NEBRASKA CITY — Luke Kluver made it two in a row for the amateurs against the pros in the Nebraska qualifier for the Pinnacle Bank Championship.
The two-time Class A high school champion from Norfolk, who turned 18 this month, saved par on the final hole of Tuesday’s 36-hole tournament at ArborLinks to beat Web.com Tour pro Brandon Crick of McCook by one stroke.
Kluver has a spot in the July 19-22 PBC at Indian Creek. Last year, Rylee Reinertson of Gibbon won the qualifier and nearly made the cut to the weekend in the first year of the tournament.
“I’m playing some of my best golf right now,” Kluver said. “To beat those guys is quite an accomplishment. I’m excited for myself and also my family because they can be a part of it. Hopefully we can make it all work out.”
Kluver could be in a scheduling quandary. The PBC is the same week as the U.S. Junior Amateur at Baltusrol in New Jersey. Kluver played in that USGA championship last year — he also qualified in 2017 for the U.S. Amateur and the sectionals of the U.S. Open — and is entered in Friday’s qualifier at Beatrice Country Club, where 56 boys will be playing for two spots.
Crick was playing Tuesday for insurance. He’s 155th on the Web.com money list, maybe not high enough to get into Omaha on the tour’s priority list for filling tournament fields. But Omaha falls the same week as the British Open and the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship. That increases Crick’s chances.
“I have a couple different ways of hopefully getting in,” Crick said. “I’m planning on getting in and playing in a few more (Web.com) tournaments and making some money so I don’t have to worry about it down the road.”
So if Kluver qualifies and opts for the Junior Amateur, Crick is next in line as first alternate. If Crick doesn’t need the spot, then it lands in the lap of ex-Husker golfer Michael Colgate, who took third Tuesday, as the second alternate.
“I have my fingers crossed,’’ said Colgate, from Sarasota, Florida. “I’ve been an alternate in way too many tournaments the last couple years. I have faith. They’re both really good players, and whatever happens is meant to happen.”
Kluver and Crick were among four tied for the lead at 69 after the first 18 holes on a course slightly softened by Monday’s storm that brought tornado warnings to the area. Kluver shot 67 in the afternoon round to finish at 8-under 136. Crick had 68 for 137.
A birdie 3 on the 17th hole brought a strong fist pump from Kluver, who knew he had caught Crick at 8-under. Most everyone else following them believed, because real-time scoring was not available, that Crick still led by one.
“I knew where I stood all day,” Kluver said.
On 18, both missed the fairway — Kluver left and Crick right. Crick had the worse of the lies, pulling his approach shot left of the green, and his third ran into the back fringe where Kluver’s second shot had stopped.
Crick made a 15-footer for his bogey before Kluver rammed in an 8-footer for his par and the win.
“It was nice to get out there. I thought I played pretty good,” Crick said. “Luke just answered every time. That was just a good, old-fashioned battle there. It was fun for me to get into a more competitive mode because on the tour right now I’ve been struggling a little bit.”
Luke Kluver, Norfolk 69-67—136
Brandon Crick, McCook 69-68—137
Michael Colgate, Lincoln 73-66—139
Justin Herron, Omaha 71-69—140
Shane Zywiec, Seward 69-72—141
Chris Wiemers, Omaha 73-68—141
Sean Song, Omaha 75-67—142
John Hurley, Tomball, Texas 70-72—142
Ryan Lenahan, Charlotte, N.C. 69-73—142
Carson Schaake, Omaha 74-69—143
Noah Hofman, McCook 72-72—144
Conner Barr, Lincoln 77-67—144
Kevin Stanek, Bellevue 74-70—144
Calvin Freeman, Table Rock 75-70—145
Nate Vontz, Lincoln 77-68—145
Tanner Owen, Parkville, Mo. 72-73—145
Dylan McCabe, Lincoln 74-72—146
Jay Moore, Lincoln 74-73—147
Jackson Wendling, Lincoln 73-75—148
Kade Brown, Oberlin, Kan. 77-71—148
Patrick Clare, Lincoln 76-73—149
Mike Siwa, Omaha 74-75—149
Jon Petersen, Omaha 70-80—150
CJ Farber, Kearney 75-75—150
Michael Hillyard, Leawood, Kan. 75-75—150
Brian Csipkes, Gretna 75-76—151
Brandt Radloff, Blair 75-76—151
Jace Guthmiller, Lincoln 73-78—151
Nicholas Nothnagel, McCook 74-77—151
Grant Jabenis, Omaha 75-77—152
Austin Murray, Kearney 79-78—157
JT Hudson, Omaha 76-81—157
Matt Havermann, Ogallala 83-76—159
Cory Pepper, Lincoln 80-80—160
Alex Thomsen, Elkhorn 80-81—161
Nate Meyer, Nebraska City 85-76—161
Brandon Morris, Elkhorn 85-77—162
Tyler Ehresman, Omaha 82-81—163
Alex Kubik, Aurora 82-81—163
Zach Davis, Kansas City, Mo. 85-80—165
Kean Kontor, Lincoln 86-79—165
Jonathan Kurylo, Agar, S.D. 86-79—165
Billy Rhiley, Lincoln 82-85—167
Aaron Hart, Papillion 88-81—169
Daniel Bock, Omaha 83-88—171
Andrew Srb, Cedar Bluffs 83-88—171
Brandon Sladek, Omaha WD
Mike Takacs, Ashland WD
Trevor Kosch, Humphrey JWD