COLUMBUS, Neb. — Lance Lawson and Andy Sajevic, who battled over 36 holes four years ago for the Class A high school state championship, will do it again Friday for the Nebraska men's match-play golf title.
“We haven't met since then,” Lawson said. “Getting to play against Andy is quite a challenge.”
In that 2009 duel at Mahoney in Lincoln, Sajevic was one stroke better than Lawson in each round while setting the state tournament scoring record of 8-under par.
They're now about to be college seniors. Sajevic, from Fremont, plays for North Carolina. Lawson, from Norfolk, plays for the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
To get their spots in the 36-hole match, which begins at 8 a.m. at Elks Country Club, they played extra holes in one of their two Thursday matches.
Sajevic went 21 holes in the quarterfinals against Brian Csipkes of Gretna, the oldest golfer in the final eight at 41, before beating Ben Maschka of Omaha 2 and 1. Maschka was the youngest golfer of the eight, a senior-to-be at Omaha Creighton Prep.
Lawson went 20 holes in the semifinals to beat Iowa recruit Carson Schaake, a recent Prep graduate, after taking a 3-and-2 win in the quarterfinals from Dylan Heng of Nebraska City.
Storms caused a 2½-hour suspension in play early in the quarterfinals.
In their semifinal, Lawson was 6-under par and Schaake 5 under.
“We just fed off each other,” Schaake said.
Schaake struggled with his tee ball on both extra holes, escaping with a par to halve the 19th but couldn't do it again on the next hole.
He went into the trees left of the fairway. It took two shots to extract himself from there and he conceded Lawson's short par putt to end the match.
“I knew he'd be tough. He'd just won the junior match-play title,” Lawson said. “I knew it would be a battle.”
Sajevic got control of his semifinal by winning the 13th, 14th and 15th holes — the last two with birdies — to go dormie. Maschka staved off elimination by making birdie on the 16th, then the lefty conceded after not holing a chip shot on the par-3 17th.
“I had some momentum after a birdie on 11 (to go all square),” Maschka said. “I flew the green on 12, but made a great par to keep it going. Then I went (out of bounds) on 13 and hit a bad tee shot on 14.”
Sajevic, who won the Nebraska Amateur in 2010 as a 19-year-old, was in the 2009 match-play final, losing to O'Neill's John Hurley, who now plays on the Web.com Tour.
“I couldn't play last year because of shoulder surgery,” Sajevic said. “It's nice to come back and get to the finals, but the work's not done yet.”
Andy Sajevic, Fremont, def. Ben Maschka, Omaha, 2 and 1; Lance Lawson, Norfolk, def. Carson Schaake, Omaha, 20 holes.
Sajevic def. Brian Csipkes, Gretna, 21 holes; Maschka def. Jordan Reinertson, Gibbon, 1 up; Lawson def. Dylan Heng, Nebraska City, 3 and 2; Schaake def. Will Pieper, Omaha, 1 up.