HAYWARD, Calif. — Brandon Crick didn’t get the win Sunday, but he likely got job security for another season on the Korn Ferry Tour.
The Nebraska graduate from McCook finished second by one stroke at the Ellie Mae Classic for his best finish on tour. Crick collected the largest payday of his career — $64,800 from the $600,000 purse.
As runner-up, he vaulted from 155th to 62nd in the tour’s point standings with one event left before the three-tournament finals series. Those in the top 75 after next week’s stop in Portland, Oregon, are assured of being on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020.
Crick started Sunday one off the lead.
He fell back with a double bogey on the eighth hole, but hit a groove when he birdied the 14th, 15th and 17th holes to pull within a stroke of Zac Blair.
Both parred the 18th for Blair to finish at 17-under after a no-bogey 67 and Crick at 16-under after a 2-under 68.
Blair jumped from 31st to 10th in the standings, with the top 25 after the regular-season finale next week earning PGA Tour cards. It was his first Korn Ferry title.
Omaha’s Scott Gutschewski was in the top 10 for most of the final round but dropped into a tie for 14th with his closing 2-over 72. He moved up, however, from 100th to 89th in points.
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Course architect Gil Hanse, John Schuele and rancher Cleve Trimble stand where the fifth green will be at "The Ranch," the new private golf course under construction southwest of Valentine, Nebraska. Schuele, the president and CEO of the Waitt Co., formed a group of investors that bought the land for the course from Trimble. On Monday, the Cherry County Board of Commissioners approved the project.
"It’s a property I loved from the moment I walked on it," Gil Hanse said of the new course under construction on the rim of the Snake River Canyon.
Gil Hanse and John Schuele survey the future site of the fifth green. Schuele, the president and CEO of Waitt Co., bought the land for the new course last year. To design it, he hired Hanse, the course architect who built the 2016 Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro.
The second and 14th greens are beginning to take shape.
"I’m delighted with John. He follows through on everything he says. He’s focused, he’s purposed, he’s good,” rancher Cleve Trimble said of John Schuele. Schuele led the group that bought the land for the course from Trimble.
The course was approved Monday by the Cherry County Board of Commissioners. It will be built on the rim of the Snake River Canyon.
Cleve Trimble stands at the site of the sixth tee. A group of investors led by Omaha's John Schuele bought the land for the course from Trimble last year.
The Snake River Canyon will be on the right of the 15th through 18th holes at the new course.
Course architect Gil Hanse and Waitt Co. president and CEO John Schuele walk through the sixth hole. The project is expected to cost between $17 million and $18 million, but it's debt-free.
The Ranch Golf Club has been on land eyed for a golf course since 2001.
John Schuele first looked at ranchland as an investment, but he soon realized it wouldn't produce a big return. So “why not build a golf course and have something fun to do?”
Work has begun on the site southwest of Valentine. Here, the future 16th through 18th holes are seen in reverse.
Membership at the new golf club will be limited to 60 players from Nebraska and 120 from outside the state. The club will have 48 bedrooms in 10 cottages, including a "bunkhouse cottage."
Eight holes of the new course will be on the canyon rim, and 10 will be in the sandy "chop hills."
Part of the 14th hole at the 18-hole private course currently under construction.
The new course, currently under construction, will border the Prairie Club along Nebraska Highway 97.
The Ranch Golf Club, which was approved Monday by the Cherry County Board of Commissioners, has 10 holes in these sandy “chop hills.”