Husker Tanner Owen birdies par-5s to take top spot during Nebraska men’s match play qualifying

Whoever plays qualifying leader Tanner Owen in the Nebraska men’s match play golf championship this week better not expect to pick up ground against him on Players Club’s par-5s.

The Husker senior-to-be from Parkville, Missouri, birdied all three Tuesday in a 5-under 66 and was 5 of 6 while taking medalist honors at 7-under 135.

Into the par-5s Tuesday, he hit driver/9-iron, 3-wood/7-iron and 3-wood/9-iron.

“You have to play smart. If you don’t have to hit driver or if it’s only to get you to a quarter-wedge instead of a half-wedge or full wedge, there’s no reward to the risk,’’ Owen said. “It’s set up shorter than what I’m used to playing, so I have to tell myself, ‘You have to hit driving irons, you have to hit 3-woods.’”

Normally as the No. 1 seed, Owen would be in the first pairing Wednesday morning for the first of the day’s two rounds. But he gets to sleep in two hours longer.

A thunderstorm suspended the playoff for the final spot in match play — his first-round opponent. Class B boys golf champion Luke Gutschewski, with tour pro dad Scott as caddie, and Gretna’s Michael Croker agreed to resume at 7 a.m. Wednesday on the fourth extra hole. They were putting on the par-3 third hole when cloud-to-ground lightning was visible to the west behind them, but finished the hole.

The winner, the last to qualify from the original 5-for-4 playoff, advances to play Owen at 9:30 a.m.

Iowa Western golfer Cade McCallum of Grand Island snared the No. 2 seed at 3-under and Creighton sophomore-to-be Tucker Knaak of Plainview the No. 3 seed at 2-under. Brian Csipkes of Gretna and Ryan Nietfeldt of Omaha were the only others at par or better for the 36 holes.

First-round leader William Amundsen shot 77 in the second round and is the No. 13 seed.

Nietfeldt (2003), Travis Minzel of Lincoln (2004), Andy Sajevic of Omaha (2013) and father John Sajevic of Fremont (1989 and 1996) are the past champions among the top 32.

