Morrison, Grandfield Lead Low-Scoring Nebraska Mid-Amateur
First Round Conducted Saturday at Awarii Dunes Golf Club
AXTELL (August 29, 2020) – Red numbers were easy to find on Saturday at Awarii Dunes Golf Club for the first round of the 22nd Nebraska Mid-Amateur Championship, and Omaha's Trent Morrison and Cole Grandfield are tied for the lead, with 12 other players under-par as well.
Morrison, the 2014 Champion, was the first to fire a 68 (-4), while Grandfield matched the low round and the lead by one stroke over four players. Morrison started his round on the right foot with a birdie at the first. He followed that up with bogey-free golf on the front nine. With another birdie at the eighth, he made the turn with a 34 (-2).
Morrison stumbled to open his back nine, making bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13, but rebounded with an eagle on the par-5 14th. He capped off his round with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to shoot his 4-under.
Grandfield started rolling on his first nine holes, birdieing holes No. 12, 14, and 18 to shoot 33 (-3) on the back nine. He added on a birdie at the par-3 fifth before dropping a shot on the par-4 seventh. He bounced back on the par-5 ninth, landing his second shot just short of the green. Grandfield chipped up to within 10 feet of the hole, and drained the birdie putt that sealed his leading round.
Four players are tied for third after shooting rounds of 69 (-3), including three-time champion Patrick Duffy of Omaha. Duffy only had one bogey on the day, and added four birdies. He's looking to become the first player to win four titles.
The 2020 Nebraska Amateur champion Andy Sajevic of Omaha also shot three-under-par. Sajevic struggled on the front nine, making two birdies, but three bogeys to finish the side in 37 (+1). He caught fire on the back nine though, making birdie on Nos. 10 and 11. He also birdied the par-5 14th, before tacking on two more birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to finish his round.
Curtis Taylor of Bennington carded five birdies and two bogeys on the way to his first round 69 (-3). Bill Rhiley of Lincoln had an up and down round, making six birdies, three on each side. He added on three bogeys to finish his round at three-under-par.
Johnny Spellerberg of Bennington and Miles Russell of Omaha are tied for seventh after each shooting 70 (-2). Calvin Freeman of Table Rock, Scott Tridle of Lincoln, Wes Bernt of Kearney, Mike Siwa of Omaha, and Chad Geiger of Lincoln round out a tie for ninth after each shooting 71 (-1).
Defending champion Ryan Nietfeldt of Elkhorn is tied for 28th after a first round 73 (+1).
In total, 14 players finished under-par after the opening round. The record for the most players under-par after 36 holes is just three players, set in 2015 at Fremont Golf Club. That record will likely fall on Sunday at Awarii Dunes, as could the championship scoring records for most strokes under-par for 36 holes (5-under) and the lowest score for 36 holes (138).
Pairings for the final round are available on the championship website below, along with the scoring page and additional information.
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.