Gutschewski, Spellerberg are Nebraska Amateur Co-Golfers of the Year
Fifth Shared Award in 54 Years
OMAHA (November 23, 2022) - The Nebraska Golf Association is proud to announce the selection of Elkhorn's Luke Gutschewski and Bennington's Johnny Spellerberg as the 2022 Nebraska Amateur Co-Golfers of the Year.
Gutschewski, a sophomore on the Iowa State golf team, accomplished something no Nebraskan has this summer and captured his first Amateur Golfer of the Year award, to go along with his 2020 Nebraska Junior Golfer of the Year award. Spellerberg had an incredible season, one of the best by a mid-amateur in Nebraska, and earns his first award as well, to go along with his own 2010 Nebraska Junior Golfer of the Year award.
Gutschewski, a Mount Michael graduate and two-time NGA champion soared to new heights in 2022. Gutschewski's U.S. Amateur run was one to remember, as he opened 36-hole qualifying at Beatrice Country Club with a flawless 64 (-8) to jump out to the lead. He followed with a 69 (-3) in the second round to take medalist honors by five strokes with a 133 (-11) total.
The qualifier sent Gutschewski to the 122nd U.S. Amateur Championship at The Ridgewood Country Club and Arcola Country Club in New Jersey. He opened stroke play qualifying with another nearly-flawless round of 68 (-3) at Ridgewood, making four birdies and just one bogey to share the lead after the first round. He followed with an even-par round of 70 at Arcola and tied with three others for medalist honors at 138 (-3). He's the first Nebraskan to earn medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur, and he was given the No. 1 seed for match play after a blind draw.
In match play at Ridgewood, Gutschewski fell down early, as his opponent, Peyton Snoeberger of Indiana, won the first three holes. Snoeberger's lead grew to 4 up heading into the back nine, but Gutschewski battled back, playing the side in 3-under and winning Nos. 10, 11, 13 and 16 to tie the match. They went into extra holes and Snoeberger eventually succeeded in 20 holes.
Gutschewski also shined on the international stage, opening the 117th Canadian Amateur with a 65 (-6) to take the lead. He fell out of the lead after a second round 73 (+2), but followed with rounds of 70 (-1) and 72 (+1) to finish tied for fifth with a 280 (-4) total.
Spellerberg had several highlights, capturing two championships and qualifying for another USGA championship. The Fremont native and Creighton graduate, put on a show at the 55th Nebraska Match Play Championship at Riverside Golf Club in Grand Island. Starting in stroke play qualifying, Spellerberg fired two rounds of 70 (-2) to tie for second at 140 (-4) and take the No. 2 seed.
In match play, Spellerberg faced a gauntlet of opponents, starting with local member Glenn Bills, who he beat, 2 and 1. Then he took down his fellow Golfer of the Year, Gutschewski, in the Round of 16, 4 and 2. In the Quarterfinals, he took on 2019 Champion Caleb Badura of Aurora and dispatched him with back-to-back birdies to finish a 1-up win. He then defeated two more DI golfers to close out the title, winning 2 and 1 over Fordyce's Matthew Schaefer and then rallying in the final to win, 2 and 1, over York's Reed Malleck. Spellerberg became the first mid-amateur (25-and-older) to win the Nebraska Match Play since Omaha's Patrick Duffy in 2006.
Spellerberg stayed hot in August, firing a 69 (-3) at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha to earn one of three spots in the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. A couple weeks later, he torched the field at the 24th Nebraska Mid-Amateur Championship at Landmand Golf Club in Homer. Spellerberg put together rounds of 68 (-5) and 67 (-6) to shatter the 36-hole scoring record and win by a record-tying seven strokes with a 135 (-11) total.
Both players were in the mix at the 114th Nebraska Amateur Championship at Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln in July. Gutschewski bounced back from a opening 76 (+5) to finish tied for fifth. He played the next three rounds in 2-under, including a 69 (-2) in Round Two and a 68 (-3) in Round Three to move into a tie for second. His 74 (+3) on a difficult final round left him five strokes back of the champion with a 287 (+3) total. Spellerberg shot a third round 68 (-3) to get into the final pairing with eventual champion Shaun Campbell, a Creighton golfer, then opened the final round on fire. He birdied three of his first five holes and had cut a six-stroke lead to just two strokes, but Spellerberg continued to press on the back nine and it cost him some strokes. He eventually finished tied for eighth at 289 (+5) after a final round 76 (+5).
In addition, Gutschewski also won the Fremont Invitational, shattering the tournament scoring record with rounds of 64 (-7) and 66 (-5) for a 130 (-12) total. Spellerberg finished five strokes back at 135 (-7). Gutschewski also finished second at the Tom Dinsdale Automotive Amateur Championship at Riverside and tied for third at the Indian Creek Invitational. Spellerberg finished third at the Homesteader at Beatrice Country Club.
Gutschewski and Spellerberg will be honored at the Nebraska Golf Association's annual awards banquet on Friday, December 2 at The Field Club of Omaha. In addition, the NGA will recognize its Women’s Amateur Golfer of the Year, Girls’ Amateur Golfer of the Year, Junior Amateur Golfer of the Year, and Senior Amateur Golfer of the Year.
For more on the award, link 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.