The Pinnacle Bank Championship, a Web.com Tour event, starts this morning at The Club at Indian Creek. In its 2nd year on the tour’s rotation, Omaha’s event will be center stage for aspiring PGA Tour players. Last year’s winner Sam Ryder shot -21 for the four days, highlighted by a course record 62 in the 3rd round. Ryder, now a PGA Tour member, won by 8 shots over Omaha native Scott Gutschewski.
This year’s edition is sure to provide extra excitement and drama as 2 young Nebraskan’s make their Web.com Tour debuts. Norfolk’s Luke Kluver and Omaha’s Alex Schaake will both play as amateurs in the event and are sure to draw the attention of not only the local media, but perhaps the national crowd should they make the cut and contend on the weekend.
Luke Kluver of Norfolk, who just turned 18 and will be a Senior at Norfolk High this Fall, qualified for this event via a 36-hole qualifier at ArborLinks in Nebraska City. He shot -8 for the event and edged out Web.com Tour member and McCook, NE native Brandon Crick. Kluver has a good amount of experience playing in big time events. He qualified for both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Junior Amateur last summer and has also played in many other national events.
“My goal is to make the cut, and then if that happens, the goals will change,” Kluver said.
Alex Schaake, a rising Junior at the University of Iowa and former Creighton Prep standout, will also be making his first start on the Web.com Tour. He qualified the way many aspiring professionals do; Monday Qualifying. He shot an impressive 66 (-6) at Bent Tree Golf Club in nearby Council Bluffs, IA to grab one of the 5 available spots. Schaake most recently won the Nebraska State Match Play title at Champions Run Golf Club in Omaha. Ironically, he and Kluver faced each other in the semi-finals, with Schaake winning in 19 holes. Schaake also recently qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach by firing a 36-hole total of -10 at Lincoln’s Firethorn Golf Club. Schaake has had an impressive career thus far at Iowa notching many top finishes while being a leader on the course and in the classroom.
Don’t be shocked if either of these young men raise eyebrows and are in contention come the weekend. Schaake said, “I feel like I can win. I just want to put 4 solid rounds together and see where that puts me.”
Visit PgaTour.com for live scoring of the Pinnacle Bank Championship and if you’re able to attend, you’ll be sure to witness some great golf and energetic crowds at The Club at Indian Creek.
Photo Credit: Steven Anress, PGA Tour