A strong start to the second day of the Tom Dinsdale Auto Amateur Golf Classic was all Ryan Nietfeldt needed.

While being tied for the top spot with a 71 after the first day, Nietfeldt started with five pars and three birdies to be at a 4-under-par after the first eight holes.

That proved to be enough as he claimed the tournament with a 2-under-par 142 Sunday at Riverside Golf Club.

Nietfeldt, who fired a 71 second-day score, won the Classic by one stroke over Luke Kluver.

Nietfeldt also won the event 16 years ago back in 2003.

“I didn’t miss a shot for the first five holes and made a couple of putts. I just played pretty consistent to start off with,” Nietfeldt said. “I made a four-foot downhill on the first hole for a birdie so that was good to get some confidence going. ”

He dropped to a 3-under-par after the front nine after he missed a short putt on hole 9. But he regrouped to par the next four holes.

He missed a short putt again on the par-3, hole-14 but finished the day with all pars to take the tournament.

Nietfeldt said it was a windy day to compete, which made it tough.

“It was a tough day with tough conditions, even though the course is in great shape,” he said. “It was a just a matter of managing to keep the ball out of the wind and the trees. I played it pretty conservatively, hit a lot of greens about 20-25 feet and relied a lot on my putting. That got it done for me.”

Kluver was tied for sixth when the day started. He was consistent throughout the day as he had four birdies with 13 pars.

But he shot a double bogey on the par-3, hole-14 after his tee shot bounced off the sidewalk, out of bounds and over the fence. But he recovered to fire two straight birdies to keep himself in contention.

“That was my only mistake on the day,” Kluver said. “What happened on 14 was tough to overcome, even though I made two straight birdies after that.”

Kluver finished the day with two straight pars. But he missed a putt on the par-5 18th and a chance to send the Classic into a playoff.

“I’m disappointed but I felt like I had a good attitude coming in this morning,” Kluver said. “I played pretty well with only one mistake all day. With this wind and not making a bogey all day is pretty good. I don’t think a lot of people made a lot of pars or birdies.

“I felt like I gave Ryan plenty of chances. But I give him credit, he put together two great days.”

Nietfeldt said he’s fortunate to win the Classic, considering the competition that was there. Kluver just won his third Class A state individual title last May, while Caleb Badura, who finished tied for third with a 145 total, was a two-time Class B champion for Aurora in 2017 and 2018 and won the GPAC Meet for Northwestern College this past season.

“I’m happy to come out on top,” Nietfeldt said. “Luke is one of the most complete players Nebraska has had in a long time. He can hit incredible shots and the shots he can hit I learned to hit when I was about 25-30. The sky is the limit for him.”

Sports writer, mostly in volleyball, cross country, wrestling and track and field, for the Grand Island Independent for seven years.

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