The Nebraska women’s golf team competes in its third tournament in three weeks when the Huskers travel to Manhattan, Kan., for the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational, Sept. 23-24.
The Huskers face a 15-team field on the 6,181-yard, par-72 layout of Colbert Hills. The tournament opens with 36 holes on Monday, Sept. 23, beginning at 8:30 a.m., before a final round starting at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Steffi Neisen will shoot for her third straight top-10 finish to open the season. The senior from New Prague, Minn., opened with a runner-up finish to help NU to a tournament title at the Chip-N Club Invitational, Sept. 9-10. She added a tie for eighth in her home state at the Minnesota Invitational, Sept. 16-17.
Neisen leads the Huskers with a 74.00 stroke average through six rounds this season.
Freshman Jordan Chael, a native of Overland Park, Kan., has added a pair of top-20 showings in her first two collegiate events. The St. Thomas Aquinas graduate and 2012 Kansas Class 5A state champion, opened with a ninth-place finish at the Chip-N Club Invitational. She added a tie for 18th at the Minnesota Invitational. Chael has had all six of her rounds count toward NU’s team score and ranks fourth on the club with a 75.83 stroke average.
Cassie Deeg also has made headlines for the Huskers early in the season. The sophomore from Hugo, Minn., earned Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week honors on Sept. 11, after claiming the individual title at the Chip-N Club Invite. Deeg added a tie for 30th at the Minnesota and ranks second among the Huskers with a 75.00 stroke average on the year.
Live scoring for the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational will be available at www.GolfState.com.
Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational
Sept. 23-24, 2013
Host: Kansas State
Colbert Hills CC (Manhattan, Kan.)
Par 72, 6,181 Yards
Monday, Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m. (36 holes)
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 8:15 a.m. (18 holes)
1. Steffi Neisen
2. Jordan Chael
3. Katelyn Wright
4. Cassie Deeg
5. Yoorim Kang
Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational Field (15 Teams)
Arkansas State, Colorado State, Creighton, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, New Mexico State, North Texas, Northern Iowa, Oral Roberts, Redlands CC, Southern Illinois, Tulsa, UMKC, Wichita State
Live Scoring: www.GolfStat.com
Neisen Nabs Second Straight Top-10 Finish in Minnesota
Steffi Neisen notched her second straight top-10 finish to open the season, helping the Huskers to a seventh-place showing at the Minnesota Invitational, Sept. 16-17.
Neisen, a senior from New Prague, Minn., returned to her home state and fired a three-round score of 227, including a final-round 75 on the par 72, 6,119-yard layout at the Minikahda Club. Neisen finished in a five-way tie for eighth.
As a team, the Huskers finished seventh (927) in the 12-team field. Kent State won the team title with a 902. Illinois finished second at 903, while the hosts from Minnesota took third at 911.
Freshman Jordan Chael produced her second consecutive top-20 finish to open her collegiate career. The Overland Park, Kan., native tied for 18th at 231, despite a final-round 80.
Senior Katelyn Wright added a tie for 23rd at 232, including a 79 in the third round, while sophomore Cassie Deeg closed in a tie for 30th at 237. Sophomore Cassidy Stelzmiller rounded out the NU contingent with a 255 to tie for 59th.
Kent State’s Jennifer Ha (215) ran away with individual medalist honors, defeating Illinois’ Stephanie Miller (222) by seven strokes.
Deeg, Huskers Capture Chip-N Club Crowns
Nebraska produced the best three-round score in tournament history with an 874 (284-296-294) on its way to the Chip-N Club Invitational title, Sept. 9-10.
The Huskers smashed their previous Chip-N Club record score of 884, when they claimed their last Chip-N Club title in 2008. NU’s 874 marked the second-best three-round score in school history, trailing only an 866 at the 2007 Mountain View Collegiate. The Huskers won their 29th team tournament title in history, including their sixth Chip-N Club Invitational crown since 2003.
