Spellerberg is Back-to-Back Nebraska Amateur Golfer of the Year
Sixth Award Winner to Repeat
OMAHA (November 29, 2023) - The Nebraska Golf Association is proud to announce the selection of Bennington's Johnny Spellerberg as the 2023 Nebraska Amateur Golfer of the Year.
Spellerberg had another spectacular season and is the sixth player to win the award in consecutive years. He joins Omaha's Alex Schaake (2017-18), Gibbon's Rylee Reinertson (2015-16), Omaha's Ryan Nietfeldt (2002-03), Lincoln's Steve Statton (1979-80) and St. Paul's Dan Bahensky (1971-72) as players who have accomplished the feat. The now 31-year-old is the second mid-amateur in the list of repeat of award winners, joining Nietfeldt in that distinction. He also now owns three postseason recognitions, including the 2010 Nebraska Junior Golfer of the Year award.
Spellerberg, a Fremont native and Creighton graduate, again proved to be at the top of the class in amateur golf in the state, as he picked up two more trophies in 2023 and had several other impressive performances.
Though it was a year full of them, the highlight for Spellerberg came at the 25th Nebraska Mid-Amateur Championship at Landmand Golf Club in Homer. He was the two-time defending champion and put on a show in separating himself from the field for a third-straight title. His opening round 67 (-6) was one off the course record and gave him a two-stroke lead at the halfway point.
Spellerberg followed with a final round 71 (-2), with the win essentially secured early in the back nine. He finished with a 138 (-8) total, six strokes clear of the runner-up, Andrew Morrissey of Omaha. Spellerberg made 13 birdies over the two rounds, and his 8-under total was the second-lowest in championship history, only to his 11-under total the previous year. He was also one stroke away from the record for winning margin. Spellerberg is the first player to three-peat at the championship, and joins three others who have won three Mid-Amateur titles.
Equally as impressive was Spellerberg's performance at the first championship of the year, the 22nd Nebraska Four-Ball at Tatanka Golf Club in Niobrara. He partnered up with former Creighton teammate Austin Miller of Elkhorn, and started the season on fire. They shot rounds of 66 (-6) and 64 (-8) to win by two strokes with a 130 (-14) total. Spellerberg was an incredible 11-under on his own ball, with 12 birdies and an eagle.
In the majors, Spellerberg was in contention as well. He matched the low round of qualifying at the 56th Nebraska Match Play Championship with his first round 66 (-6) and was the No. 6 seed. Spellerberg, who was the defending champion, extending his match winning streak to eight, before falling to Nietfeldt in the Semifinals. In that match, Nietfeldt was 4 up with four holes to play, and Spellerberg rallied to the 18th hole, where he fell just short, losing 1 down.
The 115th Nebraska Amateur was another steady week for Spellerberg, who finished sixth at Scotts Bluff Country Club. After opening with a 72 (E), he fired three-straight rounds under-par, 70 (-2), 70 (-2) and 71 (-1), to finish with a 283 (-5) total. It was his third-straight Top 10 finish at the championship.
In addition, Spellerberg advanced through Local Qualifying for the 123rd U.S. Open at Omaha Country Club in May. He posted a round of 70 (-1) to earn one of four spots in the next stage, Final Qualifying. Spellerberg shot rounds of 72 (+2) and 77 (+7) at the Springfield Country Club site in Ohio, missing out on one of five spots in the U.S. Open available.
Spellerberg will be honored at the Nebraska Golf Association's annual awards banquet on Friday, December 1 at Omaha Country Club. In addition, NebGolf will recognize its Women’s Amateur Golfer of the Year, Girls’ Amateur Golfer of the Year, Junior Amateur Golfer of the Year, and Senior Amateur Golfer of the Year.
For more on the award, link below.
The Nebraska Golf Association (NebGolf), 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 NebGolf. 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.