OMAHA — Caleb Badura of Aurora will face Dan Huston of Omaha on Friday for the 2019 Men’s Match Play title at The Players Club.
Badura advanced to the finals by beating former Fremonter Andy Sajevic 2-up in the quarterfinals. He then defeated Cade McCallum 4 and 2.
“Cade is a really good player — one of the best in Nebraska,” Badura said. “I just made a lot of clutch putts down the stretch and that separated us. I’ve done that all week and that really helped.”
Huston edged top-seeded Tanner Owen in 21 holes in the quarterfinals. He then defeated 2003 champion Ryan Nietfeldt of Omaha 1-up.
Owen jumped to a 3-up lead after winning No. 6 with a pair, but Huston rallied. He won the 14th hole and No. 16 to tie it. He then won the 17th to take a 1-up lead.
Owen, a golfer for the University of Nebraska answered with an eagle-3 on the par-5 No. 18 to force extra holes. Both players made par on the first two extra holes, but Huston ended it with a birdie.
Huston also trailed early against Nietfeldt, but Huston birdied No. 12 and made par on 14 to even the match. His birdie on 18 won it.
“I got down early, but I felt that once we got to the back nine there were a lot of birdie chances out there,” Huston said.
You have free articles remaining.
Badura, who plays for Northwestern College in Iowa, edged Sajevic, the 2013 champion from Omaha, to open the day.
Badura held a slim 1-up lead until the back nine, where he hit his approach shot to a foot on No. 10 for a conceded birdie, and then rolled in another birdie on No. 11.
He dropped another long putt for birdie on the par-3 13th, but Sajevic answered with a birdie of his own.
Sajevic then won the 14th and 15th holes to cut Badura’s lead to 1 up, and just missed a chance to square the match on No. 17. Badura then hit a great second shot on the par-5 18th to the middle of the green, and two-putted for birdie to advance, 2 up.
In the semifinal match, Badura had a great start, winning four of the first six holes to take a 3 up lead.
McCallum won the 13th hole to cut into the lead, but Badura answered with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to close out the match, 4 and 2.
The final is set to begin at 7 a.m. Friday.