Gutschewski is Medalist, Three Others Advance to U.S. Open Final Qualifying
U.S. Open Local Qualifying Conducted on Wednesday at Omaha Country Club
OMAHA (May 10, 2023) - It turned out to be an ideal day at Omaha Country Club on Wednesday, and four players broke par to advance past Local Qualifying for the 2023 U.S. Open.
Elkhorn's Scott Gutschewski, fresh off a win on the Korn Ferry Tour, earned medalist honors and the first of four spots into Final Qualifying. Gutschewski fired the low round of the day, a 68 (-3) to take the first spot. He last earned medalist honors at Local Qualifying in 2017 at The Country Club of Lincoln.
Gutschewski, who picked up his third Korn Ferry Tour win last month, and first since 2008, played steady golf en route to a bogey-free round. He made three birdies, on the par-3 5th, the par-5 10th and the par-4 13th, before finishing with five-straight pars to secure his spot.
The other qualifiers had much more entertaining rounds, as Omaha's Grant Jabenis, Omaha's Alex Schaake and Bennington's Johnny Spellerberg all advanced. Jabenis cracked his driver on No. 9 tee, and with the USGA's Local Rule in place for replacing a damaged club, he was not able to replace it since it was only cracked. Instead, he played the rest of the round with his 2-iron off the tee, and still reached the green on the 313-yard par-4 13th hole off the tee and made an eagle. An important birdie from the trees left of No. 17 vaulted him to a 69 (-2) and a spot in Final Qualifying.
Schaake and Spellerberg both had clutch finishes to shoot 70 (-1) and take the final two spots. Schaake, who won the 2016 Nebraska Amateur at Omaha Country Club with a birdie on the 18th hole, performed the feat again to secure his spot in Final Qualifying for the second-straight year. He advanced through a playoff last year, but birdied the last three holes this year to advance. Schaake hit his drive well right on the closing hole, and pulled off an incredible shot through a tree to about eight feet and rolled in the birdie putt to get into red figures.
Spellerberg kept his hot streak going after winning the 22nd Nebraska Four-Ball Championship this past weekend, during which he was 11-under on his own ball. Despite not having his best game, played the back nine in 34 (-2) and converted a great up-and-down from an awkward lie on No. 18 to grab his spot. Spellerberg made just eight pars during his round, playing the par-5s in 5-under to make up for five bogeys.
The four qualifiers will play next at one of 10 Final Qualifying sites, most of which will take place on June 5. Top finishers from those sites will advance to the 123rd U.S. Open, June 15-18 at The Los Angeles Country Club.
Final results and more are available at the button below.
The Nebraska Golf Association (NebGolf), 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 NebGolf. 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.