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Kesterson takes down Nurski to win Missouri Amateur
Walker Kesterson (MGA/Twitter photo)
Walker Kesterson (MGA/Twitter photo)

To get his Missouri Amateur title, Walker Kesterson had to go through back-to-back champion Brad Nurski. But Kesterson persisted throughout the day at Hickory Hills Country Club, and with a chip-in at the final hole, wrestled the hardware from Nurski, who is one of the top mid-amateurs in the country.

Kesterson, a Hartsburg, Mo., native who is about to enter his senior season at Southern Mississippi trailed for much of Sunday’s championship match at Hickory Hills. He was 2 down by No. 8 tee, but fought back to all square by the time he reached No. 14 tee.

At No. 15, both players missed birdie putts and remained all square heading to No. 16. Ketterson made an ill-timed bogey there as Nurksi made a par putt to return to 1 up with two holes to play.

At No. 17, Nurski lost his advantage when he flew his approach over the green, left his return chip short and ended up with bogey. The real magic for Kesterson happened at No. 18, when he missed the green but chipped in for a birdie. Nurksi had an opportunity to force extra holes with a 15-footer but missed the putt to give Kesterson the win.

ABOUT THE Missouri Amateur

36 holes of stroke play qualifying to determine 64 players for match play. Entries are open to male amateur golfers who are current members of the MGA, play at clubs who are members of the Missouri Golf Association with a certified handicap index of not more than nine (9.0) on the USGA men’s handicap system. Non-exempt players must pre-qualify.

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