Lefties Atkinson, Steichen to Play for Junior Match Play Title
MCCOOK (June 24, 2021) - It might be the first all-lefty matchup in the Final of the 32nd Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship, with Omaha's Christopher Atkinson and Connor Steichen advancing at Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook on Thursday.
The two southpaws each won two matches on Thursday, with Atkinson defeating Lincoln's Brock Rowley in the Quarterfinals, 3 and 2. Atkinson won five of the first eight holes to take a 3-up lead and closed out the match with wins on Nos. 15 and 16.
Steichen dispatched of his opponent a little quicker, defeating Brayden Schram of Hastings, 6 and 4. Steichen won Nos. 12 and 13 with pars and No. 14 with birdie to advance.
Atkinson had the toughest match in the Semifinals, with a back-and-forth battle against Doniphan's Ethan Smith. Smith took a 2-up lead through four, but Atkinson won the next four to claim the lead, including a long birdie putt on No. 6 and another birdie on No. 8. Smith answered by winning three of the next six holes to regain his lead. However, Atkinson won thee of the last four holes, including No. 18 to secure a 2-up win.
Steichen had a similar battle against Omaha's Will Mullin. He took a 3-up lead through eight holes, and eventually pushed the lead to 4 up through 12 holes. However, Mullin fought back with wins on Nos. 13 and 14. Steichen won No. 15 with a par and hit his tee shot close on the par-3 16th. He two-putted for par to close out the match, 3 and 2.
Neither Steichen or Atkinson have won a NGA title before. They will face-off in the 18-hole Final at 8 a.m. The updated bracket are available under the Scoring tab of the championship websites 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.