Norfolk’s Luke Kluver shoots 136, wins Nebraska qualifiers for Pinnacle Bank Championship in Nebraska City

Norfolk’s Luke Kluver shoots 136, wins Nebraska qualifiers for Pinnacle Bank Championship in Nebraska City
Luke Kluver won the Nebraska qualifier for the Pinnacle Bank Championship. Kluver shot 69-67 for an 8-under 136 total. (World-Herald News Service)

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 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 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 ( 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

We strive for accuracy. Report a typo, inaccuracy, or mistake here.