Lincoln, NE – Wilderness Ridge played host to Nebraska PGA’s Nelnet/Baxter Lincoln Golf FORE The Troops Pro-Am, featuring 32 teams of NEPGA Professionals partnered with three amateurs from around the state. The tournament design is focused on two key initiatives in providing Nebraska PGA Professionals with a highly competitive stroke play competition while also raising funds for college scholarships that are awarded annually to family members of active military personnel in Nebraska. In the event’s 17th year, the Nelnet/Baxter Lincoln Golf FORE The Troops Pro-Am has raised more than $210,000 for military families.
In the Professional-only division, several Nebraska PGA Professionals posted great scores but from the get-go, they all were chasing down one player. Playing in the second group of the day, Firethorn Golf Club’s Brady Schnell started off hot with two birdies in his first three holes. After making five consecutive pars, Schnell picked up another birdie on No. 9 to close out an opening nine of 33 (3-under). Schnell went on to shoot a bogey-free 65 (6-under) and it proved to be to low for the rest of the field to reach. Schnell continued his recent hot streak in NEPGA tournament play to collect Low-Professional honors once again.
Tournament Co-Chair Jim White, PGA MP of The Fairways at Lincoln began his day midway through the tournament with his eyes set on a top finish in his own event. After an opening 35 (1-under), White shot a bogey-free back nine and finished his day at 4-under for a runner-up finish. Rounding out the top three was Firethorn Golf Club’s Mike Coatman with a 68 (3-under). The team competition featuring a two-net best-ball format finished with Sam Jonell, PGA of River Wilds GC and his team of amateurs Jeff Reitz, Mike Hansen and Colby Kontor winning at 19-under par.
We would like to thank title sponsors Nelnet & Baxter Lincoln, clubhouse sponsors Bowman & Krieger Law Firm, Watts & Hershberger PC and our supporting sponsors Chesterman Co. Coca-Cola, Vinnie Krikac’s State Farm Insurance Agency, Mizuno Golf, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Bushnell Golf for making this event as special as it was for everyone involved.
Finally, we would also like to thank General Manager Chip Cary, Director of Golf Mike Schuchart, PGA, Director of Grounds Tom Athy and the entire staff at Wilderness Ridge for once again hosting a top tier event.