Kluver wins Nebraska Match Play championship

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 3:47 PM CDT
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Halfway through the 36-hole Nebraska Match Play championship round, Luke Kluver faced a deficit. He was trailing Ryan Nietfeldt, who was 3-up, on the 20-year-old from Norfolk. But that's when Kluver refocused and treated the gallery to an impressive comeback performance.

On the 19th hole, Kluver rolled in a birdie putt to win the hole. That sparked a stretch in which the Kansas freshman birdied four of five holes to take advantage of the final.

Kluver took his first lead over Nietfeldt on the 23rd green. Nietfeldt, a former Nebraska golfer who was an All-Big 8 performer, tied the match on the 26th green. But a booming drive by Kluver on the par-5 27th hole set up another birdie by Kluver. The two-time NSAA state champion won the hole to reclaim the lead, which he never relinquished.

Kluver closed out the championship 5&4 over Nietfeldt, the 2003 Nebraska Match Play champion. Kluver said its his biggest win on the amateur tour.

He defeated four previous champions to claim the 2020 title, including Caleb Badura in the semifinals.