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Lincoln's Easley downs Lincoln's Vontz in playoff to win Nebraska Amateur
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Lincoln's Easley downs Lincoln's Vontz in playoff to win Nebraska Amateur

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David Easley answered the challenge.

As he watched Nate Vontz make eagle in the group ahead of him on the par-5 18th hole at Lochland Country Club in Hastings, Easley knew he would need a birdie to force a playoff at the Nebraska Amateur Championship.

He got it, and with another birdie two holes later, the Lincoln native had his first Nebraska Golf Association major.

The 42-year-old Lincoln Pius X grad and former Nebraska Wesleyan athlete shot a final-round 68 to finish at 12-under to come out on top during a record-setting week.

In all, 17 players finished the event under par, shattering the previous record of 11, set in 1998 on the same course. On Thursday, Aurora native and Nebraska golfer Caleb Badura became the first player to shoot 63 in the 113-year history of the event.

But Friday was Easley's day. He made seven birdies against three bogeys, and immediately answered each of the three blemishes with a birdie on the following hole.

Five birdies on the first nine got Easley into position after he started the day one shot behind third-round leaders Badura and Matthew Schaefer of Fordyce, and his playoff-forcing and championship-winning birdies both came on up-and-downs from just off the 18th green.

Easley was one of three players to shoot four under-par rounds on the week, opening with a 71 Tuesday and a 70 Wednesday before going 67-68 over the final 36 holes.

Elkhorn's Luke Gutschewski, who finished seventh at 8-under to earn low junior honors for the second straight year, and Omaha's Charlie Zielinski, who was eighth at 6-under, were the other golfers with four rounds under par.

Another Husker golfer, Tristan Nelko, finished alone in third at 11-under after his eagle attempt on the final hole came up a few inches short. Schaefer finished fourth while Badura was ninth.

Contact the writer at cbasnett@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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Husker men's basketball/baseball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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