Tanner Owen, Parkville, Mo. 69-66—135

Cade McCallum, Grand Island 70-69—139

Tucker Knaak, Plainview 70-70—140

Brian Csipkes, Gretna 72-70—142

Ryan Nietfeldt, Omaha 70-72—142

Caleb Badura, Aurora 74-69—143

Dan Huston, Omaha 74-69—143

Noah Hofman, McCook 72-71—143

Matthew Unruh, Lincoln 72-72—144

Nate Vontz, Lincoln 71-73—144

Matthew Schaefer, Fordyce 69-76—145

William Amundsen, Omaha 68-77—145

Andy Sajevic, Omaha 73-72—145

David Easley, Lincoln 75-70—145

Josh Bartels, Lincoln 77-69—146

Mitchell Klooz, Imperial 76-70—146

Jay Moore, Lincoln 73-74—147

Alex Zillig, La Vista 71-76—147

Steve Buroker, Omaha 71-76—147

AJ Nolin, Omaha 72-76—148

Grant Jabenis, Omaha 72-76—148

John Sajevic, Fremont 72-76—148

Matt Petersen, Omaha 74-75—149

Daniel Pearson, Longmont, Colo. 74-75—149

Reed Malleck, York 76-73—149

Josh Peters, Omaha 77-73—150

Travis Minzel, Lincoln 73-77—150

Cole Grandfield, Omaha 73-77—150

Mark Wright, Omaha 78-73—151

Austin Murray, Kearney 76-75—151

Glenn Bills, Grand Island 75-76—151

Luke Gutschewski, Omaha 79-72—151

Michael Croker, Gretna 76-75—151

Failed to qualify

Jayson Brueggemann, Lincoln 74-78—152

Roger Sack, Lincoln 77-75—152

Jake Boor, Omaha 76-76—152

Kellen Rossman, Norfolk 76-77—153

Kevin Sullivan, Omaha 75-78—153

JT Hudson, Omaha 77-77—154

Mike Siwa, Omaha 77-77—154

Brandt Radloff, Blair 75-79—154

Chris Rasmussen, Omaha 78-76—154

Josh Wilson, Papillion 81-73—154

Tyler Ehresman, Omaha 75-80—155

Blake Giroux, Omaha 74-81—155

Danny Woodhead, Omaha 77-78—155

Jace Kratzenstein, Kearney 75-81—156

Matt Kingston, Springfield 76-80—156

Jason Kolbas, Lincoln 79-78—157

Tyler Welch, Seward 78-79—157

Hudson Schulz, Lincoln 81-76—157

Jacob Godwin, Omaha 80-77—157

Grant Johnson, Lincoln 77-81—158

John Lapour, Omaha 78-80—158

Ryan Knispel, Omaha 76-82—158

Vance Janssen, Blair 80-78—158

Christian Hall, Omaha 78-80—158

Kean Kontor, Fremont 75-83—158

Ethan Blair, Omaha 81-78—159

Scott Tridle, Lincoln 76-83—159

Johnathan Hudson, Omaha 77-82—159

Brett Hoffman, Kearney 76-84—160

Rourke Jensen, Lincoln 80-80—160

Alex Kubik, Aurora 82-79—161

Tylar Samek, David City 78-83—161

Andrew Morrissey, Omaha 88-74—162

Preston Carbaugh, Cambridge 85-77—162

Patrick Clare, Lincoln 81-81—162

Bryce Vuncannon, Columbus 76-87—163

Mason Hale, Atkinson 81-82—163

Jake Matzner, McCool Junction 80-83—163

Joe Torkelson, Omaha 80-83—163

Rex Soulliere, Omaha 81-82—163

Andrew Godwin, Omaha 89-75—164

Jacob Reckin, Bellevue 81-83—164

Sean Denning, Bellevue 82-82—164

Nash Holm, Omaha 80-85—165

Ryan Rogers, Omaha 84-81—165

Drew D’Ercole, Papillion 82-84—166

Jeffrey Paschal, Papillion 80-87—167

Evan Russo, Yutan 84-84—168

Keevan Statz, Lincoln 83-85—168

Jack Riggins, Lincoln 88-81—169

Lucas Leinen, Bellevue 82-88—170

Evan Macke, Omaha 82-88—170

Will Porter, Kearney 84-86—170

Grant Maser, Gering 87-84—171

Vincent Nigro, Omaha 87-84—171

Charlie Levy, Omaha 85-87—172

Jason Eggers, Omaha 84-88—172

Jack Song, Omaha 92-83—175

Jordan Hart, Omaha 84-92—176

Kaleb Fullerton, Omaha 87-90—177

Sam Morse, Columbus 88-90—178

Caleb Bukacek, Omaha 91-93—184

Jayden Neal, North Platte 94-90—184

Chad Geiger, Lincoln 82-DQ

First-round pairings — 7 a.m.: Huston (8) vs. Pearson (25). 7:10: Unruh (9) vs. Malleck (24). 7:20: Csipkes (4) vs. Wright (29). 7:30: Amundsen (13) vs. Jabenis (20). 7:40: Nietfeldt (5) vs. Peters (28). 7:50: Schaefer (12) vs. J. Sajevic (21). 8 a.m.: McCallum (2) vs. Murray (31). 8:10: Klooz (15) vs. Zillig (18). 8:20: Hofman (7) vs. Grandfield (26). 8:30: Vontz (10) vs. Petersen (23). 8:40: Knaak (3) vs. Bills (30). 8:50: A. Sajevic (14) vs. Buroker (19). 9 a.m.: Badura (6) vs. Minzel (27). 9:10: Easley (11) vs. Nolin (22). 9:20: Bartels (16) vs. Moore (17). 9:30: Owen (1) vs. Gutschewski or Croker (32). Second-round matches scheduled from 1:30 to 2:40 p.m.

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