Atkinson Birdies His Way to Junior Match Play Title
MCCOOK (June 25, 2021) - Omaha's Christopher Atkinson saved his best for last, cruising to win the Final of the 32nd Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship, over Omaha's Connor Steichen, 5 and 4, at Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook on Friday.
Atkinson, a future Omaha Maverick, made five birdies in 14 holes to secure his first NGA title in his last summer of junior golf. He started the birdie-fest early, after a long drive on the par-5 second hole, he hit his approach shot onto the green and had an easy two-putt birdie.
Atkinson's wedge game was sharp and he displayed that on No. 4, hitting his approach shot to within a few feet. The putt dropped and he was 2 up over Steichen. He also won holes No. 6 and 7, and nearly holed his third shot on the par-3 eighth hole with a 60-degree wedge from 78 yards. The ball landed behind the hole and spun back past the lip of the hole to three feet, for another birdie to go 5 up.
Steichen won No. 9 with a great sand save, but Atkinson answered right back by rolling in another birdie from inside five feet on No. 10 to push his lead back to 5 up. Steichen picked up another win on No. 11 with a par, but Atkinson threw the dagger on No. 13. His approach shot climbed up the hill on the par-4, and finished about 18-feet from the hole. The putter stayed hot and he rolled in his fifth birdie to regain his 5-up lead.
On the par-5 14th, Atkinson had another look at birdie, and left it an inch short, but it was enough to close out the match and clinch the title.
The final bracket is available under the Scoring tab of the championship website below.
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.