Alex Schaake (Nebraska Golf/Twitter photo)
For Alex Schaake, winning the Nebraska Amateur is old hat. He’s done it three years in a row and on Friday, he added a fourth consecutive title. This time, however, getting to the trophy took much, much longer.
Schaake wasn’t even in the conversation at the start of the week at the CC of Lincoln (Neb.) thanks to opening rounds of 70-73. His third-round 66 gave him a three-shot lead. It was the fourth consecutive time he’s held the 54-hole lead.
In the final round, Schaake played solid, making seven straight pars on the front nine before an eagle at No. 8 and a bogey at No. 9. Ahead of him, he had a feeling Caleb Badura, the reigning Nebraska Amateur Match Play champion, was making birdies.
“I just knew if I could keep steady, it was semi-windy today and there were a few mistakes to be had out there,” Schaake said.
Ultimately, Schaake accomplished what he went out to do and posted a very respectable 71. Badura, however, came in with 68 after playing his final four holes in 2 under. Both men finished 72 holes at 8 under, two shots better than the next-best player.
The two entered sudden death, but it took awhile – like, an extra seven holes.
“I feel like I had the advantage on the first six holes even, but the whole match, it came down to the first person to make a mistake,” Schaake said. That ended up being Badura.
Schaake becomes just the second person in Nebraska golf history to win at least four straight titles. Bob Astleford won this tournament every year from 1962-67, but had also won it in 1955 and 1959.
“The history of the Nebraska Am, to win four, to get one step closer to Bob Astleford,” Schaake said. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to catch him because I don’t know what my plans are after college right now.”
There was sentimental value for Schaake beyond that, too – to the tune of personal growth.
“Being here at the Country Club of Lincoln, there’s so much history here too. I’ve had a history of not playing well here,” Schaake said.
After his freshman year at Iowa, he played a U.S. Open local qualifier at course and posted 81. Schaake knew in his heart he was a different player coming back this week and it’s true that there were a lot of things different about this win. But for the fourth consecutive year, a lot of things also felt the same.
ABOUT THE Nebraska Amateur
Must be a resident of the state of Nebraska or a
resident student that attends college in Nebraska.
Open to NGA members only. Format is 72-holes of
stroke play with the low 60 players and ties playing
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