Randy Christiansen tries Sunday to become only the fourth qualifying medalist in 45 years to win The World-Herald Publinks.
Christiansen meets Michael Hillyard in the scheduled 36-hole final in the Don Lee Championship Flight. Their first round starts at 8:30 a.m. at Benson Park, with the second 18 holes set to begin at 1 p.m.
“I’m ready for 36 holes of some good, competitive golf,” Christiansen said.
To reach the final, Hillyard used four birdies to defeat Murray Krambeer 3 and 2 Saturday at Indian Creek. Christiansen on Friday handed Andrew Hansen a 6-and-4 loss at Goodman.
“Indian Creek was a windy beast,” Hillyard said. “It probably was a 25 mph wind. I hit it a bit farther than Murray off the tee. Playing there, I thought, would be an advantage.”
Krambeer, 61, was trying to get to the finals for the first time since 1998. He was runner-up in 1996 and 1998 and would have been the oldest to play in the Don Lee final.
Hillyard, 32, who grew up in Falls City, played golf at Southeast Community College in Beatrice. He’s a sales representative for a laundry textile business.
Christiansen, 39, is a steamfitter. He won the qualifying tournament in a playoff against David Hansen, Andrew’s younger brother.
Against the elder Hansen, who played on Omaha Creighton Prep’s state championship team in the spring, Christiansen won the third and fourth holes in their early-morning match and never trailed after that.
“I played very steady. I didn’t light it up by any means,” Christiansen said. “I strung a lot of pars in a row.”
Both have played Benson Park in the last couple of days. For Hillyard, it was his first look at the finals course.
“I’m glad I did. There’s some layup holes,” he said. “I’m excited, and my game is pretty decent.”
Christiansen played Benson Park on Saturday after his win.
“The greens are rolling really well, and the rough is thick like Goodman’s,” he said. “It will be a challenge if you miss fairways.”
Those who went on to the championship after winning the qualifying tournament were Don Kristofitz in 1974, Craig Bakke in 2009 and Justin Hamilton in 2010.
Gail Anderson wins Women’s Flight
Gail Anderson sank a 25-foot par putt on the 18th hole Saturday at Benson Park for a 1-up victory over Kathy Konigsmark for the Women’s Flight title in the Publinks.
The Publinks Committee allowed them to play in advance of Sunday’s flight finals.
Anderson won three holes in a row early on the back nine for a 2-up lead, which Konigsmark wiped out by winning the 16th hole with par and the 17th with a birdie on a lengthy putt.
Anderson, a former Omaha Westside basketball player, is chief financial officer for Elisa Ilana Jewelry. Konigsmark teaches in Glenwood, Iowa.
These golfers will play Sunday in the finals of the 81st World-Herald Publinks, with all matches at Benson Park:
Don Lee Championship Flight, 8:30 a.m.
Michael Hillyard: Age 32, lives in Bellevue. Sales, Tingue Brown. First-time Publinks entrant.
Randy Christiansen: Age 39, lives near Millard Airport. Steamfitter, Rome Service. First time in Publinks finals. Won the Johnny Goodman Memorial Award as the qualifying leader.
Seniors Championship Flight, 10 a.m.
Gary Pechar: Age 56, lives in Papillion. Retired. Defending champion.
Bob Murnan: Age 61, lives near 96th and Interstate 80. First time in Publinks finals.
Seniors First Flight, 10:07 a.m.
Tony Zabawa: Age 64, lives near 132nd and Blondo Streets. Retired from Union Pacific. Fourth Flight runner-up in 2011.
Gary Cohen: Age 58, lives near 144th and Blondo Streets. IT technician, Pierce Technologies. Fifth Flight runner-up in 1993.
Masters Flight, 10:07 a.m.
Emil Radik Jr.: Age 79, lives near Norris Middle School. Retired Omaha Public Schools educator. Won Crown Flight in 1983, Seniors Flight in 1993 and Masters Flight in 2004 and 2007.
Bob Murphy: Age 68, lives in Dundee neighborhood. Director of ministry support, Christ Community Church. Won Second Flight in 1966, Crown Flight in 1989, Seniors Championship Flight in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2007, and Masters Flight in 2010 and 2011.
First Flight, 10 a.m.
Todd Christensen: Age 38, lives in Chalco area. Won Second Flight in 2009 and Third Flight in 2005.
Dan Bock: Age 28, lives near 156th and Blondo Streets. Train dispatcher, Union Pacific. First Flight runner-up in 2011.
Second Flight, 10:15 a.m.
Tom Koopman: Age 27, lives near 48th and Harrison Streets. First time in Publinks finals.
John Christ: Age 17, student at Bellevue East. First-time Publinks entrant.
Third Flight, 10:15 a.m.
Kyle Skartvedt: Age 43, family teacher at Boys Town. First time in Publinks finals.
Ben Bergstrom: Age 34, lives near 156th and Pacific Streets. First time in Publinks finals.
Fourth Flight, 10:22 a.m.
Sam Kumar: Age 59, lives near 120th and Blondo Streets. Research and teaching, UNMC. Fifth Flight runner-up in 2011.
Matt Kaup: Age 26, lives near Goodman Golf Course. Works for Brenmar Company. First time in Publinks finals.
Fifth Flight, 10:22 a.m.
Roger Oshima: Age 57, lives near 144th and Blondo Streets. Service technician, Xerox. Sixth Flight runner-up in 2011.
TJ Burbirdge: Age 45, lives near Irvington. Technical consultant, Northern Natural Gas. First time in Publinks finals.