HOLLISTER, Mo. — This week, Hollister is playing host to the 113th Missouri Amateur Golf Championship at Ozarks National Golf Course.
The action got started Tuesday with 172 golfers ranging from 15 year old Max Bowman of Springfield to 69-year old Ron Eilers of Columbia.
But when it comes to the odds on favorite to win the whole thing, one name sticks out above the rest.
Brad Nurski of St Joseph is no stranger to the Missouri Amateur Golf Championship – having hoisted the 1st place trophy three times.
“It’s always special to come play against the best players in the state of Missouri,” Nurski said. “I was fortunate enough to win a few times.”
But last year, for the first time in three years, he had to watch someone else lift it. Walker Kesterson’s final hole chip in stopped Nurski from claiming a record third straight Missouri Amateur title. But he says he’s just as motivated as ever to reclaim the trophy.
“You know, you always have the same motivations to win when you get here. Hopefully today was a good starting point for me and I can continue to strike it like I did today.”
Today, the tournament entered match play with 64 golfers remaining – and Nurski took advantage winning five up after 14 holes.
“It’s never easy when you get to the round of 64 match play period. I played pretty well today. I think Riley (Ahearn) kind of ran into a buzz saw with my putter today.”
Players like Nurski have a bit more room to play aggressively this year, since it’s the tournaments first time at the new Ozarks National course.
“To me, it’s really close to a USGA event set up with the greens being firm and fast. You’ve got some wind and you’ve got terrain. It’s really similar to a USGA event.”
But even with different scenery, Nurski’s goal remains the same as he looks to tie the record at four Missouri amateur titles.
“To be up there with Tom Watson and those guys, it would be something very special. But there’s only one step today. There’s a lot more steps to go before we can even think about talking about that. We’ll take it one step at a time and hopefully we get to continue to play.”
Nurski is on to the Round of 32 tomorrow as players match up in pairs again for the morning, with the round of 16 following afterwards in the afternoon.
Saturday will feature two more rounds on Saturday before there are just two golfers left battling it out at Ozarks National on Sunday.