Last year, the Western Printing Pro-Am was Kevin Stanek’s first professional event.
This year, he leads after the first two rounds of the Western Printing Pro-Am at the Moccasin Creek Country Club.
The Bellevue, Neb., golfer carded a 3-under 69 on Saturday during the 22nd annual Western Printing Pro-Am. Stanek is 10-under going into today’s final round. He was tied with Matthew Smith of Scottsdale, Ariz., after the first round as the two golfers fired 65s on Friday.
“I started hitting them really well off the tee this week,” Stanek said. “I just kind of fought through some demons the last couple of weeks and figured it out on the range and started making some putts at the first tournament out at Bakker Crossing (in Sioux Falls) and kind of just took that through.”
The former Creighton University golfer said the course was in pretty good shape on Saturday and said it was set up similar to Friday’s round.
“I feel that it was pretty similar,” Stanek said. “Pin positions were in good spots. It was scoreable and I just had to go out there and get it.”
Smith, who is one shot behind Stanek, carded a 70 on Saturday. Jordan Elsen of Kenosha, Wis., is three shots off the lead. Last year’s champion Paul Peterson of Salem, Ore., is tied for 14th with a 1-over 145. Stanek, Smith and Elsen will be in the final pairing today. They will tee off at 1:45 p.m.
Stanek, 23, tied for 16th in last year’s Western Printing Pro-Am. Through the first two rounds last year, he had carded a 74 and a 69.
“I’m a lot more comfortable,” Stanek said. “I was pretty nervous (last year), just because it was the first pro event.”
How will Stanek approach today’s final round?
“Just don’t change anything and to follow through with another good round,” he said.
The three-day, 54-hole pro-am will conclude today.
The pro field was cut down from 50 golfers to 20 golfers for today’s final round. The final 20 golfers will be competing for $68,560, including a first-place check for $15,000. The 150 amateurs will be playing for prizes worth more than $20,000.
There is an 8 a.m. shotgun start for amateurs and a 1:15 p.m. start time for the top 20 professionals. The awards ceremony is set for after the tournament, at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse.
Pro shop makeover