Badura ready to defend Nebraska Match Play championship

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 5:47 PM CDT
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The Nebraska Match Play Championship, scheduled for June 22, will be one of the first major local sporting events since the pandemic. Caleb Badura, the 2019 Match Play champion, is ready to defend his title.

"I just have to play my game," Badura said prior to a practice round at Hillcrest Country Club on a warm, windy afternoon. "Take the same mentality I had last year. Not focus on my opponent and shoot as low as I can."

Badura says winning last year's State Match Play is the highest achievement of his golf career. The Aurora native also won a pair of NSAA individual championships and also helped Northwestern (IA) win the GPAC team title in 2019. Following his collegiate freshman season, Badura transferred to play for the home state Huskers.

During his first season at Nebraska, Badura played in five tournaments, including the Big Ten Match Play Championships. Badura went 4-0 at the prestigious tourney. He says putting and an aggressive mindset are key to winning match play events.

Badura continued golfing during the pandemic and says his performance remains at a high level.

"The nerves will definitely be there," Badura said. "With competitive golf starting back up, its a whole different pressure and grind."

Badura understands the Nebraska Match Play Championships will look a little different in 2020. Social distancing must occur, along with pins remaining in the holes. Also, no scorecards will be used or exchanged.

"It'll be a lot different," Badura said. "No shaking hands. No scorecards. That'll be a huge change, but its still golf and you still have to put the ball in the hole."

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