Subscribe for 17¢ / day

Mike Krumland of Columbus holds the trophy after winning the Nebraska Senior Match Play title Wednesday at Fremont Country Club.

FREMONT — Mike Krumland didn’t take any days off after winning the Nebraska Senior Match Play Championship on Wednesday at Fremont Country Club.

The Columbus man was back at Elks Country Club on Thursday for his weekly golf league.

“It’s the league playoffs,” Krumland said. “I am pretty tired, though. A lot of golf this week.”

Wednesday's victory gave him his fourth match play title in the event's seven-year history. He also won the tournament in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

The most recent championship came in dramatic fashion.

Krumland had chances to close out the final match on the 14th and 15th holes, but failed to do so. He missed a birdie putt on No. 14, then chunked an approach shot from about 67 yards out on No. 15. It wasn’t nerves that made him hit bad shots.

“Just poor execution,” he said.

After hitting his tee shot into the trees on No. 16, it looked like Krumland might fail to close out the championship match for a third straight hole.

“I had not been driving the ball anywhere close all week,” he said.

Krumland had no choice but to punch out from the trees onto the fairway, where he was left with another approach shot from 67 yards out — the same distance as when he mishit the ball and came up well short of the green on the previous hole.

Krumland thought to himself, “Here we go again.”

He decided to switch clubs this time. It worked.

Krumland sunk the shot on the fly, the ball damaging the cup on its way in, to secure the title.

“They had to do some repair work for the guys behind us,” he said.

His opponent, Skip Gist of Omaha, missed a birdie putt on No. 16 that would’ve extended the match.

Instead, he was left stunned as Krumland took the championship.

“I could just see his face go, 'Really?'" Krumland said.

Krumland almost didn’t make it to the championship pairing. His semifinal match played Wednesday morning went extra holes after Steven Ritzman of Elkhorn battled back from a three-hole deficit to force sudden death. Krumland parred No. 1, the 19th hole of the match, to advance.

Krumland, now 17-1 in the tournament, defeated defending champion Jay Muller of Omaha in the quarterfinals in a battle of the two winningest players in the championship’s history.

It’s been a busy summer for Krumland, who also helped the amateur team beat Nebraska’s top golf professionals in the Nebraska Cup at the beginning of the month.

“August has been pretty good to me,” he said.

Having not lost in the match play tournament since 2013, Krumland doesn’t plan to stop competing anytime soon.

“Oh yeah, I’ll play some more,” he said. “I’ll keep playing until they kick me out.”

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Load comments