AXTELL – After two more rounds of matches on Wednesday, a champion was crowned at the 57th Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship and two players are left to play for the title at the 30th Nebraska Junior Match Play Championship at Awarii Dunes Golf Club in Axtell.
A familiar name will be engraved on the Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship trophy, as Lauren Thiele of Wahoo joins her sisters Haley and Hannah as a champion. Thiele defeated Omaha’s Jalea Culliver in the Final, 3 and 2 to take her first title, and the fourth for the Thiele family. Haley won in 2013 and 2014, and Hannah won in 2015.
On the boys’ side, Josh Bartels of Lincoln and Luke Gutschewski of Elkhorn will face-off in the 18-hole Final on Thursday morning. Bartels continued to cruise through the bracket. He’s gone past the 14th hole in just one of his four matches so far. That match was in the Quarterfinals, where he defeated Juniata’s Nolan Sughroue, 3 and 2. He was back on cruise control in the afternoon, taking out Isaac Heimes of Norfolk, 5 and 4, with a birdie on the 14th hole. Heimes had just taken down the No. 1 seed, Reed Malleck of York, with a birdie on the 18th hole to win 1 up.