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Focus on course earns Luebbe state championship

August 22, 2018

The course, more so than a list of talented, distinguished opponents, had Aspen Luebbe’s attention at the Nebraska Junior Golf State Championship held in Fremont earlier this month.

Luebbe, no stranger to the big stage after back-to-back trips to the state tournament, was more concerned with battling an unforgiving course than eight other golfers who had also proven to be among the best in the state.

Perhaps it was that approach that landed Luebbe at the top of the leaderboard on Aug. 6

“That was a big thing for me, especially the course. I redeemed myself. I’ve played their before and haven’t done real well. This one, I kind of got my redemption on it. That was the biggest thing, but winning it was also pretty huge,” Luebbe said Monday after a varsity round. “That course plays tough. It’s really fun playing it.”

Fairways lined with obstacles such as trees, railroad tracks and a multitude of sand and water hazards offers a challenge to any golfer, even one the caliber of Luebbe. Thus, when she returned to Fremont, there was more of an internal struggle playing out than an external tournament.

She turned in her card with a 75, was generally pleased with that number, then waited as the remaining groups walked off the 18th green.

Once the two groups behind her finished up, and she saw the numbers, Luebbe had a sense she was in for a big announcement.

“I wanted to win, but I was more shooting to play the course better than I have in the past,” she said. “I had no idea where I stood throughout the entire day. I just played every hole one at a time.”

Luebbe qualified for the tournament by playing in eight different events over the summer. Golfers gain entry into the state championship by accumulating points based on their results in those events.

Only the top 5 percent make it into the championship of the summer tour.

Scotus golfer Bryce VunCannon tied for fifth in the boys 16 and over division with an 8-over 79 while Discoverer Brock Kuhlman tied for 19th in the boys 14-15 division.

“It’s nerve-racking (waiting for scores to come in), but it’s also a little bittersweet if someone plays better than you it’s good job for them,” Luebbe said. “I just had a big smile on my face.”

Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at nate.tenopir@lee.net

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