Carson Schaake’s timing was ideal for an unofficial recruiting visit to Oregon.
The Class A state champion golfer from Omaha Creighton Prep was in Eugene last Friday, four days after the Ducks’ men’s golf coach, Casey Martin, qualified for the U.S. Open. Martin last qualified for the event in 1998, tying for 23rd at this year’s Open course, the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Because of a degenerative birth defect in his right leg, Martin must ride a cart in competition. He successfully sued the PGA Tour, which tried to uphold its walking-only rules, in a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001.
“He was really excited,” Schaake said. “He was really humble about it, and that’s with a lot of people congratulating him about it.”
Martin took Schaake, father Ryan Schaake and his swing teacher, Jon Petersen from Miracle Hill, on a campus visit that included meeting two Oregon coaches from Nebraska — Dana Altman and Scott Frost. Martin and Frost were at Stanford at the same time before Frost transferred after his sophomore year to Nebraska.
The Nebraska visitors met Altman on the golf course — the Ducks men’s basketball coach hit a shot on a 200-yard par-3 to 8 feet — and Frost while he was in a recruiting meeting with the Ducks football coaches, including head coach Chip Kelly.
Schaake is among the top prospects in next year’s senior class in Nebraska. He’s taken unofficial visits to Oregon, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Iowa and Kansas.
The Oregon visit was special, however.
“My dad and Jon thought it was great,” Schaake said. “Jon hadn’t been on one of my visits, and he was more impressed than I’d thought he’d be. I loved it, too. But there’s a long ways to go (in recruiting).”
Schaake is three strokes off the lead after Monday’s first round of the PGA Junior Series 54-hole tournament in Nebraska City at ArborLinks, tied with Mitchell Klooz of Plainview and Greg Stanek of Bellevue. Rylee Reinertson of Gibbon, Neb., is one stroke ahead of them.
Schaake said he’s planning to play in more instate events this season, including the men’s match-play and Nebraska Amateur, in hopes of unseating Reinertson, a year behind him in school, as the Nebraska Golf Association’s junior player of the year.
Fremont duo leads NWA event
KEARNEY, Neb. — Former Fremont High School teammates McKayla Anderson and Sophie Peters shot 76s to share the first-round lead Monday at the Nebraska Women’s Amateur stroke-play championship.
One stroke behind at the Kearney Country Club is defending state champion Kayla Knopik of Papillion.
“It’s pretty exciting to have two Fremont girls at the top of the pack. It will be fun to see how things turn out,” said Peters, who played at Morningside this past season but is in the process of transferring to the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
There never has been a women’s state champion from Fremont. Anderson was third at Wild Horse in this event two years ago.
Anderson, who will be a junior at McNeese State, chipped in for an eagle on the 14th hole to shoot 36 on the back nine after opening with a 40. Peters shot 38 on each nine.
Susan Marchese of Omaha, who has 18 state titles, did not enter the tournament this year. Marchese, 51, said she had played every year since she was 13 but is tailoring her schedule to play in seniors events.
Championship-flight scores: McKayla Anderson, Fremont, 76; Sophie Peters, Fremont, 76; Kayla Knopik, Papillion, 77; Julie Seevers, Omaha, 81; Abbie Hunke, Snyder, 83; Morgan Smejkal, Columbus, 83; Kylie Smith, Omaha, 86; Calie Trusler, Omaha, 86; Stephanie Kolbas, Lincoln, 87; Christina VonRiesen, Omaha, 88; Stephanie Moorberg, Manhattan, Kan., 89; Jordan Rearick, Omaha, 89; Courtney Smith, Omaha, 93.
ArborLinks leaders include Omaha teen
NEBRASKA CITY — Sean Song of Omaha shot 75 in Monday’s first round of the ArborLinks PGA Junior Series event to lead its 13-to-15 age division for boys.
Co-leaders in the 16-to-18 divisions were Cha Cha Willhoite of Palm Desert, Calif., and Grace Chua of Canada with 75s in girls competition and Nathan Zhao of Fullerton, Calif., and Zac Dittmer of Kansas City, Mo., with 73s in the boys competition.
Two strokes behind the boys co-leaders with a 75 was Rylee Reinertson of Gibbon, Neb. In a group at 76 were Carson Schaake of Omaha, Mitchell Klooz of Laurel, Neb., and Greg Stanek of Bellevue.
Girls 16 to 18: Cha Cha Willhoite, Palm Desert, Calif., 75; Grace Chua, Canada, 75; Audrey Judd, Olathe, Kan., 76; Brooke Ferrell, Edgerton, Wis., 77; Jennifer Kempton, Littleton, Colo., 78; Jordy LaBarbera, Allen, Texas, 78; Emily Gilman, Austin, Texas, 80; Jordan Chael, Overland Park, Kan., 81; Mariah Peters, Blue Springs, Mo., 81; Nadia Majidi, Tulsa, 82; Balie Winslow, Overland Park, Kan., 82.
