NU Women's Golf BIO
Kate Smith
Player Profile:
Kate Smith 2768648
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Detroit Lakes, Minn.
High School: Detroit Lakes
Major: Art

Honors & Awards

  • Four Career Top-10 Finishes
  • Seven Career Top-25 Finishes
  • School-Record Stroke Average (73.90, 2017)
  • Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Oct. 12, 2016)
  • T37th at NCAA Columbus Regional (2017)
  • 47th at Big Ten Championships (2017)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2016; Spring 2017)
  • Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2017)
  • Five-Time Minnesota Class 2A Champion (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Minnesota Ms. Golf Award (2016)
  • Six-Time Minnesota Class 2A All-Star (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Minnesota Junior Player of the Year (2012-13)
  • Minnesota Junior Champion (2013)
  • PGA Junior Series Champion (ArborLinks, 2015)

Best Career Finish: T7th (Ron Moore, 2016) 
Career Stroke Average: 73.90

Freshman (2016-17)
Kate Smith opened her Nebraska career in the top of the Husker lineup and played out of the top two spots in every tournament for the Big Red in 2016-17. She produced seven top-25 finishes in 11 tournaments, including four top-10 showings. She capped her freshman season by tying for 37th in a 96-player field at the NCAA Columbus Regional (May 8-10). Smith carded a three-round total of 230 (78-79-73) at the Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, as the first Husker women's golfer to compete at NCAA Regional play since current LPGA professional Madeleine Sheils in 2012.

Smith closed her first season at Nebraska with a school-record 73.90 stroke average over 31 rounds. She carded a 78 or better in 29 of 31 rounds as a freshman, including nine rounds better than par.

Smith produced the best three-round tournament score of her career with a 214 (68-75-71) to tie for eighth in a loaded field at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz., March 17-19. Her opening-round 68 was a collegiate career best. Six of the seven golfers who finished in front of Smith were among the top-32 golfers nationally according to GolfStat's stroke average rankings.

She closed the regular season with a tie for 28th (78-75-72-225) at the Hawkeye El Tigre in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, April 2-4, before producing Nebraska's top finish at the Big Ten Championships at TPC River's Bend in Maineville, Ohio, April 21-23. She led the Huskers with a 47th-place finish at TPC River's Bend, closing with a three-round total of 234 (74-84-76).

Smith notched the best tournament finish of her young career when she tied for seventh with a three-round total of 215 (73-72-70) at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate in Highlands Ranch, Colo., Oct. 7-9. Her efforts in Colorado earned her the first Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week award of her career on Oct. 12, 2016.

Her performance in Highlands Ranch followed a tie for eighth with a 221 (77-70-74) at Nebraska's Chip-N Club Invitational, Sept. 25-27. She also tied for eighth (76-70-146) in the stroke play portion at the East & West Match Play Challenge in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 18-20.

She opened her collegiate career by shooting a team-low score of 221 (69-74-78) on her way to a tie for 15th at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic in Fort Collins, Colo., Sept. 12-13.

Smith closed the fall with a tie for 21st with a three-under-par two-round total of 141 (70-71) at the rain-shortened Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, Oct. 23-25.

She opened the spring campaign with a three-round total of 223 (71-75-77) to tie for 14th in a 75-player field at the Central District Invitational in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Feb. 20-21. Smith added a tie for 31st with a 221 (75-73-73) at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 26-27.

Smith's 73.90 stroke average smashed Haley Thiele's Nebraska freshman-record 75.63 stroke average set in 2015-16 by a whopping 1.73 strokes per round. Smith's average surpassed Nebraska's previous season record of 74.00 set by Natalie Gleadall in 2009-10.

Off the course, Smith earned spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2016-17. She was also a member of the 2017 Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

“We are very excited to have Kate join our program. She has the innate ability to get the ball in the hole and does not back away from competition,” Nebraska Coach Robin Krapfl said. “She possesses excellent short-game skills, knows how to win, and has a great work ethic both on and off the course. We've had some excellent Minnesotans represent our program. Kate has the potential to be the best of all of them.”

High School/Amateur
A five-time Minnesota Class 2AA state champion (2012-16) in Minnesota high school history, Smith was a six-time Class 2A all-state selection (2011-16). She became the only golfer in Minnesota girls' history to win five state titles. Smith previously shared the record of four state titles with Katie Detlefson, who went on to win the LPGA Dinah Shore Award as a collegian at Central Florida.

Smith was the Minnesota Ms. Golf Award winner in 2016, after leading Detroit Lakes High School to its fourth state team title in five years. She posted a 70.37 stroke average as a junior in 2015, and set three couse records as a senior, including a 64 on The Vintage Course.

In addition to her high school success, Smith was the 2012-13 Minnesota PGA Junior Player of the Year and the 2013 Minnesota Girls State Junior Champion. In the summer of 2015, she won the PGA Junior Series title at Arbor Links with a three-day career-best score of 209 (74-68-67), which would match the current Nebraska school record held by 2003 first-team All-American Sarah Sasse and Husker Haley Thiele.

Smith was also a member of Team Minnesota at the 2015 USGA women's state championship.
Smith continues Nebraska women's golf's success in recruiting the state of Minnesota, following former Huskers Cassie Deeg (Hugo, 2013-16), Steffi Neisen (New Prague, 2011-14), Chrissie McArdle (Eden Prairie, 2004-07) and Jackie Beste (Sauk Centre, 2003-06). All were high-level performers for the Huskers on and off the course over the last 15 years.

Personal
The daughter of Kris and Margery Smith, Kate was born May 6, 1999, in Hartford, Conn. She has an older brother, Karter. Kate is majoring in art and earned spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2016-17. She also claimed a spot on the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team in 2017. 

“I chose Nebraska because of how they care about their student-athletes, the welcoming atmosphere on campus and the overall tradition surrounding the University.”

Smith's Career Statistics

Year

Rounds

Strokes

Avg.

Low 18

Low 54

2016-17

31

2,291

73.90

68

214

Totals

31

2,291

73.90

68

214 

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