge in Solon before finishing Sunday at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville.

“(Today) you have to go after it again,” Urdahl said.

“Saddleback Ridge has more par-5s, which, to me, means more scoring opportunities. I think someone is going to go low in the morning when the course is softer.”

So what will Urdahl need to card to stay in the hunt?

“Something around par will keep me in contention, no question,” he said.

If that happens and Urdahl finds himself with a trophy Sunday, he’s not sure how he’ll react. “Ask me Sunday,” he said.

Regardless of the winner, with 146 golfers entered the Iowa City Golf Association will be able to continue its main objective as a 501-3-C nonprofit. That goal is to “promote interest, enthusiasm and support for the game of golf among all golfers in the greater Iowa City/Coralville area,” while also supplying two local high school golfers with $1,500 scholarship opportunities each year.

Comments: justin.webster@thegazette.com

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