Csipkes Grinds Out First Title at Nebraska Senior Amateur
Final Round Conducted Thursday at Champions Run in Omaha
OMAHA (June 30, 2022) - Gretna's Brian Csipkes was grinding on Thursday during the final round of the 24th Nebraska Senior Amateur Championship at Champions Run in Omaha, and secured his first NGA title.
Csipkes, who turned 50 last year, won in just his second try at a senior championship. It was another hot and breezy day at Champions Run, but several players caught fire early, and Csipkes had to fight back to claim the victory. He eventually posted a final round 73 (+1) to win by one stroke with a 144 (E) total.
It couldn't have been a better start for Csipkes though, as he opened with a birdie on the first hole to move to 2-under, but putting woes dropped him back with bogeys on Nos. 4, 7 and 8. Meanwhile, the two-time defending champion, Ed Wyatt of Lincoln, was on fire and making a run. Wyatt, who started the day three strokes back at 3-over, made four birdies on the front nine. With his birdie on No. 9, Wyatt posted a front nine 32 (-4) and had taken over the lead at 1-under.
Bennington's Steve Buroker and Omaha's Patrick Duffy, playing alongside Csipkes in the final group, made their own runs. Duffy made two early birdies to get to even-par, but four bogeys in a seven-hole stretch dropped him too far back. Buroker buried a long birdie putt on No. 10 to tie Wyatt for the lead at even-par.
A few other players were in the mix as well, including four-time champion John Sajevic of Fremont, who made two birdies over his final five holes, but three bogeys as well. Omaha's Charlie Burt finished strong too, but ran out of holes to catch the leaders.
Ultimately, it turned into a three-man race, with Csipkes, Wyatt and Buroker trading the lead late in the back nine. Buroker briefly held the lead after Wyatt bogeyed No. 16, but Csipkes threw a dart into No. 15 and made birdie to tie him, while Wyatt followed up with a birdie on the par-5 17th to make it a three-way tie.
However, it was the steadiest golfer who came out on top. Csipkes made three-straight pars to finish, while Buroker lost his tee shot on No. 17, and still managed to save bogey. Wyatt bogeyed the 18th hole to get into the clubhouse at 1-over par. So, it came down to the closing hole, and Buroker's birdie chip slid by and Csipkes made a great two-putt par for the win.
Wyatt and Buroker finished in a tie for runner-up honors at 145 (+1). Wyatt shot one of just two rounds under-par in the final round, a 70 (-2), while Buroker posted a 73 (+1). Burt was the other round under-par, a 71 (-1), which left him in fourth at 146 (+2).
Sajevic notched yet another Top 5 finish, tying for fifth at 148 (+4) with Duffy and Kevin Kusleika of Bennington. Valley's Dave Greenwood was eighth at 150 (+6) and Omaha's Rob Mullin was a stroke back in ninth at 151 (+7). La Vista's Craig Bakke rounded out the Top 10 at 152 (+8).
Csipkes also won the 50-57 Age Division, with Fremont's Stan Darling taking the 58-64 Age Division with a 152 (+8) total. Sajevic won his age division for the fifth straight year, and the eighth time overall, taking the 65-71 Age Division with his 148 (+4) total. The new 72 and Over Age Division was on by Omaha's Tom Olson. Olson, who won the 2003 Nebraska Senior Amateur, shot his age (76) on Wednesday and bested it on Thursday, shooting 76 (+4) and 75 (+3) to finish with a 151 (+7) total.
The scoring page is available on the championship website below, along with additional information.
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.