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The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

Barth takes swing at amateur golf tournament

Alan Brodin
As part of the Gretna High School golf team, Will Barth takes a swing at the Willow Lakes Golf Course in Bellevue during the Bellevue West Invite on April 19.

The Wells Fargo Nebraska Open golf tournament took place Sept. 15-17, and junior Will Barth, varsity golfer, entered to see where he stacked up against the rest of the state and country.
“It was definitely my biggest tournament so far,” Barth said. “There were a lot of great players from around Nebraska and the country.”

The tournament included a professional, senior professional and an amateur division which is what Barth joined. The event is endorsed and operated by the Nebraska Section of the PGA and the Nebraska Golf Association and coordinated by Nebraska Public Power District. The event raises money for scholarships for students who attend one of the community college systems within NPPD’s service territory, including: Central Community College (Columbus, Grand Island & Hastings), Southeast Community College (Beatrice, Milford & Lincoln), Northeast Community College (Norfolk), Mid-Plains Community College (McCook & North Platte) and Western Nebraska Community College (Alliance, Scottsbluff & Sidney).

After 42 golfers from eight states entered the amateur tournament with a $250 entry fee, the first-place prize was nearly $1,000 of in-store credit for the Elks Country Club in Columbus, Neb. Not only was there the potential to earn a prize on the line for Barth, but it was an opportunity to get experience and prove that he has what it takes to advance to the next level–collegiate golf. With all of this on his mind, Barth said he was nervous at the start of the tournament.

“Stepping up to the first tee box, my nerves kicked in immediately,” he said, “[but] died down as the round progressed.”

The tournament consisted of a two-day guarantee, and the top 15 golfers in the amateur division from those days got to play the following day. Each day, golfers competed in an 18-hole round to determine if their score was good enough to advance to the third day.

On the first day, Sept. 15, Barth started by shooting four over par on the front nine holes. Following the first nine holes, he shot the same score and ended eight strokes over par at the end of the day. Throughout the 18-hole day, Barth accumulated three birdies, five pars, nine bogeys and one double bogey. One of his closest friends, junior Cole Edwards, was his caddie for the tournament.

“During our first round, we had a lot of good holes but couldn’t keep the bad ones off the course,” Edwards said. “On the bright side, we walked out of the course knowing what we can do differently for the tournament next year.”

After the first day, Barth and Edwards knew they had improvements to make to qualify for the next round. Three holes into the second day, Barth had a poor swing off the tee box and later hit the ball out of play.

“After that hole, I was a little furious,” Barth said. “But I knew I was able to get back on track and put together a solid round.”

Despite hole number three, he collected one birdie, 12 pars and four bogeys, putting him at eight over par once again. As a result of Barth finishing the two days with a final score of 16 over par and ten strokes off the cut line, he did not advance to the third day of the tournament. Even though he didn’t do as well as he wanted, Barth plans to enter the tournament and give it another try next year.

“I believe he will be able to do better next year,” junior Calvin Zabloudil, who plays with Barth on the school’s golf team, said. “He has a whole year to improve his game.”

Barth will compete this spring for the boys’ Griffin golf team. Following a 22nd-place tie in the 2023 Class A Nebraska State Championships, he has his goals set high.

“This upcoming season,” Barth said. “My goal is to win State in the individual division.”

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About the Contributor
Drew Rhoades
Drew Rhoades, Reporter
Drew Rhoades is a junior at GEHS and was on the Gretna Media staff at Gretna High last year.  This year he is on the GEHS Wingspan staff. He serves as a reporter and photographer. He won sixth place in Sports News Writing at the NSAA High School State Journalism competition. He joined journalism to take pictures of sports and write articles about them.  From taking great action shots to writing about a close game of football, Rhoades is always busy and working hard. Outside of journalism he plays golf, basketball and hangs out with his friends. While journalism is not something he plans on doing in the future, he still wants to use his skills throughout his life. 
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