Eight Remain at Nebraska Match Play Championship
OMAHA (June 12, 2019) - Eight players remain at the 52nd Nebraska Match Play Championship after the first two rounds of matches at The Players Club in Omaha on Wednesday.
The No. 1 seed Tanner Owen, a Husker golfer, survived two difficult matches that both went to the 18th hole. Owen faced Gretna’s Michael Croker in the Round of 32. Croker earned the No. 32 this morning in a resumption of a playoff that was suspended from Tuesday night. He looked to be out of the playoff on the first hole of the morning, but holed an incredible pitch shot from behind the green, in the native grass on No. 4. The hole-out gave Croker the final spot over Elkhorn’s Luke Gutschewski, and he went on to give Owen a good match, with Owen winning the 18th hole to advance, 1 up.
Owen then faced Lincoln’s Jay Moore, a former Husker football player, in the Round of 16 and had his hands full again. Moore held a 3 up lead after 10 holes, but that’s when Owen grabbed the momentum, winning five of the next six holes to take the lead, and closed out the match with a par on No. 18 to win 1 up. He’ll face Omaha’s Dan Huston in the Quarterfinals. Huston cruised in both of his matches, winning each 5 and 4.
It’ll be a rematch of the Nebraska Four-Ball playoff just over a month ago in the next Quarterfinal, as Bennington’s William Amundsen and Elkhorn’s Ryan Nietfeldt will square up again. Nietfeldt holed an incredible flop shot for eagle on the 18th hole to win that playoff in April. Amundsen defeated his partner from that playoff, Brian Csipkes of Gretna, 1 up in the Round of 16 to get the rematch. Nietfeldt, the 2003 champion, had a rematch of his own, taking on the 1989 and 1996 champion John Sajevic of Fremont. Nietfeldt and Sajevic faced each other in the 1996 Nebraska Match Play Final at Highland Country Club in Omaha, and Sajevic won that match, 4 and 3. This time, it was Nietfeldt who came out on top, winning 5 and 4.
In the third Quarterfinal, Grand Island’s Cade McCallum will take on Omaha’s Cole Grandfield. Both players won in extra holes during the Round of 16, with McCallum surviving a furious comeback from Imperial’s Mitchell Klooz, and Grandfield defeating fellow The Players Club member Matt Petersen of Omaha.
Another past champion is in the final Quarterfinal. Omaha’s Andy Sajevic made it through a tough match against Bennington’s Steve Buroker, 1 up, in the Round of 32. Then the 2013 champion rolled in the Round of 16, defeating Grand Island’s Glenn Bills, 6 and 4. Sajevic will face Aurora’s Caleb Badura, who took down the 2004 champion Travis Minzel of Lincoln, 3 and 2, and then Omaha’s AJ Nolin, 1 up.
The Quarterfinals begin at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, with the Semifinals scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. The updated match play bracket 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.