GOTHENBURG–(News Release June 15)–Lincoln’s Nate Vontz caught fire during the first round of Stroke Play Qualifying for the 54th Nebraska Match Play Championship and leads by three strokes at Wild Horse Golf Club in Gothenburg.
Vontz, a Creighton Bluejay senior, made eight birdies and an eagle on his way to the low round of the day, a 64 (-8). He leads by three over two players, including the 2019 Champion Caleb Badura of urora and the 2020 Nebraska Junior Match Play Champion Reed Malleck of York.
It was a hot start for Vontz, who birdied four of his first six holes. Starting on No. 10, Vontz also added an eagle on the par-5 17th hole to get to 6-under through his first eight holes. However, he hit a wayward drive on No. 18 and made double-bogey after a lost ball.
Vontz was unbothered though, as he made the turn and proceeded to make birdies on Nos. 2 and 3. He drove the par-4 seventh green and two-putted for another birdie, before dropping a final one on the par-3 ninth.
Last July, Vontz carded a 64 (-7) at the Nebraska Amateur at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, which tied the lowest round in championship history.
Badura made eight birdies himself during a round of 67 (-5), which has him tied for second with Malleck. The Husker teammates played in different waves, but are tied in the chase for Vontz.
Playing in the afternoon, Badura recorded the low round of his wave. His round included three straight birdies on the front nine, Nos. 5-7, and four straight on the back nine, Nos. 14-17. He just missed eagle putts on both par-5s on the back nine.
Malleck was the clubhouse leader early with his 67 (-5). He was a Stroke Play Qualifying medalist at the 2017 Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship at Wild Horse Golf Club with a 68 (-4), and kept those good feelings rolling on Tuesday. He made six birdies and one bogey during his round.
Three players are tied for fourth, including two past champions. Lincoln’s Travis Minzel (2004) and Omaha’s Andy Sajevic (2013) are tied with Omaha’s Jake Boor, the 2021 NSAA Class A Champion, at 68 (-4).
Matthew Schaefer of Fordyce and Charlie Zielinski of Omaha are tied for seventh at 69 (-3). Husker golfer Tristan Nelko and Elkhorn’s Danny Woodhead, the former NFL player, are tied for ninth at 70 (-2).