Nebraska Senior Match Play Down to Four
Round of 16 and Quarterfinals Conducted Tuesday at Beatrice Country Club
BEATRICE (September 14, 2021) - After the first day of matches at Beatrice Country Club, four players are left in the championship bracket at the 11th Nebraska Senior Match Play Championship.
The defending champion Kirby Smith of Omaha is amongst that group, and he'll face Omaha's Skip Gist in the semifinals. In the other semifinal, Elkhorn's David Allen will take on four-time Nebraska Senior Amateur Champion John Sajevic of Fremont.
Smith cruised through his first match, but faced a tough opponent in his second. He defeated Cozad's Smokey Cornelius, 6 and 5, in the Round of 16. That setup a rematch of last year's semifinal match against the No. 1 seed Ed Wyatt of Lincoln.
Smith took the lead early and pushed it to 2 up with a long birdie putt on No. 13. However, Wyatt battle back with birdies on the par-5 14th and 16th holes to tie the match. Smith answered with another long birdie putt on No. 17 to take his lead back, and Wyatt conceded the match after hitting his tee shot out-of-bounds on No. 18, giving Smith a 2-up win.
Gist survived the longest match of the day to advance to face Smith. Against Gretna's Brian Csipkes, Gist made par on No. 2 to win in 20 holes. Before that, Gist defeated Omaha's Charlie Burt, 3 and 2, in the Round of 16.
Allen also outlasted an opponent in extra holes to advance, winning in 19 holes over Omaha's Harris Frankel. He then took down the No. 2 seed Jayson Brueggemann of Lincoln in the Quarterfinals. Brueggemann cut Allen's lead to 1 up after 12 holes, but Allen birdied No. 15 and then rolled in another birdie from the fringe on No. 16. It was a 3-and-2 win for Allen and he'll get to play Sajevic.
Sajevic also had a couple of tough matchups. He faced Bellevue's Matt Haynes, the 2018 Champion, in the Round of 16. Sajevic won three of the first five holes to grab the lead early, and eventually closed out Haynes, 4 and 3.
Then Sajevic had to face Bennington's Steve Buroker in a rematch of last year's semifinal. Last year, the match went to the 18th hole and Sajevic made a long putt for birdie, but Buroker answered with a birdie of his own to win the match, 1 up.
This year, the match again went to No. 18 after Buroker won No. 17. Sajevic had a 3-up lead at one point after winning four straight holes on the front nine. Buroker came up clutch on No. 18, hitting his approach shot to five feet. However, Sajevic responded by hitting his to four feet, and won the match, 2 up, after Buroker missed his putt.
Smith and Gist are scheduled to play at 9:18 a.m., while Allen and Sajevic tee off at 9:26 a.m. The championship final is set for 1:24 p.m.
The updated championship bracket and other flight brackets are available on the championship website below, along with 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.