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Nebraskans Alex Schaake, Luke Kluver expect to make NCAA golf tournament
GOLF

Nebraskans Alex Schaake, Luke Kluver expect to make NCAA golf tournament

Alex Schaake and Luke Kluver expect to get the call with their teams to play in NCAA men’s regionals.

Schaake, who is finishing up his Iowa career, tied for second at last weekend’s Big Ten championships as the Hawkeyes came within an eyelash of ending Illinois’ hold on the team title. The Illini won by one over Iowa.

Schaake, from Omaha Creighton Prep, has been in the top five in his past five college events. He successfully defended his 2019 title at the Hawkeyes’ invitational, for which he was Big Ten co-player of the week.

Kluver, a second-year Kansas freshman from Norfolk, tied for 25th in the Big 12 championships at Prairie Dunes after rallying from an opening 81. He had three top-10s this spring for the Jayhawks.

The NCAA will announce its men’s regional selections Wednesday. Iowa is 40th and KU is 56th in the most recent Golfstat ratings.

Nebraska’s women, ranked 49th by Golfstat, open their first NCAA regional appearance since 2008 on May 10 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.

Beatrice hosts qualifier

A field of 48 will invade Beatrice Country Club on May 10 for 18-hole U.S. Open local qualifying. They will be playing for three spots in sectional qualifying, which fills out the field for the June 17-20 Open at Torrey Pines.

Omaha: Ryan Vermeer, Carson Schaake, Alex Schaake, Ryan Nietfeldt, Matt Carsey, Jake Boor, Josh Kramer, Charlie Zielinski, William Hagel, JR Reyes, Garrett Goldsberry, Josh Peters, Rex Soulliere, Matthew Junge, Mike Takacs, Ivan Yabut. Lincoln: Brenden Miller, Jack Christensen, Jason Kolbas, Nate Vontz, Jayson Brueggemann, Cooper Domgard, Geran Sander.

Other cities: Zach Christianson, Atlantic, Iowa; Caleb Badura, Aurora; Will Wears, Baltimore; Marshal Obal, Joel Brueggemann, Beatrice; Matt Clements, John Spellerberg, Bennington; Spencer Nickolite, Columbus; Lance Juelfs, Dalton; Jared Koch, Denison, Iowa; Conor Schubring, Eden Prairie, Minn.; William Marshall, Elburn, Ill; Matthew Schaefer, Hartington; Alex Thayer, Hastings; Brandon Crick, McCook; Luke Kluver, Norfolk; Kade Brown, Kelly Brown, Oberlin, Kan.; Josh Wilson, Papillion; Felipe Pedraza, Peru; Tristan Nelko, Plymouth, Minn.; Shane Zywiec, Seward; James Mobley, Tallahassee, Fla.; Nicolaus Latcham, Waukee, Iowa; Reed Malleck, York.

Nebraska PGA honors

Nebraska Section PGA President Gil Russell of Omaha has received the association’s 2020 Golf Professional of the Year award. Russell is the assistant general manager at Happy Hollow Club.

A native of Grant, Nebraska, Russell in 2015 became the youngest officer in section history. Nebraska PGA Executive Director David Honnens said Russell’s contributions in improving the group’s digital media presence led to the section being honored last year with the PGA of America’s Herb Graffis Award for growing the game.

Other 2020 award recipients were Jonathan Mielke, Oak Hills in Omaha, teacher of the year and youth player development; Greg Neujahr, Champions Run in Omaha, PGA Professional Development; Mike Antonio, Happy Hollow, Bill Strausbaugh club relations; Matt Shaner, Golf Fit USA in Kearney, public merchandiser of the year; Sarah Pravecek, Wilderness Ridge in Lincoln, player development; Brandon Wedding, Happy Hollow, private-course merchandiser of the year and assistant professional of the year; Happy Hollow Club, facility of the year; Matt Geschke, sales representative of the year; Seth Scollard, Nebraska Section, Patriot Award.

From the notebook

» Our annual Midlands Golf section will appear on Sunday. For the schedule of events, course pros and event organizers with tournaments open to the public are asked to send those dates to stu.pospisil@owh.com by Thursday.

» Omaha's Cole Grandfield and Ryan Turek won the Nebraska Four-Ball Championship in a two-hole playoff at the Players Club in Omaha. They defeated Lincoln's Travis Minzel and Jay Moore as Turek two-putted from the fringe for birdie on the 18th hole. Bill Amundsen of Bennington and Brian Csipkes of Gretna finished third after back-to-back runner-up finishes the past two years.

» The North Platte city council has turned over the 18-hole Iron Eagle course, through a lease-purchase agreement, to a subsidiary of Grand Island’s Chief Industries.

» The Nebraska Golf Association has created the Nebraska Women’s Mid-Amateur, which will be Sept. 18-19 at Fremont Golf Club. The championship trophy will be named for the late Laura Saf of Lincoln, the first woman to serve on the NGA board.

» Dave Malone of Pine Lake in Lincoln and Brent McGrew, who’s at the Quail Run and VanBerg courses in Columbus, have been honored as Top 50 Kids Coaches by U.S. Kids Golf.

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Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Email stu.pospisil@owh.com

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