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Solid finish from Bearcat senior

Jace Kratzenstein of Kearney, Neb. follows through a golf shot on June 1, 2018 at the Meadowlark Hills driving range (KHGI)

A few moons have come and gone since Kearney High had a golfer on the boys side making any ruffles in the state tournament waters.

Jace Kratzenstein finishing tied for fifth at the Class A tournament at Norfolk Country Club in 2018. He's the first KHS boys golfer to place in the top five since 2002.

"I'd say the majority of it was just getting comfortable with the course and comfortable with good pairings," said Kratzenstein.

Kratzenstein made a huge leap up the leaderboard from his junior to senior year. He carded a 160 over two days last year, putting him in a tie for 25th.

"My sophomore year I played behind Cody Troudt and Austin Murray, so I played on the lower end of varsity. In my junior year, I was just getting to playing (in the top spot against) some high quality golfers," Kratzenstein said.

After the first round this season, the number one golfer for Kearney was only two shots off the lead. Windy conditions on day two resulted in an 80 and a tie for fifth.

Kratzenstein credits his experience for the improvement in his game every year.

"Once I got use to playing with those really high golfers and you're comfortable with your pairings, it helps you a lot and helps you shoot better," he said.

With his high school golf career in the books, Kratzenstein plans to join the club golf team at Nebraska and eventually compete for a walk-on spot.

Interestingly enough, he was being pursued by UNK. He speaks with us about his choice to leave town after the program was cut from the athletics department on NTV’s special report, Strike Three, airing next week.

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