Sajevic Hoists a New Trophy, Winning First Nebraska Senior Match Play
Semifinals and Final Conducted Wednesday at Beatrice Country Club
BEATRICE (September 15, 2021) - Fremont's John Sajevic hoisted a new trophy for the first time on Wednesday at Beatrice Country Club, winning the 11th Nebraska Senior Match Play Championship.
Sajevic defeated Omaha's Skip Gist in the final by a record winning margin, 6 and 4. After two runner-up finishes, it's the first Nebraska Senior Match Play title for Sajevic, who owns a record four Nebraska Senior Amateur titles. It's also Sajevic's 11th NGA men's title, which breaks a tie and gives him the most all-time. He's now won five different NGA championships, and is just one shy of winning every championship for which he's eligible.
The final was a rematch of a 2017 Semifinal match, where Gist outlasted Sajevic in 20 holes, on Sajevic's home course, Fremont Golf Club. Gist also caddied for Sajevic at the U.S. Senior Amateur last month.
Sajevic won the first hole with a par and never lost his lead. In fact, he never lost a hole and didn't make a bogey all day. They tied the next six holes, including No. 6, where Gist hit his approach shot to four feet and Sajevic answered by nearly holing his for a conceded birdie. Gist knocked in his putt for his only birdie of the match.
It was a 1-up lead for Sajevic after seven holes, but then he started a run. He won No. 8 with a par, then hit the green in two on the par-5 ninth hole and two-putted for a birdie and another win. Then he won again with a par on No. 10 to take a 4-up lead.
On No. 12, Sajevic hit his tee shot into the right rough and had the ball above his feet and a tree on his line to the green. He was unbothered, and hit his approach shot to inside 10 feet and rolled in the birdie putt to push his lead to 5 up.
Sajevic needed just two putts on the par-5 14th hole, but his birdie putt from long distance dropped in the hole to end the match.
In the morning Semifinals, Sajevic defeated fellow Fremont Golf Club member David Allen of Elkhorn, 4 and 3. It was a back and forth match, but Sajevic birdied No. 11 and then won holes No. 13 and 14 to go 3 up.
Then, Sajevic stepped up to the par-3 15th tee, and hit his best shot of the day. The ball landed on the front of the green and rolled straight at the hole. It hit the flagstick, went halfway down into the hole and popped out, coming to rest just a few inches from the hole. Allen missed his birdie putt and conceded the match, sending Sajevic to his third Nebraska Senior Match Play final.
Gist defeated the 2020 Champion Kirby Smith of Omaha in his semifinal match. After tying the first six holes, Gist took the lead on No. 7 and held it throughout. He hit his drive up by the green on the par-4 17th hole and nearly holed his chip. Smith missed his birdie putt and conceded Gist's putt and the match, giving Gist a 3-and-1 win.
In the other flights, Omaha's Mike Root won the President's Bracket, defeating Bellevue's Colin Beal, 5 and 4. Omaha's Peter Alvestad won the Director's Bracket final in 19 holes over Bellevue's Dave Shillinglaw. In the Net Division, North Platte's Steve Thomalla also won in 19 holes over Bennington's Bill Lamme to win the Bob Astleford Bracket.
The final 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.