Spellerberg Halfway to Three-Peat at Nebraska Mid-Amateur

Spellerberg Halfway to Three-Peat at Nebraska Mid-Amateur

Round One Conducted Saturday at Landmand Golf Club

HOMER (August 19, 2023) - Bennington's Johnny Spellerberg jumped into the lead after a hot first round at the 25th Nebraska Mid-Amateur Championship at Landmand Golf Club in Homer on Saturday, and is halfway to a three-peat.

Spellerberg, the two-time defending champion, picked up right where he left off and fired a round of 67 (-6) to take the lead by two strokes. Last year, he shot rounds of 68 (-5) and 67 (-6) to win by seven strokes. This year, only six players broke par during the opening round and Spellerberg sits on top.

It was an extremely hot afternoon at Landmand, with the temperatures in the upper 90s, and the real-feel reaching as high as 116 degrees. Spellerberg, who started in the late morning, matched the heat with his game. He opened with a birdie on No. 2 and added three more on the front nine to make the turn in 33 (-3).

Spellerberg was chasing Will Andersen of Dakota City, who owns Landmand Golf Club with his family. Andersen was in the first group off in the morning, and held the clubhouse lead for a long time with his round of 69 (-4). Spellerberg took over the lead though with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 to get to 5-under.

A three-putt bogey on No. 16 dropped Spellerberg back into a tie for the lead, but he answered with birdies on the two closing holes. On No. 17, the drivable par-4 with a 36,000 square foot green, he missed right and hit a great pitch close, converting the birdie to retake the lead. On the reachable par-5 18th, Spellerberg hit his second shot to the back of the green and two-putted for another birdie to get to 6-under.

Andersen also made the turn in 33 (-3), and then birdied Nos. 10 and 11 to get to 5-under. However, he found an awkward lie for his third shot on the par-5 15th hole, and wound up making a triple-bogey. He bounced back though and two-putted for birdie on the last two holes to post the first round under-par of the championship.

Omaha's Vance Janssen followed suit and also birdied the last two holes to pull within a stroke of Andersen at the time, shooting a 70 (-3). He'll join Spellerberg and Andersen in the final group on Sunday.

Three other players broke par and will be in the penultimate group. Omaha's Andrew Morrissey and Elkhorn's Danny Woodhead each shot rounds of 71 (-2) and are tied for fourth, four strokes back. Morrissey bogeyed his first three holes of the day, but was bogey-free the rest of the way with five birdies. Woodhead was rolling at 3-under through 11 holes, but went bogey-double-bogey on Nos. 12 and 13. He responded with two late birdies though to get back to 2-under.

Omaha's Matt Quandt is another stroke back after a 72 (-1). He made two birdies and a bogey early, and then finished his round with 11-straight pars.

Three-time champion Ryan Nietfeldt of Elkhorn is tied for seventh with Bennington's Dan Huston, after both shot rounds of 73 (E). Elkhorn's Alex Farrell and Bennington's Harrison Crawford round out the Top 10 in a tie for ninth at 74 (+1).

The Final Round begins at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday with starting times off of No. 1 again. The leaders will start at 2:30 p.m. Pairings for the final round are available on the championship website below, along with the scoring page and additional information.

Nebraska Mid-Amateur Championship

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