LINCOLN (June 23, 2020) – Stroke Play Qualifying for the 53rd Nebraska Match Play Championship wrapped up at Hillcrest Country Club in Lincoln on Tuesday, and Norfolk’s Luke Kluver earned medalist honors and the No. 1 seed for match play.
It’s the second time as a medalist for Kluver, who shared that honor with two others in 2018. The Kansas Jayhawk followed his first round 68 (-4) with a second round 70 (-2) to finish with a 138 (-6) total. Kluver made four birdies and two bogeys today, and secured the top seed with a great up-and-down from behind the ninth green on his final hole. The two-time Nebraska Junior Golfer of the Year is looking for his first NGA title, and will face the 2002 Champion AJ Elgert of Lincoln in the Round of 32.
Elgert survived an 8-man play-off for the final spot in the bracket. He birdied his final hole of qualifying, No. 9, to get into the play-off at 150 (+6) with seven others. Elgert, who is also a two-time Nebraska Amateur Champion, hit his second shot on the par-5 first hole, the first play-off hole, to about four feet. Omaha’s Josh Kramer, who finished runner-up at the Nebraska Junior Match Play last week, got up-and-down from a green-side bunker to make birdie. Elgert missed his eagle putt and none of the other players were able to make birdie.
Elgert and Kramer moved on to the second play-off hole, and tied again with pars, as Kramer converted a great up-and-down from behind the green and Elgert two-putted for par. On the par-3 third hole, Kramer nearly chipped in and Elgert again two-putted for par. Finally, on the fourth play-off hole, Elgert secured the No. 32 seed with a third straight two-putt par.
Elkhorn’s Ryan Nietfeldt will be the No. 2 seed after the round of the day by two strokes, a 68 (-4). The 2003 Champion finished with a 139 (-5) total and will be the No. 2 seed. Nietfeldt posted one of only three rounds under-par for the day, after 14 players finished in the red yesterday. He’ll play the No. 31 seed Steve Peterson of Lincoln at 8:20 a.m.
Calvin Freeman of Table Rock is the No. 3 seed. After spending the night tied for the lead, he finished with a 141 (-3) total in his return to amateur golf. Christian Hall of Omaha is the No. 4 seed, after completing rounds of 68 (-4) and 74 (-2). He finished at 142 (-2), while two other player finished under par.
Alex Farrell of Elkhorn and Andy Sajevic of Omaha, the 2013 champion, were the only other players to complete qualifying under-par. Neither player shot a round over-par during the qualifier, and both players finished at 143 (-1). Farrell will be the No. 5 seed, while Sajevic will be the No. 6 seed.
Matches begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday for the Round of 32, with Round of 16 matches scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. Full qualifying results and the match play bracket are available on the championship website below, along with the scoring page and additional information.