OMAHA — The 34th Kansas-Nebraska Junior Cup ended in a tie for just the fourth time in the event’s history, with the defending champions from Nebraska retaining the cup after the teams finished in an 8-all tie, Thursday at Omaha Country Club.
The teams from Kansas and Nebraska entered the day in the same deadlock, at 4-all, after a split of the first two sessions on the first day.
Kansas took the lead in a few of the early matches, but Nebraska’s top point earner, Reed Malleck of York, fought back in the lead match to start a rally.
Malleck tied his match against future Kansas Jayhawk Sion Audrain of Garden City, and it all came down to the last match. Norfolk’s Jake Kluver also tied his match against Tyler Trudo of Wichita for the clinching half-point, as the teams split the Singles session, 4-all, and Nebraska retained the cup.
After each team posted three victories it all came down to the final match between Kluver and Trudo.
Trudo led from the onset, winning the first two holes to go 2 up. Kluver battled back to tie the match after nine holes, but Trudo answered by winning three of the next five holes to push his lead back to 3 up.
That’s when Kluver made his own run, winning the par-3 15th with a par, and also the par-5 16th with a great up-and-down for birdie. He headed to No. 17, 1 down, and it was up to Kluver to comeback to clinch the cup.
Kluver hit a perfect drive down the middle on No. 17 and wedged his approach to about 10 feet. Trudo hit his drive left and dealt with tree trouble, eventually conceding the hole after not reaching the putting surface after his fourth stroke.
On No. 18, it was Kluver’s drive that was left, and Trudo’s that was down the middle, but Kluver hit a great recovery shot just short of the green and his chip shot finished about three feet from the hole. Trudo hit a good approach shot to about 15 feet, but his putt stayed on the high side, and Kluver knocked down his par putt for the clinching half-point.
Thursday’s single matches
- Sion Audrain, Kansas and Reed Malleck (York), Halved.
- Tate Herrenbruck, Kansas def. Isaac Heimes (Norfolk), 4&3.
- Luke Gutschewski (Elkhorn) Nebraska def. Gentry Scheve, 4&3.
- Connor Vandewege (Lincoln) Nebraska def. Calvin Dillon, 2 up.
- Nicklaus Mason, Kansas def. Josh Bartels (Lincoln), 1 up.
- Cooper Schultz, Kansas def. Josh Peters (Omaha), 3&2.
- Charlie Zielinski (Omaha), Nebraska def. Tradgon McCrae, 5&4.
- Tyler Trudo, Kansas and Jake Kluver (Norfolk), Halved.