Former Hawkeyes all-American leads quartet into Iowa Golf Hall of Fame

Danny Lawhon
Hawk Central

A former Iowa All-American men's golfer and decadeslong club pro headlines the 2019 induction class to the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame.

Brown Deer Golf Club (Coralville) head professional Sean McCarty is among four new honorees to the hall, the Iowa Golf Association announced Monday.

A three-time Iowa high school state champion while at West Branch, McCarty, 46, was a member of the 1992 Big Ten Conference championship Iowa golf team, and he earned all-American status in 1995. In 2016, he became the first golfer inducted into the University of Iowa's athletics hall of fame.

He has been dominant in Iowa PGA events, earning Iowa section player of the year honors nine times and has been named assistant player of the year six times. He has won four Iowa Opens (1997, 2005, '08, '13), four Herman Sani Tournaments (2007, '08, '10, '16), the 2012 Iowa Section Championship and the 1998 Waterloo Open.

Liberty golf coach Sean McCarty announces results to players during a golf meet on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville, Iowa.

McCarty experienced somewhat of a professional resurgence in 2018, making the 36-hole cut at the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic and finishing second at the PGA Professional Championship. That placement earned McCarty entry into the PGA Championship in St. Louis, one of the four men's golf major tournaments and McCarty's first appearance in a major since 2003. He missed the cut by three strokes.

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Joining McCarty in the hall are:

  • Jill Blackwood, past Iowa Women's Golf Association president. The 71-year-old has spent countless hours introducing golf to those in the Burlington area, particularly children. She spent more than three decades in IWGA leadership, first as district chair in 1985; the board of directors beginning in 1991; and the organization's president from 2002-05. Blackwood has participated in four United States Golf Association women's championships and was also the Burlington high school girls' golf coach from 1977-82. She earned a state title as coach in 1980.
  • Rick Tegtmeier, director of grounds, Des Moines Golf & Country Club. The 59-year-old has been working in the superintendent business for more than 45 years. He has two two tours of duty at the West Des Moines property, first from 1983-89 and then again since 2006. Tegtmeier oversaw the successful implementation of the 2017 Solheim Cup, a biennial series of matches featuring top female players from the United States and Europe, on the property. He is currently one of 74 people worldwide to be designated a "master greenkeeper."
  • Pat Willcox (posthumous), professional golfer. Willcox, who spent time in both Des Moines and Waterloo, won the Iowa Open three consecutive times from 1940-42 and the Iowa Masters four times (1940, '45, '47, '51). He also captured the Waterloo Open in 1938 and won the Cedar Rapids Open in 1944. Willcox qualified for five major championships during his career, including four U.S. Opens. He finished 23rd at the 1940 U.S. Open at Canterbury Golf Club in Ohio and 50th the next year at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. He spent time during World War II helping make bombs at the Chamberlain corporation in Waterloo. He died at age 79 in 1987.

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The four will be honored at an induction ceremony, with the time and location to be determined.