Handzlik and Shukis Take Lead at Nebraska Four-Ball

Handzlik and Shukis Take Lead at Nebraska Four-Ball

Round One Conducted Saturday at Tatanka Golf Club

NIOBRARA (May 6, 2022) - The first championship round at Tatanka Golf Club saw lots of red numbers, and La Vista's Kevin Handzlik and Omaha's Matt Shukis put together the lowest round, a 65 (-7), to take the lead after the first round of the 22nd Nebraska Four-Ball Championship.

Handzlik and Shukis closed with a birdie, as Shukis stuffed a wedge to tap-in range on the par-5 ninth hole to finish off the 7-under round and jump ahead of five teams at 66 (-6). The duo is looking for their first title after finishing tied for 21st last year.

It took a few holes for Handzlik and Shukis to get the birdies flowing, but the floodgates opened late on the back nine, their first nine, when Handzlik caught fire. They were even-par through four holes before Handzlik dropped three birdies in five holes, and they made the turn in 33 (-3). Shukis then took over on the front nine, making three birdies in five holes himself, while Handzlik added another to get them to 7-under. After battling for a bogey on the difficult par-3 eighth hole, Shukis capped off the round with his birdie on No. 9 to post the low number.

A star-studded group lurks a stroke behind at 6-under, including the 2022 Nebraska Amateur Co-Golfer of the Year, Johnny Spellerberg of Bennington, and his partner Austin Miller of Elkhorn. Spellerberg shot 67 (-5) on his own ball, and the former Creighton teammates are right in the mix.

The 2021 runner-up team of Lincoln's Travis Minzel and Jay Moore are also at 6-under. Minzel birdied their last four holes, with Moore also birdieing two of those, to tie the clubhouse lead at the time.

Two of the most decorated players in NebGolf history are also tied for second. The father-son duo of John and Andy Sajevic finished a solid round in dramatic fashion, as Andy chipped in for an eagle on the par-5 18th hole to get to 6-under. They are looking for their first Nebraska Four-Ball title together, though John owns three titles himself with Lincoln's Knox Jones.

There's more family in the T-2 group, with brother's Zach Hoffman of Omaha and Brett Hoffman of Kearney also at 6-under. Brett steadied the ship with six-straight pars to start, before Zach rolled in four birdies over an eight-hole stretch. Brett added two more birdies to get them to 6-under.

Rob Mullin of Elkhorn and Kirby Smith of Omaha, the 2020 Nebraska Senior Match Play Champion, also shot 6-under. Mullin poured in a big par putt on their final hole to secure the round.

The defending champions closed with a birdie to get within three strokes. Bennington's Blake Giroux and Elkhorn's Ryan Nietfeldt posted a 68 (-4), after Giroux's birdie on No. 18. Three-time champions David Easley of Lincoln and Joel Wisdom of Omaha are a stroke behind that at 69 (-3), while the 2017 Champions Dylan Heng of Omaha and Lance Lawson of Norfolk shot a 71 (-1) and are tied for 27th.

The Final Round begins at 9 a.m., with the final group, Handzlik/Shukis and Hoffman/Hoffman, set to tee-off at 2:20 p.m. Pairings for the final round are available on the championship website below, along with the scoring page and additional information.

Nebraska Four-Ball Championship

About NebGolf
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.

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