LINCOLN — Omaha Creighton Prep broke par as a team, but Lincoln Pius X isn’t ready to concede a repeat Class A golf title to the Junior Jays.
The Thunderbolts are six strokes behind entering Wednesday’s final round at Pioneers Golf Course. Prep shot 283, led by individual co-leader Stephen Pfeffer’s 69.
With Prep and Pius golfers in the final four groups, the Thunderbolts are in a match-play mindset.
“If all of us beat our guys (from Prep), that’s at least four strokes and we’re only six back,” senior Keevan Statz said. “It’s definitely good getting to play against them head-to-head.
“They’re a very, very good team. They haven’t lost a tournament in almost two years.”
At their tournament three weeks ago at ArborLinks in Nebraska City, the Thunderbolts finished five strokes behind Prep and counted an 86 from No. 1 golfer Grant Schumacher in their team total.
Pfeffer, who’s tied with Bellevue West’s Cole Stenger, birdied the first two holes. A double-bogey 5 on the fourth hole kept him from getting any deeper than 2 under.
Ben Maschka, with a 70, also broke par for Prep. Defending champ Carson Schaake had three front-nine bogeys but got in at par 71. Andrew Hansen had 73 and Alex Pieper a 74 as all five Junior Jays are in the top 13.
Statz led Pius with a season-best 70. Nick Higgins had 72, Joel Bittner 73, Schumacher 74 and Jack Burmeister 79.
Stenger’s score was a career low. His round included three birdies and a eagle 3 on the sixth hole.
“I was 2 over after five holes and played the next 13 in 4 under,” he said. “The eagle sparked my round.”
In his past two tournaments, he tied for second at the Metro Conference championship and was seventh in districts.
Stenger said he’ll feel comfortable playing in the lead group with Pfeffer. Statz completes that final threesome.
“Me and Steve are good friends,” Stenger said. “I’ve known him awhile from summer golf.”
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