FIELD SET FOR NEBRASKA GIRLS' & JUNIOR MATCH PLAY IN MCCOOK
MCCOOK (June 21, 2021) - The field is set for the 59th Nebraska Girls' Match Play Championship and the 32nd Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship at Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook this week.
The Championship will begin on Tuesday, June 22 with an 18-hole Stroke Play Qualifier, with 22 girls competing for 16 spots and 79 boys competing for 32 spots in the match play bracket.
Two rounds of matches will be conducted on Wednesday, followed by two more on Thursday. The girls' final is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, while the boys' final is Friday morning.
There are many driven players competing in this year's Championship, including a couple past champions. On the girls’ side, Lauren Thiele of Wahoo will return after winning the Championship in 2019 at Awarii Dunes Golf Club. Luke Gutschewski of Elkhorn, who also won in 2019, will be returning on the boys’ side. Gutschewski also captured the Nebraska Junior Amateur title last year.
These past champions will face ambitious competition with Nicole Kolbas of Lincoln and Katie Ruge of Omaha. Ruge won the Nebraska Women's Match Play title in 2020, while Kolbas is still looking for her first NGA title, but is coming off an impressive performance at the 2021 U.S. Girls' Junior Qualifier at Indian Trails Country Club. Kolbas earned co-medalist honors and one of two qualifying spots in the championship, which will take place in July.
Six of the top 10 from the 2021 NGA Girls' Point Standings will compete, including Omaha's Emily and Julia Karmazin, Lincoln's Nicole Kolbas, Omaha's Katie Ruge, Scottsbluff’s Emily Krzyzanowski, and North Platte's Karsen Morrison.
On the boys’ side, some other competitors to watch for are Jake Boor of Omaha, who won the NSAA Class A title this year. Rockney Peck of Wisner is the reigning Class C Champion, and will also compete. A couple former Kansas-Nebraska Junior Cup team members, in addition to Gutschewski, are also in the field, Omaha's Christopher Atkinson and Lincoln's Jason Kolbas. Kolbas, the 2018 Nebraska Junior Amateur Champion, is looking to close out his junior career with another title.
Nine out of the top 10 from 2021 NGA Boys’ Point Standing will be participating in this year's Championship. These nine include Gutschewski, Noah Miller (Papillion), Kolbas, Boor, Peck, Kody Sander (Lincoln), Atkinson, Cole Feddersen (Kearney), and Richard Orth III (Omaha).
Heritage Hills last hosted the Nebraska Junior Match Play in 2014, when Omaha's Alex Schaake and Wahoo's Haley Thiele won.