Spellerberg Secures First Nebraska Mid-Amateur Title
Final Round Conducted Sunday at Norfolk Country Club
NORFOLK (August 29, 2021) - It was only a matter of time until Bennington's Johnny Spellerberg was hoisting a trophy, and he did just that on Sunday at Norfolk Country Club, winning the 23rd Nebraska Mid-Amateur Championship with a record-tying performance.
Conditions were ideal for the Final Round, and Spellerberg was in control of his game, maintaining his lead throughout. He shot a round of 70 (-2) to win by three strokes with a 138 (-6) total. It's Spellerberg's first men's NGA title, adding to his 2010 Nebraska Junior Match Play title, and the 6-under total matches the championship scoring record, set by Omaha's Andy Sajevic just last year.
Spellerberg started the round at 4-under, and made an early bogey on No. 3 to drop a stroke. He settled in after that though, and played flawlessly the rest of the way in. He quickly bounced back with a birdie on the difficult par-4 fifth hole and made the turn in 36 (E).
Norfolk's own Lance Morrow made a front nine run, with four birdies in his first eight holes to get within a stroke at 3-under. That was as close as he'd get though, as he cooled off and made nine straight pars on the back nine.
Spellerberg started to pull away on the back nine, making birdie on the par-5 11th hole to get to 5-under for the first time. Another Norfolk native, Lance Lawson, put pressure on the lead as well. Playing alongside the leader, Lawson birdied Nos. 10 and 13 to get to 3-under, two strokes back.
The par-4 16th hole was moved up to just under 300 yards, and Spellerberg ended all hopes of a comeback. He hit a perfect drive to the middle of the green, and two-putted for birdie to push his lead to three strokes. Spellerberg need just a couple pars on Nos. 17 and 18 to seal his win.
Morrow's bogey-free 68 (-4) was the round of the day, along with Omaha's Michael Wilhelm, who made seven birdies for his 68 (-4). Morrow and Lawson tied for runner-up honors at 141 (-3), with Lawson carding a final round 71 (-1).
Wilhelm finished in a tie for fourth with three others at 144 (E). That group includes the 2020 Champion, Andy Sajevic of Omaha, as well as Collin Craft and Dan Huston of Omaha.
Three-time champion Travis Minzel of Lincoln tied for eighth at 146 (+2), along with Omaha's Andrew Bradshaw. Bradshaw had the shot of the day, a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole with an eight-iron.
Three players tied for 10th at 147 (+3), including Omaha's Blake Giroux, Valley's JB Harris and South Sioux City's Christopher Rager.
Full results 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.