COLUMBUS, Neb. — Andy Sajevic has caught up to his father with his third state golf championship.
The North Carolina senior from Fremont won his first state match-play title Friday at Elks Country Club to go with Nebraska Amateur stroke-play crowns in 2009 and 2010.
Sajevic’s father, John, owns one Nebraska Amateur (1989) and two match-play (1989, 1996) titles. They are the state’s first father-son duo to win both tournaments.
“Winning here definitely was a goal going into the summer,” Andy Sajevic said.
He trailed for only three holes while beating Lance Lawson of Norfolk 4 and 2 in the 36-hole final of the 46th annual meet.
“I knew I’d have to play good against Andy,” Lawson said.
Lawson, who will be a senior at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, took his only lead with a birdie on the 12th hole — his third birdie in five holes.
Sajevic won the 15th with a birdie and the 16th with a par to finish the morning round with a 1-up lead. The golfers stopped for a scheduled lunch break, but Lawson wished they could have kept going.
“The break took a toll on me,” he said. “I went from playing pretty good to going back out there and struggling.
“I missed greens and he took advantage of those opportunities.”
Sajevic won four of the first seven holes in the afternoon for a 5-up lead. The key hole in that stretch was the par-5 sixth. It was halved with birdies.
“That was huge,” Sajevic said. “I had about a 20-footer and his was from about 8 feet. You always assume the other guy is going to make his.
“I made about a 15-footer on the next hole and that was big to keep the momentum going.”
Lawson tried to rally. The first Norfolk resident in a match-play final since Don Bridge in 1971, he drove the green on the 359-yard ninth hole and made birdie to be 4 down. He chipped in for birdie on the 12th — the match’s 30th hole — to pull within 3 down with six to play.
“I hung in there,” Lawson said. “I didn’t play my best today but I tried my hardest.”
The pair halved the next three holes, two with birdies. They two-putted for birdie on the par-5 13th and Sajevic sank a putt from the fringe on the next hole with Lawson much closer to the cup.
Sajevic closed the match with a birdie on the 16th. He shaped his drive around the 380-yard dogleg-left and used his putter for his second shot.
His bid to complete the season double — the last one was in 1998 by now-Web.com Tour player Steve Friesen of Lincoln — is next month’s Nebraska Amateur at ArborLinks.