Aurora’s Danica Badura wins Nebraska Girls Amateur Championship
It's a sweep for Badura, who won her first NGA title last month at the Nebraska Girls' Match Play Championship. She's the sixth player to sweep both of the NGA's girls' championships in the same year, and the first to do so since Wahoo's Hannah Thiele in 2015.
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – It was a wide-open race during the Final Round of the 20th Nebraska Girls’ Amateur Championship, but it was again Aurora’s Danica Badura who triumphed at Scotts Bluff Country Club on Wednesday. Omaha’s Christopher Atkinson also took the lead after the second round of the 53rd Nebraska Junior Amateur Championship.
After dealing with difficult weather conditions during the first round, the girls had ideal conditions during the final 18 holes. Several players had a chance to claim the title, with a few different girls holding the lead at some point. However, Badura outlasted them all and posted a second-straight 75 (+3) to win by one stroke with a 150 (+6) total.
It’s a sweep for Badura, who won her first NGA title last month at the Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship. She’s the sixth player to sweep both of the NGA’s girls’ championships in the same year, and the first to do so since Wahoo’s Hannah Thiele in 2015.
Lincoln’s Neely Adler held the lead after the first round, but Lincoln’s Nicole Kolbas quickly tied that lead with a birdie on the par-5 opening hole. Adler regained the lead with a birdie on No. 4, but Badura turned right around and birdied No. 6 to take her first lead of the day. Badura, a University of South Dakota commit, kept that lead and increased it to two strokes at the turn, following an even-par 36 on the front nine.
It looked as if Badura might run away with another title, but Gering’s Madi Schlaepfer caught fire. After a birdie on No. 9, Schlaepfer added birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 to get to 3-under for the round, and just one back of Badura at 4-over.
The tides turned again, as Badura bogeyed Nos. 11 and 12, Schlaepfer cooled off, and Kolbas made birdie on No. 13 to take the solo lead at 4-over. Badura regained the lead with pars on her next five holes. She only made two birdies during the championship, but made no double-bogeys or worse.
The drama was not done yet though, as Omaha’s Katie Ruge and Scottsbluff’s Emily Krzyzanowski made their own runs. Ruge, who led early in the first round, had started her final round bogey, double-bogey. The Millard North junior-to-be played the next 15 holes in 4-under par, including a tee shot to inside five feet on the par-3 17th. Ruge made the birdie on No. 17, and went to the 18th hole one stroke back.
Krzyzanowski had put herself in the mix with birdies on Nos. 13 and 14, but bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 dropped her back. She closed with a birdie to tie Ruge, who bogeyed the last, at 7-over.
With the two players already in at 7-over, Badura continued her par barrage and headed to the final hole at 5-over, with a one-stroke lead over Kolbas. Neither player was able to reach the green in regulation, and Kolbas’ putt from the back fringe rolled about five feet past the hole. Badura cozied her par putt up to about two feet, and converted the bogey putt after Kolbas made her attempt.
Badura finished at 6-over, while Kolbas finished at 151 (+7) tied for runner-up honors with Ruge and Krzyzanowski. Ruge’s final round 72 (E) is tied for the second-lowest round in Girls’ Amateur history.
Schlaepfer tied for fifth with Papillion’s Sydney Taake at 153 (+9). North Platte’s Baylee Steel shot a final round 75 (+3) to finished seventh at 155 (+11), while Scottsbluff’s Anna Kelley was eighth at 157 (+13). Omaha’s Julia Karmazin improved 10 strokes from her first round, shooting a 74 (+2) to take ninth at 158 (+14). Brule’s Harley Hiltibrand rounds out the top 10 in tenth at 159 (+15).
On the boys’ side, Atkinson is the leader after firing a 71 (-1) to follow up his even-par first round. He put four birdies on the card, two on each side, but three bogeys on the front nine kept him at 1-under.
Reed Malleck of York, fresh off his win at the Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship last month, is in second, one stroke back. Malleck shot a 73 (+1), in what he said was a tough round for him. He only had one birdie at the ninth, but eagled the first hole. He also had two bogeys a side that brought him back to 1-over on the round.
Jack Davis of La Vista and Charlie Zielinski of Omaha are tied for third. Zielinski shot 72 (E) and Davis shot 74 (+2) to tie after their second rounds.
The 2018 champ Jason Kolbas of Lincoln is in a three-way tied for fifth, along with Geran Sander of Lincoln and 2019 Junior Match Play champion Luke Gutschewski of Elkhorn. Kolbas made four birdies in his round today en route to a 74 (+2). Sander made three birdies and shot his own 74 (+2). Finally, Gutschewski went on a run from 10-12, playing the stretch at (-3) that included an eagle at the par-5 eleventh, and finished with a second round 72 (E).
Ethan Shaw of Aurora and Rex Soulliere of Omaha are tied for eighth. Both players shot 72 (E), which followed up their pair of 76’s (+4) during the first round.
Rounding out the top 10 is Thomas Bryson of Lincoln. He shot a final round 78 (+6) after his 71 (-1) first round.
The field was cut for tomorrow’s final round, with 41 players advancing. The mark that made it in was 161 (+17), and Cael Peters of Mitchell and Nolan Fleming of Columbus were the two players to make the cut on the number.