Rainy First Day of Matches at Nebraska Girls' and Junior Match Plays
AXTELL (June 18, 2019) - It rained nearly non-stop on Tuesday, but the first day of matches was completed without delay at the 57th Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship and the 30th Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship at Awarii Dunes Golf Club in Axtell.
On the girls’ side, the No. 1 seed Danica Badura of Aurora cruised into the semifinals. Badura rolled to a 7 and 6 win in her opening match over Omaha’s Julia Karmazin. After that, it was another win in the Quarterfinals over Madi Schlaepfer of Gering, 3 and 1. Schlaepfer took down the 2018 Nebraska Girls’ Golfer of the Year and the 2018 Nebraska Girls’ Amateur Champion Kate Strickland of Lincoln in the Round of 16, 3 and 1.
Badura will face Lauren Thiele of Wahoo in the Semifinals. Thiele is the younger sister of the 2013 and 2014 Champion Haley Thiele and the 2015 Champion Hannah Thiele. She also ran away with a big win in the Round of 16, defeating Adalia Maiyo of Lincoln, 7 and 5. Thiele then picked up a win in the Quarterfinals over Sydney Taake of Papillion, 3 and 2.
In the other semifinal, it will be North Platte’s Baylee Steele versus Omaha’s Jalea Culliver, the 2018 NSAA Class A Co-Champion. Steele’s older brother, Kort, finished runner-up at the 2017 Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship. She’ll be looking for her first title, after defeating Katie Ruge of Omaha, 4 and 3, and Kaitlyn Hanna of Omaha, 1 up.
On the boys’ side, only one of the qualifying medalists survived the first day of matches, and that was Reed Malleck of York. Malleck left no doubt about his No. 1 seed, needing just 27 holes to get through his two matches. He defeated Geran Sander of Lincoln, 5 an 3, and then took down the youngest player in the bracket, Thomas Bryson of Lincoln, 7 and 6 in the Round of 16. Malleck will face Isaac Heimes of Norfolk in the Quarterfinals tomorrow.
Bryson, at 12-years-old, may be the youngest to ever win a match after taking a 2 and 1 win over Mason Burger of Papillion in the Round of 32. He’s the son of former Husker golfers Kevin and Beth Anne Bryson (Cherry).
Josh Bartels of Lincoln also needed just 27 holes to get through the rainy day, winning 6 and 5 in his first match, and 5 and 4 in his second over Jake Kluver of Norfolk. Bartels will play Nolan Sughroue of Juniata in the Quarterfinals.
Tyler Welch of Seward is the only other top 10 seed still left. Welch, the No. 7 seed, won his matches 6 and 5 and then 4 and 3 to advance. He’ll play Ian Lundquist of Oakland, who took down the No. 2 seed Chris Rasmussen of Elkhorn in the Round of 32.
In the last Quarterfinal, a couple of top ranked juniors will battle, Omaha’s Josh Peters and Elkhorn’s Luke Gutschewski. Peters, like the others, won big in his matches, 6 and 5 in the opening round, and then 3 and 2 over the No. 3 seed Connor Vandewege of Lincoln in the Round of 16. Gutschewski had to fight his way through a 3-and-2 win over Bryce VunCannon of Columbus, then pulled out a 1 up win over Richard Orth III of Omaha with a birdie on the 18th hole.
The boys' Quarterfinals begin at 8 a.m., with the girls' Semifinals to follow at 8:40 a.m. The updated match play brackets are available on the championship website 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.