Nebraska Open Kicks Off at Elks Thursday

COLUMBUS –  Professional golfers will be driving and putting to aid a cause that will benefit community college students when the 26th annual Nebraska Open tees off in Columbus Sept. 14-17.

This annual event will raise $78,000 this year for scholarships that will be given to students attending Nebraska’s community colleges.

The Nebraska Open is coordinated by Nebraska Public Power District and has raised close to $1.5 million in scholarship money over the last 26 years. These scholarships are given to the Central Community College Foundation and distributed to students attending  Nebraska’s community colleges within NPPD’s service territory. Scholarships are distributed to Central, Mid-Plains, Southeast, Northeast, and Western Community College Systems.

“Sponsors have come from across the United States to help improve the quality of life for students in Nebraska. This annual event continues to provide opportunities for community college students to complete or continue their degrees, or simply get a start on their college education,” said NPPD President and Chief Executive Officer Pat Pope. “It has been a great opportunity for NPPD to work with the Nebraska Section of the PGA, the Nebraska Golf Association, and the Central Community College Foundation to coordinate one of Nebraska’s largest golf events.”

Endorsed and administered by the Nebraska Section of the PGA and the Nebraska Golf Association, the tournament has been held at the Elks Country Club since 1991. More than 50 businesses are sponsoring this year’s event, with many participating in Thursday’s 18-hole scramble with professional golfers that begins at noon.

Wells Fargo returns as the title sponsor, along with national, regional and Columbus-based companies such as Behlen Mfg. Co., Mike’s Auto Sales, Eakes Office Solutions, Kelly Supply Co., Nebraska Energy Federal Credit Union, and U.S. Bank.

The Pro-Am portion of the tournament kicks off at noon on Thursday, September 14, and is followed by a three-day, professional-amateur, 54-hole tournament beginning Friday, Sept. 15 and concludes Sunday. Play begins at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

An awards ceremony for the Nebraska Open winner will be held Sunday

at the putting green, beginning at approximately 3 p.m.


Returning to the Nebraska Open Tournament in 2017 are the following:

  • The 2014 Wells Fargo Nebraska Open Champion – Chris Thompson, Lawrence, KS

Additional Past Champions:
Justin Herron – Omaha, NE (2006)

Jim White, PGA Master Professional – Lincoln, NE (2005), oldest players in the field at the age of 67 and has played in 22 Major Championships and won the Nebraska Section PGA Professional Championship in a record five (5) different decades.  White is the only PGA Professional to have EVER accomplished this feat!

Former PGA TOUR Players/Winners:
Steve Friesen, Cave Creek, AZ – Winner on the Tour in 2013.  Former standout golfer at the University of Nebraska Tour Players:
Rick Cochran III (Season 18 Big Break Greenbrier Contestant), Paducah, KY

Michael Gellerman, Sterling, KS
Brandon Crick, McCook, NE
Chris Thompson, Lawrence, KS

Notable Players:
Ryan Vermeer, PGA – Omaha, NE, Leads current Nebraska Section PGA Player of the Year points list.  Played in 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow

Chase Hanna, Leawood, KS – Reigning Big 12 Champion from the University of Kansas.  Recently won the Tour – Pre-Qualifier at Wilderness Ridge G.C. with scores of 70-65-64 – 199 (14-under-par)

Luke Kluver, Norfolk, NE – #2 on the Nebraska Amateur Points Standings and top Junior Player in Nebraska.  Although just a Junior in High School, Kluver is arguably the best junior golf to come out of Nebraska in decades.  Committed to Nebraska.

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