LINCOLN — The way he played Wednesday to shoot 66 and grab the lead at the Nebraska Amateur, Alex Schaake had to be asked what he had been doing the first two days.

“Thanks for bringing it up,’’ said Schaake, seeking a historical fourth consecutive title.

The University of Iowa senior from Omaha Creighton Prep hadn’t had a round over par in the tournament since the final round of his first title, in 2016 at Omaha Country Club, until Tuesday’s 73 at the Country Club of Lincoln.

“I just wasn’t playing my game and not making any putts,’’ Schaake said. “A lot of them fell today. I had some par saves on a tough day. The scores showed today it was playing tough.”

In the best position to thwart Schaake’s bid to be the first four-time champion since Omaha’s Bob Astleford strung six together ending in 1967 is Luke Kluver of Norfolk.

The three-time Class A high school champion and Kansas signee, who was the co-leader after 36 holes, squeezed out a par round of 72 with a birdie-eagle-bogey finish on the 6,507-yard course and remained at 6-under.

Two more strokes back at 4-under are state match-play champion Caleb Badura of Aurora and Noah Hofman of McCook. Matthew Schaefer of Fordyce and Husker senior Tanner Owen, who shared the 36-hole lead with Kluver, shot 76 and 77, respectively, to be at 2-under and 1-under.

Ten players are within seven strokes of the lead.

Schaake attacked the front nine for three two-putt birdies, but there’s only one par-5 there. He drove the green on the 340-yard first hole and 322-yard third.

“Those were still really tough two-putts, but those were huge for confidence, knowing I was playing the right game for the front nine,’’ he said.

He had two more birdies while shooting 32 on the front to vault toward the lead. On the par-4 ninth, which he tried to drive Tuesday, he laid up off the tee and hit a wedge shot close to the pin.

Schaake conquered the par-5 11th with a birdie — he made it a three-shot hole — after he bogeyed it the first two days and also birdied the par-5 17th on a bogey-free back nine.

Kluver played his first 13 holes in 2-over, then hit a “loose” tee shot to the par-3 14th, but got up and down for a par that he said jump-started his round.

“I hung in there today,’’ he said. “It was a round where the wind picked up, and I had to grind.”

On the 17th, he stuck a 6-iron from 211 yards to 2 feet for his eagle that had him momentarily tied with Schaake. But he bogeyed the 18th after missing the fairway.

Schaake, who was three twosomes ahead of Kluver, said he was expecting a final-round pairing with someone whose game he’s seen. And these two have a good history.

Kluver won his first Class A title as a freshman by beating Schaake in a playoff at Norfolk Country Club, Kluver’s home course. Last year, Schaake’s route to the state match-play title included a semifinal victory over Kluver in extra holes at Champions Run, Schaake’s home course.

Round 3 comes on neutral ground. Their tee time is noon.

“I know he’s going to be ready for it,’’ Kluver said. “It’s going to be a battle, I tell you that.”

Alex Schaake, Omaha 70-73-66—209

Luke Kluver, Norfolk 68-70-72—210

Caleb Badura, Aurora 68-71-73—212

Noah Hofman, McCook 69-74-69—212

Jace Guthmiller, Lincoln 65-75-73—213

Matthew Schaefer, Fordyce 70-68-76—214

Fernando Arzate, Bellevue 67-74-73—214

Tanner Owen, Lincoln 71-67-77—215

Nate Vontz, Lincoln 69-78-69—216

Andy Sajevic, Omaha 70-73-73—216

David Easley, Lincoln 74-76-68—218

Josh Bartels, Lincoln 70-75-75—220

Cade McCallum, Grand Island 73-72-76—221

AJ Elgert, Lincoln 71-79-72—222

Connor Vandewege, Lincoln 74-74-74—222

Brian Csipkes, Gretna 75-75-72—222

Mitchell Klooz, Imperial 77-75-70—222

Kellen Rossman, Norfolk 74-79-69—222

Grant Jabenis, Omaha 69-78-76—223

Eric Peel, Omaha 75-75-73—223

Tristan Nelko, Lincoln 75-72-76—223

Joel Brueggemann, Beatrice 76-77-70—223

Tucker Knaak, Plainview 78-74-71—223

Josh Wilson, Papillion 74-73-77—224

Garrett Goldsberry, Lincoln 75-72-77—224

John Spellerberg, Bennington 70-78-76—224

Chris Rasmussen, Omaha 72-78-74—224

Glenn Bills, Grand Island 74-73-78—225

Travis Minzel, Lincoln 73-71-81—225

Alex Kubik, Aurora 78-73-74—225

Dan Huston, Omaha 75-72-78—225

Grant Johnson, Lincoln 74-78-73—225

Matthew Unruh, Lincoln 74-74-78—226

Brett Hoffman, Kearney 77-72-77—226

Clay Peterson, Lincoln 77-72-77—226

Ryan Nietfeldt, Omaha 75-76-75—226

Wes Bernt, Kearney 74-78-74—226

Andy Gerch, Lincoln 75-78-74—227

Koy Potthoff, Omaha 78-75-74—227

Matthew Quandt, Omaha 78-75-74—227

Andrew Morrissey, Omaha 77-72-79—228

John Sajevic, Fremont 74-75-79—228

Trey Pittenger, Lincoln 76-74-78—228

Vance Janssen, Blair 76-75-77—228

Chris Kelly, Omaha 75-76-77—228

Zach Hoffman, Omaha 76-76-76—228

Parker Waters, Omaha 78-73-78—229

Jake Boor, Omaha 79-73-77—229

Roger Sack, Lincoln 79-72-78—229

Patrick Clare, Lincoln 80-73-76—229

Scott Tridle, Lincoln 80-73-76—229

Miles Russell, Omaha 80-71-79—230

AJ Nolin, Omaha 76-76-78--230

Christian Hall, Omaha 78-74-79—231

Jace Kratzenstein, Kearney 79-74-78—231

Alex Zillig, La Vista 80-73-78—231

Clint Farrar, Lincoln 79-73-80—232

Austin Murray, Kearney 78-74-81—233

Ryan Rogers, Omaha 77-74-82—233

Matt Kingston, Springfield 76-76-81—233

Mason Hale, Atkinson 76-76-82—234

Chase Keitges, Lincoln 72-76-88—236