Luke Kluver returns to the Pinnacle Bank Championship as a more patient golfer.

The 19-year-old amateur from Norfolk won the Indian Creek Invitational by one stroke Sunday. The victory provided a sponsor’s exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour tournament that begins at Indian Creek on Thursday.

Kluver, who signed with Kansas this spring before winning his record third Class A state championship for Norfolk, played in last year’s PBC. He also was on a sponsor’s exemption from winning a different event.

“From last year, I know I’m capable of playing here,” Kluver said. “I know my game is better than it was, too. My patience is better.”

Especially, he added, in the past two weeks at tournaments he didn’t win — the Columbus Classic and the Nebraska Amateur. At the Amateur, he was one off the lead with five holes left before tying for fourth.

Sunday, Kluver broke a four-way tie for the lead with a two-putt birdie from the fringe on the par-5 16th hole to get to 4-under. He made long par putts on the final two holes to stave off his challengers.

After making a 10-footer on the par-3 17th, Kluver had a 60-foot putt for birdie come up about 15 feet short. At that point, Husker sophomore Tristan Nelko was in the clubhouse at 3-under, four-time Nebraska Amateur champion Alex Schaake of Omaha had a 10-footer for par to stay at 3-under and Husker senior Tanner Owen was hitting from over the green for a chance to hole out and get to 3-under.

Owen came close to a one-bounce hole-out but it rolled long. Kluver, whose putt was longer than Schaake’s, closed out the win with that par putt that took its time trickling downhill, then finding the side door and curling around the back of the hole before dropping.

“I don’t know if I’d ever seen a downhill putt like that go in the back,” Kluver said.

Schaake came into Sunday with a one-stroke lead over Kluver and Owen but was 3-over on his round on the front nine. He got back to even for the round after making birdie on 15. A bogey on the 18th dropped him into a tie with Andy Sajevic of Omaha and Lyle Burns of Lincoln.

Owen fell to 2-under after going from bunker to bunker in the 16th fairway and made bogey. He finished at 1-under with the final- hole bogey.

Nelko, from Plymouth, Minnesota, was four strokes off the lead after Saturday but got in contention by shooting 32 on the front nine to get to 3-under.

At last year’s PBC, Kluver shot 3-over — the same score as PGA Tour winner Nate Lashley — in missing the cut. He was in the field after winning a qualifying tournament at ArborLinks in Nebraska City that was restricted to golfers living in Nebraska or had ties to the state.

That event was scrapped this year when the PBC board awarded that spot to Omaha club pro Ryan Vermeer after he made the cut at the PGA Championship in May.

Championship flight: Luke Kluver, Norfolk, 70-70—140; Tristan Nelko, NU, 72-69—141; Andy Sajevic, Omaha, 72-20—142; Lyle Burns, Lincoln, 73-69—142; Caleb Badura, Aurora, 71-72—143; Tanner Owen, NU, 70-73—143; Noah Hofman, McCook, 71-73—144; Ryan Nietfeldt, Omaha, 72-73—145; Josh Wilson, Papillion, 71-75—146.

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