Grand Island Native Cade McCallum Defeats Top Seed Woodhead
GRAND ISLAND (June 22, 2022) – Twenty-four matches were conducted on Wednesday at Riverside Golf Club in Grand Island for the 55th Nebraska Match Play Championship and only eight players remain.
The No. 1 seed is gone, courtesy of Grand Island's own Cade McCallum. He caught fire to take down Elkhorn's Danny Woodhead in the Round of 16, 3 and 1. McCallum, a Creighton University golfer who graduated from Grand Island Senior High, birdied the first five holes of the match to take a commanding 4-up lead. He added birdies on Nos. 8, 9 and 11 to move to 5 up with eight birdies in 11 holes.
Woodhead fought back, winning Nos. 13, 14 and 15, but left a birdie putt short on No. 16, and McCallum closed him out with his ninth birdie of the match on No. 17. Both players had won tough matches in the morning Round of 32, with McCallum defeating Doniphan's Ethan Smith, 1 up, and Woodhead taking down the reigning Nebraska Junior Golfer of the Year, Christopher Atkinson of Omaha, 2 up.
McCallum will face York's Reed Malleck, who closed out both of his matches early. The Husker golfer and 2020 Nebraska Junior Match Play Champion, won 4 and 3 over James Olson of Papillion, and then 4 and 2 over Porter Topp of Omaha.
Omaha's Matthew Quandt and Cambridge's Preston Carbaugh will square up in the next Quarterfinal. Quandt won both of his matches in impressive fashion, defeating Marshal Obal of Columbus, 4 and 3, and then winning 3 and 2 over Lincoln's Roger Sack. Carbaugh won both of his matches on the 18th hole, 1 up, with birdies on No. 17 each time to take the lead into the final hole. He won over Table Rock's Calvin Freeman and Gretna's Nolan Johnson.
A couple of NGA champions will face-off in the third Quarterfinal, with Bennington's Johnny Spellerberg taking on Aurora's Caleb Badura. Spellerberg faced a tough opponent in his Round of 16 match, Elkhorn's Luke Gutschewski, a two-time NGA champion. Gutschewski took a 1-up lead through 11 holes, but Spellerberg went on a tear to win five-straight holes and close out the match, 4 and 2. Badura birdied the last two holes in his match against La Vista's Alex Zillig to force extra holes, and won in 19 holes with a par.
The last Quarterfinal features Matthew Schaefer of Fordyce and Charlie Zielinski of Omaha. Schaefer, who just finished his senior season at South Dakota State, defeated the only senior golfer to make the bracket, Kevin Sullivan of Omaha, 2 up. Zielinski won both of his matches 2 and 1, winning over his Creighton teammate Jackson Thompson and then Southeast Community College golfer Geronimo Narizzano.
The Quarterfinals begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, with the Semifinals to follow in the afternoon. The updated match play bracket is available on the championship website below, along with additional information.