Midlands golfers: Sarah Pravecek, Omaha, 85; Kim Barmettler, Omaha, 88; Madeleine Koenig, Lincoln, 89; Annie Pearson, Omaha, 96; Erin Hodges, Omaha, 97; Alexa Ruwe, Omaha. 97; Brittany Holen, Omaha, 99; Lindsey Thompson, Omaha, 100; Katelyn Strudthoff, Omaha, 108; Ellie Wiltfong, Lincoln, 111
Boys 16 to 18: Nathan Zhao, Fullerton, Calif., 73; Zac Dittmer, Kansas City, Mo., 73; James Park, Deerfield, Mass., 74; Jeff Swegle, West Des Moines, 74; Rylee Reinertson, Gibbon, Neb., 75; Ryan Medhaug, Veblen, S.D., 75; Cameron Farrell, Dakota Dunes, S.D., 75; Carson Schaake, Omaha, 76; Mitchell Klooz, Laurel, Neb., 76; Greg Stanek, Bellevue, Neb., 76; Eric Lester, Kansas City, Mo., 76.
Other Midlands golfers; Sam Meuret, Brunswick, Neb., 78; Tommy Hamilton, Omaha, 79; Preston Walford, Tekamah, Neb., 80; Corey Labenz, Lincoln, 80; Riley Meuret, Brunswick, Neb., 80; Trey Petitt, Lincoln, 81; Andrew Holloway, Scottsbluff, Neb., 81; Garrett Morehead, Bellevue, 81; Ben Maschka, Omaha, 81; Stephen Pfeffer, Omaha, 82; Adam Lechner, Kearney, 82; Tim Song, Omaha, 82; Cale Benson, Grand Island, 82; Clint Kracl, Schuyler, Neb., 83; Harrison Agena, Syracuse, Neb., 83; Ryan Rearick, Omaha, 84; Jon Burmeister II, Lincoln, 84; Zach Flodman, Eagle, Neb., 85; Clayton Malone, Lincoln, 86; Aaron Hart, Papillion, 87; Brandon Damico, Lincoln, 87; Matthew Unruh, Lincoln, 87; Andrew DeBolt, Omaha, 87; Tyler Zoellner, Ogallala, Neb., 88; Cole Stenger, Bellevue, 89; Drew Morrissey, Omaha, 89; Carter Rau, Lincoln, 89; Baylor Bond, Lincoln, 90; Ben Williams, Dakota Dunes, S.D., 91; Trey Maughan, Maryville, Mo., 96; Matt Gress, Nebraska City, 98.
Boys 13 to 15: Sean Song, Omaha, 75; Alex Schaake, Omaha, 80; Jeffrey Paschal, Papillion, 81; Samuel Foust, Edina, Minn, 81; Luke Henke, Leawood, Kan, 81; Ben Parisi, Omaha, 81; Josh Wilson, Papillion, 3; Alex Aulerich, Valentine, Neb., 84; Jake Goldman, Leawood, Kan., 84; Kobi Boe, Edina, Minn., 84
Other Midlands golfers: Dylan McCabe, Sioux City, Iowa, 86; Luke Janning, Omaha, 89; Spencer Gubser, Omaha, 91; Tyler Dunn, Omaha, 93; Blake Tooley, Omaha, 94; Tommy Pieper, Omaha, 95.
Theft mars Open qualifying for Cornell
Judd Cornell of Omaha was given quite the pairing as a mini-tour player at last week’s U.S. Open qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. His fellow competitors were PGA Tour players Matt Every and Jeff Overton, the latter a member of the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
The situation turned nightmarish when his clubs were stolen from his car the day before the 36-hole qualifier. He went to Scioto Golf Club, where he was to play his first 18 holes, and head pro Bill Stines put together a makeshift set of clubs.
Cornell shot 80 there, then came back with a 75 in the afternoon round at Ohio State University’s Scarlet course. His plight made The Golf Channel and Exegolf.com.
Cornell said it wasn’t the first time he had clubs stolen. It happened during his freshman year of college, but the timing was far worse this time.
“I was really excited (for the qualifier) and playing well,” he said. “Scioto is where Jack Nicklaus played growing up.
“I played with Overton in college, and obviously he’s had lot of success since college. Those guys were nice and pretty understanding about what happened.”
Cornell has an eye on the European PGA and PGA Tour qualifying tournaments later this year. He intends to return to the mini-tours in July and also enter the Cox Classic open qualifying.
As for a replacement set of clubs, “I’m waiting for them.”
New superintendent improving The Knolls
After 27 years at Fontenelle Hills, Jody Bruner is at The Knolls as course superintendent and bringing the city-owned course in northwest Omaha back from what PGA professional David Johnson said was a bad 2011.
“We’re lucky to have Jody,” said Johnson, who leases The Knolls from the city. “Really, I’m one of his assistants. I’m spending most of my time out on the course with his crew and I like it.”
Bruner said it helped that the course overseeded its tees and fairways last fall. He’s worked on the greens this spring and has most rolling to his satisfaction.
Countdown to this year’s Cox Classic
A look at the Nationwide Tour in advance of the Aug. 2 to 5 Cox Classic at Champions Run:
This week: No tournament. The tour resumes next week with the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.
Last week: At the Mexico Open, Lee Williams won for the first time on tour by holding off Paul Haley II with a final-round 70.
Gooch third: Former Husker Scott Gutschewski, who began the day tied for 14th at the Mexico Open, strung together five consecutive birdies to finish third. He made putts of 20, 22, 40 and 45 feet.
“I made a ton of putts. I putted really well in the second round, and then again today. It’s been a while since I’ve done that,” Gutschewski said.
It was only his fourth made cut of the season and easily his best finish, worth $42,500.