NU won the team title by 18 strokes, as Central Arkansas finished second (892) and Wichita State took third (901). Iowa (910) and Missouri State (922) rounded out the top five in the final team standings.
Cassie Deeg won her first career individual title with one of the best individual efforts in Chip-N Club history. She closed with a two-under-par 70 to finish at 213 over 54 holes. Deeg’s effort smashed her previous career-best of 221.
While Deeg took medalist honors, the top four players in the NU lineup were not far behind. Steffi Neisen, who shared the tournament lead with Deeg after 36 holes, matched the best finish of her career by taking second at 217. The senior from New Prague, Minn., notched the second top-five finish and fifth top-10 showing of her career, while posting her second-best three-round score as a collegiate player.
Fellow senior Katelyn Wright added the third top-five finish of her career by tying for fifth at 220. Wright, a native of Incline Village, Nev., carded her second-best 54-hole score as a collegian. Jordan Chael capped an impressive collegiate debut by grabbing a top-10 finish of her own. The true freshman from Overland Park, Kan., tied for ninth with a three-round score of 224.
Deeg Named Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week
Nebraska’s Cassie Deeg captured the first Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week honor of her career, when the conference announced its first award winner of the season on Sept. 11. Deeg, a sophomore from Hugo, Minn., stormed to her first career collegiate title by winning the 2013 Chip-N Club Invitational at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln with a career-best tournament total of 213 (72-71-70). Deeg, whose previous career-best tournament score was 221, posted the second top-10 finish of her career.
Seniors Neisen, Wright Lead More Experienced Huskers
Senior leadership, more experience and greater depth in competition both in practice and tournaments are expected to help the Nebraska women’s golf team climb the ladder in the Big Ten Conference in 2013-14.
Last season, Nebraska’s nine-player roster lacked both seniors and sophomores. This season, two extremely experienced seniors and four sophomores with solid experience of their own will make up the nucleus of the Husker lineup.
Nebraska’s more experienced 2013-14 team starts with seniors Steffi Neisen and Katelyn Wright. Neisen, who has played 102 rounds in the Husker lineup, is a three-time WGCA Scholastic All-American.
After producing two of the top five freshman and sophomore stroke averages in school history, Neisen struggled at times as a junior. However, her career 77.37 stroke average ranks among the top 10 players in Husker history. She opened her senior season with a second-place finish at the Chip-N Club Invitational, before adding a tie for eighth at the Minnesota Invitational. She leads the Huskers with a 74.00 stroke average through six fall rounds.
Wright led the Huskers with a 77.39 stroke average as a junior. The Incline Village, Nev., native has played 95 career rounds, including a 75.33 average and a pair of top-25 finishes early in 2013-14.
Sophomores Form Nucleus for Future of Huskers
Without the benefit of having any juniors on this year’s roster, the leadership load for the Huskers will again fall on seniors Katelyn Wright and Steffi Neisen. However, a sophomore class that includes third-year returners Morgan Smejkal and Cassidy Stelzmiller will be much more prepared for the grind of the collegiate season than last year’s team.
Add to the mix true sophomores Cassie Deeg and Hannah Luebke - Nebraska’s top two finishers at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.
Stelzmiller earned WGCA Scholastic All-America and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar awards last season, while finishing in a tie for 50th at the Big Ten Tournament. The Placerville, Calif., native managed an 81.64 stroke average.
Smejkal could be another one of NU’s most improved golfers this year. The Columbus, Neb., native carried her improvement through the summer of 2013, when she captured the Nebraska State Women’s Match Play championship. Smejkal finished with an 81.56 stroke average through 25 rounds as a redshirt freshman.
Deeg was Nebraska’s steadiest player in 2012-13. Her 77.71 stroke average ranked among the top rookie seasons in school history. She also led NU with her tie for 32nd at the Big Ten Tournament. She added the best effort of her career with a 213 and her first career title at the 2013 Chip-N Club Invitational. She ranks second on the squad with a 75.00 stroke average through two fall tournaments.
