Owen is Medalist and No. 1 Seed at Nebraska Match Play
OMAHA (June 11, 2019) - The field at the 52nd Nebraska Match Play Championship is down to just 32 players following the second round of Stroke Play Qualifying at The Players Club in Omaha on Tuesday.
The wind was a factor for much of the day, but died down late in the afternoon, and gave way to some spotty, light rain showers. However, red numbers were more prominent, as nine players broke par, with Husker golfer Tanner Owen leading the way. Owen caught fire and shot the low round of qualifying by two strokes, a 66 (-5). That gave him a 135 (-7) total, which was four strokes clear of the next player. Owen earned qualifying medalist honors and the No. 1 seed for match play, and he’ll await the winner of a playoff for the final spot in the bracket, which was suspended due to severe weather.
Five players finished at 151 (+9), tied for 30th, which resulted in a playoff for the final four spots in the bracket. Omaha’s Mark Wright and Grand Island’s Glenn Bills quickly grabbed the first two spots with pars on the first playoff hole, No. 1 at The Players Club, and Kearney’s Austin Murray took the No. 31 seed with a par on the second hole. That left Elkhorn’s Luke Gutschewski and Gretna’s Michael Croker for the final spot. They both had good looks at birdie on the par-3 third hole, but a couple of pars left them tied. With severe weather imminent, the playoff was suspended and it will resume at 7 a.m. on hole No. 4. The winner will get the No. 32 seed and play Owen at 9:30 a.m.
Two other players finished under-par for qualifying, including Grand Island’s Cade McCallum, who shot one of the lower rounds of the day, a 69 (-2). The Iowa Western golfer finished at 139 (-3) and will be the No. 2 seed. McCallum will play the No. 31 seed Murray. Plainview’s Tucker Knaak also finished under-par, thanks to a second straight 70 (-1). The 2017 Nebraska Junior Amateur Champion and Creighton golfer is the No. 3 seed with his 140 (-2) total, and will play Bills, the No. 31 seed.
All four past champions in the field made the bracket, led by the 2003 champion Ryan Nietfeldt of Elkhorn. Nietfeldt shot a 72 (+1) today for a 142 (E) total, tied with Gretna’s Brian Csipkes. Csipkes is the No. 4 seed and Nietfeldt the No. 5 seed. The 2013 champion Andy Sajevic of Omaha finished at 145 (+3) and is the No. 14 seed, while his father John Sajevic, the 1989 and 1996 champion, is the No. 21 seed after finished with a 148 (+6) total. Lincoln’s Travis Minzel, the 2004 champion, beat the playoff by a stroke with his 150 (+8) total, and he’ll be the No. 27 seed.
Four players shot 69 (-2) today, including McCallum, Caleb Badura of Aurora, Dan Huston of Omaha and Josh Bartels of Lincoln. All four made the match play bracket.
The match play bracket is available on the championship website below, along with full qualifying results and more.
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.