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Nebraska Amateur Begins

Nebraska Amateur Begins

OMAHA (July 26, 2020) – The field is set for the 112th Nebraska Amateur Championship at the Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, and 156 top amateurs are prepared to chase the state’s most coveted title over the course of 72 holes.

It is Happy Hollow Club’s 16th time hosting the championship, which will tie Omaha Country Club for the most all-time. The club last hosted in 2010, when Fremont’s Andy Sajevic shot 282 (-2) to win the first of his three titles. Sajevic will pursue another title beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, playing with 2019 Nebraska Junior Amateur Champion Josh Bartels of Lincoln and Bennington’s William Amundsen.

Sajevic is part of an impressive field that includes two other past champions. Sajevic’s father, John Sajevic of Fremont, won in 1989 at Lochland Country Club in Hastings and has a chance to break multiple Amateur Championship records. His 20 straight 36-hole cuts made and 34 overall, are tied with Larry Sock of Lincoln for the most-all time.

John Sajevic is paired with 2020 Nebraska Junior Amateur Champion and 2019 Nebraska Junior Match Play Champion Luke Gutschewski of Elkhorn. The Iowa State commit will be joined by Lincoln’s David Easly, along with Sajevic, on No. 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Ryan Nietfeldt of Elkhorn, current NGA Point Standings leader, is the final past champion in the field after a 2002 win at Wild Horse Golf Club in Gothenburg. Nietfeldt is an eight-time NGA champion and is coming off a Runner-Up performance at the 2020 Nebraska Match Play Championship. Nietfeldt will begin his quest for a ninth title at 9:40 a.m. Monday with 2014 Nebraska Match Play Champion Bryce Brown of Lincoln and Charlie Zielinski of Omaha.

Two fellow Nebraska Match Play Champions are seeking their first Nebraska Amateur title. Travis Minzel of Lincoln won his match play title in 2004 at Norfolk Country Club and finished seventh in the 2010 Nebraska Amateur at Happy Hollow Club. The three-time Nebraska Mid-Amateur Champion tees off at 9 a.m. on No. 10 with Norfolk’s Jake Kluver and Omaha’s Josh Peters.

Aurora’s Caleb Badura fell just short last year in a seven-hole play-off with Omaha’s Alex Schaake. Schaake will not be in the field after four straight victories, as he is playing the Korn Ferry Tour’s Pinnacle Bank Championship this week. Badura won the 2019 Nebraska Match Play Championship and will tee it up with fellow 2020 Nebraska Match Play Semifinalist, Calvin Freeman of Table Rock. Badura and Freeman will be joined by Creighton golfer Nate Vontz of Lincoln. Freeman currently sits in second for the 2020 NGA Point Standings, while Vontz is in fifth and coming off a win at the Fremont Invitational, where he had to hold off a final round 63 (-8) from Freeman to win by one stroke at Fremont Golf Club.

Happy Hollow Club is a par-71 layout that will measure around 6,821 yards for the championship. The nines will be switched for the championship, with the club’s back nine becoming Holes No. 1-9 and the club’s front nine becoming Holes 10-18 this week.

Play begins at 8 a.m. off both No. 1 and 10 tees on Monday and Tuesday, after which the field will be cut to the low 60 scores and ties for Wednesday and Thursday’s rounds. Groupings and starting times for the first two rounds are available on the championship website below, along with the scoring page and additional information.

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