Amundsen Leads Six Players Under-Par at Nebraska Match Play
OMAHA (June 10, 2019) - Six players broke par during the first round of Stroke Play Qualifying for the 52nd Nebraska Match Play Championship at The Players Club in Omaha on Monday.
Ideal conditions brought low scores from the morning wave, with all six under-par rounds coming from that wave. Bennington’s William Amundsen led them all, making five birdies, including four on a wild back nine, where he made just three pars and shot 34 (-2). Amundsen started with a much more traditional front nine 34 (-1) that included eight pars and a birdie. His round of 68 (-3) gives him the lead after the first round in the chase for medalist honors and the No. 1 seed.
Just behind the 42-year-old Amundsen is a couple of college golfers. Fordyce’s Matthew Schaefer, who is transferring to South Dakota State University after completing his freshman year at Northeast Community College, and Husker golfer Tanner Owen both shot 69 (-2). Schaefer made three birdies and a bogey, while Owen rolled in four birdies and made a double-bogey on No. 5.
A trio of players finished two strokes back at 70 (-1), including the 2003 champion Ryan Nietfeldt of Elkhorn. Nietfeldt, who already has three wins under his belt for the year, had a nearly clean round, with two birdies and just one bogey. The leader in the NGA Point Standings is just coming off a win at the Dinsdale Classic in Grand Island, adding to his Homesteader win and dramatic walk-off win at the Nebraska Four-Ball Championship, also at The Players Club. A couple more college golfers are tied with Nietfeldt at 1-under, including Iowa Western’s Cade McCallum of Grand Island and Creighton’s Tucker Knaak of Plainview, the 2017 Nebraska Junior Amateur Champion.
The low rounds of the afternoon wave came from La Vista’s Alex Zillig, a Bellevue University golfer, and Bennington’s Steve Buroker. Both players shot even-par 71, to tie Lincoln’s Nate Vontz, another Creighton golfer, of the morning wave for seventh, three strokes back. Buroker caught fire on his second nine, the front nine at The Players Club, shooting a 32 (-3) to bounce back from a back nine 39 (+3).
Three more past champions are also right in the mix for match play, led by 1989 and 1996 champion John Sajevic of Fremont, who shot 72 (+1) and is tied with five others for 10th. His son, and the 2013 champion, Andy Sajevic of Fremont is tied for 16th at 73 (+2), along with two others, including the 2004 champion Travis Minzel of Lincoln.
After the first round, there are exactly 32 players at 4-over or better. The cut will be made to the low 32 players after the second round for the match play bracket. Pairings for the second round of qualifying are available on the championship website below, along with full first round results and more.
About the NGA
The Nebraska Golf Association, founded in 1966, is comprised of all members of public and private clubs and/or municipal or regional golf associations which utilize an approved handicap service recognized by the USGA and provided by the NGA. Our mission is to uphold and promote the game of golf and its values to all golfers in Nebraska. Among the duties of the Association include governance of member clubs and service as their handicapping and course rating authority, conduct of state golf championships, local USGA qualifying & other notable competitions, promotion of junior golf, presentation of worthwhile educational programs and support of allied golf organizations in Nebraska. The Nebraska Golf Association is an Allied Golf Association of the USGA and carries out core services including Handicap Administration and Oversight, Course Rating, Rules of Golf and Rules of Amateur Status, Tournaments and USGA Championship Qualifiers and USGA Initiatives and Community Programs.