SUBMITTED PHOTO Shirley Franey and Mike Franey, Tournament Director of the Bill Franey Open, gathers up with 2023 champion Brett Abbotts (right) following the conclusion of the golf event held on August 27 at the Carroll Country Club.

Abbotts sinks eagle to win second Franey Open


The competition was so good, that the 18th annual Bill Franey Open golf tournament had to go into playoff mode. On that first hole, an eagle from Brett Abbotts put an exclamation mark on an exciting day on the links. 

Held on August 27 at the Carroll Country Club, the latest edition of the Franey Open saw four players resorting to an extra hole to crown a champion. When the dust settled, Abbotts (32-36-35) outlasted Scott Quandt (34-35-34), Kyler Ludwig (34-33-36) and Kole Petersen (34-34-35) to win his second Franey Open title.

After 27 holes, all four were tied with a score of five under par 103.

Abbotts, who is in his second year as superintendent of the Greene County Community School District, claimed his first tournament crown since 2012. Abbotts also overcame a shoulder injury before picking up his golf game in the previous few years.

“I like the competitive aspect of (the tournament),” Abbotts said following his victory. “I have not many individual tournaments since my injury.”

According to Mike Franey, director of the tournament, the field was a strong one. In fact, one of the best since 2006 — the year when the tournament was renamed in honor of the late Bill Franey.

“I think that the even par 72 cut line for the final nine was the lowest in tournament history,” Mike Franey said. 

After going to the card off the championship flight ended with Ludwig in second, Petersen in third and Quandt — a two-time champion — in fourth.

Quandt and Jason Fisher tied for low medalist honors in the final nine with two under par 34.

Other players in the championship flight were Jason Fisher (105), Elijah Block (106), Collin Hackett (106), Cody Jaeschke (107), Kyle Atkinson (108), three-time champion Wade Pettitt (109), Paul Tigges (109) and Eric Buttenbach (113). Brett Underberg also qualified for the final nine, but did not play.

Gary Bucher won the first flight with 74, followed by John Dukes (75) and Charles Becker (75). Other players who competed in the first flight were Jeromie Kramer (75), Dean Dozier (75), Steve “Cuda” Quandt (75), John Munson (76), Troy Auen (76), Doc Flander (77), two-time champion Mike Eckerman (77), three-time champion Craig Mertz (77) and Chris Van Dyke (78).

Wade Adams won the second flight with 78, followed by Gus Collison’s second place finish of 78, and Wyatt Haukap’s third place showing with 78. Other players in the second flight were Jeromie Hinote (79), John Nepple (79), Brad Stork (79), Steve Sinnard (79), Ryan Dalhstrom (80), Tyler Auen (80), Levi Stanley (80), Lonny Lehrkamp (80) and Terry Ruchti (81).

Matt Lujano won the third flight with 81, while Aaron Rossini took second with 81 and Kevin Forke tabbed third with 82. Other players who played in the third flight were Jake Kimmes (83), Nate Mertz (83), Chad Kanne (83), Ryan Doncheskie (85), Clint Cummings (85), Tim Gute (85), Brent Henningsen (85), Tom Tait (86), and Steve Auen (87).

Joe Pawlosky won the fourth flight with 88, followed by Benet Snyder’s 88 and Pete Collison’s 88. Others who participated within the fourth flight were Jason Evers (88), Mike Franey (90), Brad Woodard (91), Joe Pick (91), Mike Killen (92), David Owens (94), Brady Underberg (95), Darrin Janning (95) and Nic Volquartsen (96).

“For the second year in a row, we had another classic finish and it was great to see several carts following the final nine and the playoff,” said Mike Franey.

The tournament attracted 61 players. It was formerly known as the Al Hoy Memorial, where Bill Franey served as tournament director for 25 years. Franey was a lineman for 31 years and served as line superintendent for another 10 years for Midland Power/Greene County REC in Jefferson.

Proceeds from the tournament support two power line scholarships given annually to a student training to be an electric lineman at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. 

The next Franey Open is set for Sunday, August 25, 2024. Mike Franey contributed to this report.


Bill Franey Open Champions

2023 — Brett Abbotts, 103

2022 — Ross Martens, 104

2021 — Elijah Block, 105

2020 — Wade Pettitt, 105

2019 — Scott Quandt, 103

2018 — Wade Pettitt, 99

2017 — Micah Destival, 105

2016 — Kirby Pettitt, rain

2015 — Mike Eckerman, 106

2014 — Craig Mertz, 106

2013 — Josh Manske, 103

2012 — Brett Abbotts, 101

2011 — Scott Quandt, 102

2010 — Aaron Ahrendsen, 105

2009 — Craig Mertz, 106

2008 — Wade Pettitt, 103

2007 — Mike Eckerman, 108

2006 — Craig Mertz, 106

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