Huskers Head to Minnesota Invite
Fresh off its first tournament title since 2008, the Nebraska women’s golf team travels to Minneapolis for the Minnesota Invitational, Sept. 16-17.
Play in the 12-team field at the Minikahda Club begins with 36 holes on Monday with tee times starting at 7:45 a.m. The Huskers will be paired with Illinois and Georgia Regents (formerly Augusta State).
The Huskers feature a pair of Minnesotans at the top of their lineup. Sophomore Cassie Deeg (Hugo, Minn.) is coming off the best tournament of her career, winning Nebraska’s Chip-N Club Invitational with a career-best 213 (72-71-70), Sept. 9-10.
The reigning Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week, Deeg edged senior teammate Steffi Neisen (New Prague, Minn.) for the individual title. Neisen’s three-round total of 217 (70-73-74) was one of the best of her career. She was joined by senior Katelyn Wright (220) in the top five, while freshman Jordan Chael put four Huskers in the top 10 by finishing ninth in her first career tournament with a 224.
Those four Huskers will be joined by sophomore Cassidy Stelzmiller in the NU lineup at Minnesota, which will be hosting its first home tournament since 2005. Stelzmiller earned the No. 5 spot in the Nebraska lineup at Minnesota by finishing 33rd while playing as an individual outside the Husker lineup at the season-opening Chip-N Club Invitational. Stelzmiller managed rounds of 80-78-80 to close at 238.
Live scoring for the event will be available at www.GolfStat.com.
Minikahda Club (Minneapolis)
Par 72, 6,119 Yards
Monday, Sept. 16 - 36 Holes (Tee Times, 7:45 a.m.)
Nebraska paired with Illinois and Georgia Regents (formerly Augusta State)
Tuesday, Sept. 17 - 18 Holes (TBA)
1. Cassie Deeg
2. Steffi Neisen
3. Katelyn Wright
4. Jordan Chael
5. Cassidy Stelzmiller
12-Team Tournament Field
Cal State Fullerton, Illinois, Kent State, Minnesota, Nebraska, San Diego State, Texas state, UC Irvine, Idaho, Long Beach State, Jacksonville, Georgia Regents
Live Scoring: www.GolfStat.com
Deeg, Huskers Capture Chip-N Club Crowns
Temperatures cooled and winds calmed while the Nebraska women’s golf team stormed to its first team tournament title since 2008, as the Huskers produced their best three-round Chip-N Club Invitational score in school history on Sept. 10.
A day after golfers dealt with 100 degree temperatures and 30 mph winds, the final round provided mid-80s and a light breeze for excellent scoring conditions. Nebraska took advantage by finishing with a three-round total of 874 (284-296-294) that included a final-round 294. The Huskers smashed their previous Chip-N Club team 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.
NU won the team title by 18 strokes, as Central Arkansas finished second (892) and Wichita State took third (901). Iowa (910) produced the best final round with a 293 to finish in fourth, while Missouri State (922) rounded out the top five in the final team standings. The Huskers won their 29th team tournament title in history, including their sixth Chip-N Club Invitational crown since 2003.
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 total of 221. It also tied for the fourth-best score in tournament history, trailing only North Dakota State’s Amy Anderson (2009) and Kent State’s Martina Gillen (2001), who both finished with six-under-par scores of 210. Texas State’s Linn Gustafson added a 212 on her way to a win in 2007.
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, which included a final-round 74. 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 individually at 220. Wright, a native of Incline Village, Nev., carded her second-best 54-hole score as a collegian, including a final-round 73.
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 that included a final-round 77.
Nebraska also received some solid efforts from young players outside the Husker lineup. Redshirt freshman Yoorim Kang close out her first career tournament with a final-round 80 to tie for 34th at 239. She finished one stroke behind sophomore Cassidy Stelzmiller, who also managed a final-round 80 to close in 33rd place individually at 238.
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 Wednesday, 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. She defeated tournament runner-up and senior teammate Steffi Neisen (217) by four strokes to claim individual medalist honors.
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 will play her 100th career round at the Minnesota Invitational, 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 77.42 stroke average ranks among the top 10 players in Husker history. She opened her senior season with a 72.33 stroke average and a second-place finish at the 2013 Chip-N Club Invitational.
Wright led the Huskers with a 77.39 stroke average as a junior. The Incline Village, Nev., native has played 92 career rounds, including a 73.33 average in three rounds at the 2013 Chip-N Club Invitational.
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 71.00 stroke average and her first career title at the 2013 Chip-N Club Invitational.
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 made an immediate impact to the Husker lineup in NU’s season-opening Chip-N Club Invitational. 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.
Chael opened with a one-under-par 71, before adding rounds of 76 and 77 to help the Huskers produce one of the top tournament scorers (874) in school history.
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 the annual Chip-N Club Invitational in Lincoln, Sept. 9-10. The tournament returned to Wilderness Ridge Golf Course, and the Huskers stormed to their first tournament title since 2008 with a record-setting three-round total of 874.
The Huskers hit the road for the first time when they travel to the Minnesota Invitational in Minneapolis, Sept. 16-17. The following week, Nebraska returns to a familiar tournament with the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational in Manhattan, Kan. It will be the Huskers’ first trip to Kansas State as a Big Ten Conference school.
After making the short drive to Manhattan, the Huskers will take nearly a month off from competition to focus on individual improvement while preparing for 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 campaign, 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 will begin to heat up with a road trip to Texas for the SMU/Dallas Athletic Club Invitational, 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.