Omaha, NE – Championship season continued for the Nebraska Section PGA as they teed off the 2023 Nebraska PGA Professional Championship, presented by Club Car (Nebraska Golf & Turf), Corebridge Financial and ROLEX. The annual Section Championship welcomed 63 players to Champions Run Omaha where their most prestigious trophy was up for grabs along with five qualifying spots into the 2024 PGA Professional Championship.
The format of the championship is 54-holes of individual stroke-play with the first 36 taking place on Monday and the final 18 being completed today. The event got off to a rough start with heavy rains across Omaha and tee times were delayed and later modified to a shotgun start. The pairings of Nebraska PGA Professionals began their quest for the title at 11:45am on Monday and the loaded field was off and running.
After the first 18-holes, Kalin, PGA of Fremont Golf Club opened the day with a round of 70 to share the lead with three others at 2-under. After only seven players managed to shoot red figures in the first round, the scoring pace picked up rapidly in the afternoon. Andrew Storm, PGA of Shadow Ridge Country Club shot the round of the day with a 66 (6-under) to join Nick Wanderscheid, PGA of Morningside University at the top of the leaderboard at 7-under total through 36 holes. Recent National Car Rental Nebraska Assistant PGA Champion Jay Cottam, PGA of Meadowlark Hills GC sat in solo-third at 5-under while Justin Herron, PGA of Oak Hills CC ended his opening day at 4-under.
“You really need to take care of the gettable holes out here and I feel like I did that today. Believe it or not, these were my first two individual stroke-play rounds of 2023”, said Wanderscheid following his opening 36.
“After struggling to find it in the first round, I really found my rhythm in the afternoon and I’m excited to head into tomorrow’s final round with a share of the lead”, said Storm.
The leaderboard was stacked with past champions, rising stars and great scores coming into today’s final round. Defending champion with five consecutive victories in a row in this event, Ryan Vermeer of Happy Hollow Club struggled on the first day before bouncing back with a great final round of 66 (6-under) which was the best in the field. With that said, it wasn’t enough and that meant we we’re going to see a new champion for the first time since 2017.
In just the first six holes, Storm made two birdies and stretched his lead to three strokes, and he continued to pull away into the afternoon. After birdies on No. 10, No. 11 and No. 12, Storm held a five shot lead that he never let go of.
“I told myself to keep my foot on the gas pedal and I didn’t want to play any less aggressive with the lead than I had before”, said Storm.
Storm went into the clubhouse with a 33 (3-under) to score an impressive 67 (5-under) on the day which got him to 12-under for the championship. The Shadow Ridge Country Club Teaching Professional claimed his first Nebraska PGA Professional Championship victory in his career since becoming a Class A PGA Member.
“To get the job done with it being such a strong field of players, it means so much to me and proves how much work I’ve put into my own game”, said Storm.
Joining Storm down at the PGA Frisco for the 2024 PGA Professional Championship next Spring will be runner-up Justin Herron, PGA of Oak Hills CC, Nick Wanderscheid, PGA of Morningside University, Jay Cottam, PGA of Meadowlark Hills GC, Steve Friesen, PGA of Firethorn Golf Club and Ryan Vermeer, PGA of Happy Hollow Club who was already exempt for the national event due to his victory in the 2018 PGA Professional Championship.
We would like to thank our presenting sponsors Club Car (Nebraska Golf & Turf), Corebridge Financial and ROLEX as well as our supporting sponsors Taylormade, Nike, Titleist/FootJoy, Callaway Golf, Gallagher, Golf Channel and the PGA TOUR for making this event possible. We would also like to thank Director of Agronomy Greg Jones, CGCs, MG and the entire maintenance staff at Champions Run Omaha for all the work they did to get the course playable after tough weather conditions. Lastly, thank you to Director of Golf Greg Neujahr, PGA of Champions Run Omaha and the entire Professional staff for hosting our two-day championship and providing great hospitality to our field of Nebraska PGA Professionals.
ABOUT THE NEBRASKA SECTION PGA
The Nebraska Section PGA is a non-for-profit organization comprised of nearly 300 PGA Members and Associates who strive to promote the enjoyment and growth of the game of golf. Nebraska Section PGA encompasses the entire State of Nebraska, western fifth of Iowa and a small portion of South Dakota including Dakota Dunes and Yankton. The Section office is located in Lincoln, NE and acts as a resource for local and national golf information for the golf professional and amateur player alike. Our members are often referred to as “Club Professionals”, not to be mistaken as PGA TOUR Professionals. Each Nebraska Section PGA professional serves as an expert in the ever-changing business of golf. They are the leading expert players and teachers, skilled business managers, community leaders, and superior merchandisers who have dedicated their careers to the local delivery of these services.