NEBRASKA CITY — Blake Busch started fast Tuesday for his first win in high school golf.
The Millard North sophomore birdied three of the first four holes at ArborLinks in the Lincoln Pius X Invitational.
He finished with a 2-over 74 for a one-stroke victory over Carson Schaake of team champion Omaha Creighton Prep, Dakoda Kilzer of Lincoln Northeast and Greg Stanek of Bellevue West.
“I think this is the turning point in my golf career,” Busch said. “It’s the first time I ever played this well on a course like this.”
ArborLinks, where a U.S. Open qualifier will be held in two weeks, again held its own against most of Class A’s best. Busch was the only golfer to break par on the front nine (34). Only three golfers matched par 36 on the back nine.
“I was really focused today,” Busch said. “The first hole, I hit it really close and after that I started making putts.”
The longest putt, he said, was a 30-footer on the second hole.
“I got into some trouble on the back nine,” Busch said. “I had a double bogey on 11. I hit the wrong club and the ball went in the back bunker.”
Schaake was one of four Junior Jays in the top 13. Nick Kravchuk, the only senior who played for Prep on Tuesday, and Stephen Pfeffer had 76s and Andrew Hansen a 77.
“Four in the 70s, on a day like this, is great to have,” Prep coach Morgan Helton said. “It’s ultra-competitive on our team. We’re as deep as there is around.
“Carson, I think, hasn’t been out of the top five this year. He contends in every single tournament.”
Prep’s 304 was 14 strokes better than the 318s by Millard North and Lincoln East.
Team scoring: Omaha Creighton Prep 304, Millard North 318, Lincoln East 318, Bellevue West 320, Columbus 323, Omaha Westside 323, Lincoln Southeast 324, Pius X Green 328, Lincoln Southwest 332, Papillion-LaVista South 342, Fremont 347, Papillion-LaVista 348, Pius X Gold 349, Beatrice 349, Norfolk 353, Bellevue East 371, Lincoln Northeast 371, Lincoln North Star 375, Pius X White 462.
Individual leaders: Blake Busch, MN, 74; Carson Schaake, Prep, 75; Dakoda Kilzer, LNE, 75; Greg Stanek, BW, 75; Nick Kravchuk, Prep, 76; Stephen Pfeffer, Prep, 76; Matt Otten, Col., 76; Matt Unruh, LE, 76; Britt Fordham, LSE, 76; Garrett Morehead, BW, 77; Kyle Murray, Beat., 77; Andrew Hansen, Prep, 77; Aaron Hart, PS, 77.
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