Luebke emerged late as a freshman after battling a back injury in the fall. The German earned a lineup spot in NU’s final two tournaments of 2012-13, finishing in a tie for 38th at the Big Ten Tournament.
True Freshman Chael Makes Instant Impact
Nebraska’s lone true freshman Jordan Chael has made an immediate impact on the Husker lineup. The native of Overland Park, Kan., solidified the Husker lineup with three solid rounds to finish at 224 in ninth place in the 75-player field at the Chip-N Club Invitational. She added her second straight top-20 finish to open her career by tying for 18th (231) at the Minnesota Invitational, Sept. 16-17. She heads to her home state of Kansas with for the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invite ranked fourth among the Huskers with a 75.83 stroke average through six rounds.
Chael was the Kansas Class 5A state champion in the fall of 2012, while leading St. Thomas Aquinas to its third consecutive team title. She was ranked as the No. 58 player nationally in the Class of 2013 by Golfweek.
Chael captured the Kansas Class 5A state individual title while helping St. Thomas Aquinas to its third consecutive state team crown. She also won the Missouri Women’s Golf Association State Junior Championship in 2012, before adding a runner-up finish in 2013. She added individual medalist honors at the Four-State Team Championship in 2013.
Huskers Face Challenging 2013-14 Schedule
The Huskers opened the season with a victory at the Chip-N Club Invitational in Lincoln, Sept. 9-10. The tournament returned to Wilderness Ridge, and NU stormed to its first tournament title since 2008 with a record-setting score of 874.
The Huskers hit the road for the first time at the Minnesota Invite, where they managed a seventh-place finish in a 12-team field, Sept. 16-17. This week, NU heads to Colbert Hills in Manhattan, Kan., for the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invite.
Nebraska takes nearly a month off before returning to action at the Hoosier Fall Invitational, Oct. 19-20. NU will wrap up the fall portion of its campaign the following week by traveling to the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, Oct. 27-29.
The spring schedule tees off with the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 23-24. It will be the first of three straight trips to Arizona to open the spring, including the Clover Cup in Mesa, March 14-16. Two weeks later, the Huskers make a return trip to Tucson, Ariz., for the Mountain View Collegiate, March 28-29.
Spring season action heats up with a trip to Texas for the SMU/Dallas Athletic Club Invite, April 4-6. The Huskers will get an early look at some of the Big Ten Tournament field when they travel to the Ohio State Spring Invitational, April 19-20.
The 2013-14 regular season concludes with the Big Ten Tournament at the Donald Ross Course at the French Lick Resort in Indiana. It will mark the third consecutive season that the Huskers have competed at the Big Ten Tournament on the Ross Course. Nebraska will be hoping that more experience and a more talented and deeper lineup will put them in position to contend for their 12th NCAA Regional bid since 1994. NCAA Regional competitions will be held in Stillwater, Okla. (Central), Cle Elum, Wash. (West) and Tallahassee, Fla. (East) May 8-10, before Tulsa, Okla., plays host to the NCAA Championships, May 20-23.
Huskers Continue to Set the Pace in the Classroom
Nebraska leads the nation with 64 WGCA Scholastic All-Americans since 1989, including three in 2013. Steffi Neisen capped her junior season with her third consecutive WGCA Scholastic All-America award and her second Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Neisen, who excels on the course, in the classroom and in the community, added a prestigious Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award. She hopes to become the fifth Husker in history to claim four WGCA Scholastic All-America honors in 2014.
Cassidy Stelzmiller added the first WGCA Scholastic All-America award of her young career in 2013. Stelzmiller also joined Neisen as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and an academic All-Big Ten selection in 2013.
Morgan Smejkal and Katelyn Wright also return to the Huskers after claiming academic All-Big Ten honors in 2013.
Overall, Nebraska owns one of the richest academic traditions in all of collegiate sports with a nation-leading 307 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports. NU also leads the nation with 16 NCAA Top Ten Award winners.