Badura Cruises to Nebraska Match Play Title
OMAHA (June 14, 2019) - It was the fifth largest winning margin in a 36-hole Final, as Aurora’s Caleb Badura cruised to win the 52nd Nebraska Match Play Championship, 9 and 7 over Omaha’s Dan Huston, on Friday at The Players Club in Omaha.
It was a tough start for Huston, who lost his opening tee shot in the native grass right of the first fairway. He eventually conceded the hole to Badura, but bounced right back with a birdie on No. 2 to tie the match. Huston then took the lead on No. 4, when Badura hit his tee shot out-of-bounds, but he would soon lose the lead and never regain it, winning just two holes the rest of the way. Badura won the par-4 sixth hole with a par to tie the match, then won three straight holes, Nos. 8, 9 and 10, to take a 3 up lead. He then rolled in back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, making it five wins in six holes, to push his lead to 5 up.
Huston came back with a great second shot on the par-5 15th hole to about 15 feet, and two-putted for birdie to cut the lead to 4 up. He made a great sand save on the par-3 16th to tie the hole, and the two would also tie the final two holes of the morning round to leave Badura with the 4 up lead after the first 18 holes.
Badura wasted no time in extending his lead during the second 18, using a hot putter to win the first three holes and push his lead to 7 up. He went on to win five of the first seven holes, and could have easily won all seven, lipping out a birdie putt on No. 4, and nearly holing his approach shot on No. 5, but he parred both and held a 9 up lead after 25 holes.
Huston then hit one of his best shots of the day on the par-3 eighth, sticking his tee shot to within 10-feet of the difficult back-right hole location. He rolled in the birdie putt to cut the lead to 8 up, but the two tied the next two holes, and Huston hit his drive into the penalty area left of No. 11 fairway. The ball was found, and he advanced it into the front greenside bunker, but couldn’t convert his par, and he conceded Badura’s birdie putt and the match.
Badura was on a record-tying three Kansas-Nebraska Junior Cup teams, and he was the low junior at the 2018 Nebraska Amateur Championship, but this is his first NGA title. He also finished runner-up at the 2018 Nebraska Junior Amateur.
The final match play bracket and more is available on 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.