The Nebraska women’s golf team returns to French Lick, Ind., for the third consecutive season to compete in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament, April 25-27.
The 12-team championship event will be held on the Ross Course at the French Lick Resort with single rounds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Huskers will go head-to-head with a loaded Big Ten field, featuring No. 19 Northwestern, No. 25 Michigan State and No. 27 Ohio State in the April 23 GolfStat Rankings. No. 49 Wisconsin gives the Big Ten four top-50 teams, while No. 58 Minnesota, No. 61 Purdue, No. 62 Penn State, and No. 66 Illinois give the conference eight teams among the nation’s top 70.
No. 77 Nebraska and No. 96 Michigan give the Big Ten 10 teams in the nation’s top 100, while No. 106 Iowa and No. 112 Indiana give the Big Ten formidable foes from top to bottom at the tournament.
Nebraska will hope for a strong performance in Indiana after tying for eighth with Iowa (938) at a 12-team field at the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, April 19-20. The Lady Buckeye featured seven Big Ten teams and a six-count-four format. The Huskers will play the same lineup at the Big Ten Tournament as the Lady Buckeye, with senior Katelyn Wright playing out of the top spot. Sophomore Cassie Deeg, senior Steffi Neisen, freshman Jordan Chael and sophomores Cassidy Stelzmiller and Morgan Smejkal rounding out the NU contingent.
Live scoring for the tournament will be available at www.GolfStat.com.
Big Ten Tournament
Location: French Lick, Ind.
Course: Ross Course
Start Times (Central)
Friday, April 25 - 8 a.m. (18 holes)
Saturday, April 26 - 8 a.m. (18 holes)
Sunday, April 27 - 8 a.m. (18 holes)
1. Katelyn Wright
2. Cassie Deeg
3. Steffi Neisen
4. Jordan Chael
5. Cassidy Stelzmiller
6. Morgan Smejkal
Big Ten Tournament (12 Teams)
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Live Scoring: www.GolfStat.com
Huskers Tie for Eighth at Lady Buckeye; Deeg Ties for 20th
Nebraska produced its best round of the Lady Buckeye Invitational with a final-round 310 to tie for eighth in a talented 12-team field with a three-round score of 938. The hosts from Ohio State captured the team title with a three-round total of 892, including a final-round 291 to move past second-round leader Kent State. The Buckeyes beat the Golden Flashes by 22 strokes in the final round, after Kent State managed a 303 to finish in a tie for second with Michigan State at 900. The Spartans nearly kept pace with the Buckeyes, firing a final-round 292.
Kent State’s Jennifer Ha held on for medalist honors with a 54-hole score of 218 on the par-72, 6,268-yard layout of the Scarlet Course. Ha’s final-round 71 was good enough to defeat runner-up Kelly Grassel from Michigan State by one stroke. Grassel fired a two-under-par 70 on Sunday to finish at 219. Ohio State’s Katja Pogacar added a 70 of her own in the final round to close two strokes behind Ha in third place at 220.
Cassie Deeg led the six Huskers at the tournament with a 54-hole score of 232, including a final-round 78. The sophomore from Hugo, Minn., tied for 20th in the 72-player field in the six-count-four format. Senior Katelyn Wright added a tie for 38th at 237, including a final-roun 77. Cassidy Stelzmiller added a 77 of her own to finish at 240. The sophomore from Placerville, Calif., tied for 50th overall.
Freshman Jordan Chael contributed a 78 for her second straight round to finish in a tie for 57th at 242. Senior Steffi Neisen settled for an 81 to tie for 44th at 238, while sophomore Morgan Smejkal managed an 82 to close the 54-hole event in a tie for 60th at 246.
Deeg Led Huskers at 2013 Big Ten Championships
Cassie Deeg fired Nebraska’s best round of the tournament with a one-over-par 73 in the final round to lead the Huskers to an 11th-place finish at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament. Deeg tied for 32nd in the 72-player field, closing with a 54-hole score of 232 (79-80-73). Fellow 2013 freshman Hannah Luebke added a career-best 75 in the final round to close at 234 (81-78-75) in a tie for 38th.
With NU’s freshmen leading the way, the Huskers climbed one spot to finish 11th in the 12-team tournament field with a three-round total of 935. Nebraska’s final-round 301 was its best round of the tournament and allowed the Huskers to finish 11 strokes ahead of 12th-place Illinois (946).
Cassidy Stelzmiller contributed NU’s third-best score of the final round with a 76 to finish with a three-round total of 239 (83-80-76) in a tie for 50th. Steffi Neisen completed the Huskers’ team round with a 77 in the six-count-four scoring format. Neisen finished in a tie for 41st individually at 236 (81-78-77). Katelyn Wright settled for a 58th-place finish at 242 (82-78-82).
Purdue and Northwestern shared the Big Ten Tournament title. The Boilermakers closed the tournament with a final-round 297 to erase Northwestern’s five-shot lead heading into the third round. The Wildcats managed a 302 to match Purdue at 884. Purdue’s Paula Reto claimed medalist honors with a three-round total of 212 (71-71-70) on the par-72, 6,099-yard layout of the Donald Ross Course. Michigan State’s Caroline Powers finished a distant second at 219 (75-73-71).
Huskers Capture Mountain View Crown
Nebraska captured its second team tournament title of the year with a three-round score of 874 at the Mountain View Collegiate, March 28-29.
The Huskers held off No. 37 Kent State by one stroke, while No. 79 Missouri finished third at 879. Nebraska’s 874 tied its team total in opening the season with a tournament title at the Chip-N Club Invitational at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in September. It matched the Huskers’ second-best team score of the season, trailing an 869 at the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 23-24.
Senior Katelyn Wright fired a final-round 70 to finish with a career-best three-under-par 213, tying sopohomore Cassie Deeg for second in the final individual standings. Wright’s tie for second marked the best finish of her Nebraska career, surpassing a tie for third at the 2012 Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Intercollegiate.
Gonzaga’s Alice Kim won the tournament title by three strokes with a final-round 70 to close at six-under 210. Husker senior Steffi Neisen added a tie for 11th with a 219 after shooting a final-round 73. Freshman transfer Sarah Pravecek provided a highlight with a two-under-par 70 to close her first tournament as a Husker with a 226. Sophomore Morgan Smejkal added a final-round 75 to close the tournament at 230 in a tie for 55th. Hannah Luebke added a 77 to finish in a tie for 76th at 241.
Deeg, Wright Claim Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week Awards
Nebraska’s Katelyn Wright and Cassie Deeg were named Big Ten Co-Women’s Golfers of the Week, when the conference office announced its winners April 2.
Wright, a senior from Incline Village, Nev., and Deeg, a sophomore from Hugo, Minn., tied for second individually while leading the Huskers to a tournament title at the 15-team Mountain View Collegiate, March 28-29 in Tucson, Ariz.
Wright produced the best tournament finish and score (213) of her collegiate career, while Deeg matched her career-best tournament score (213).
The award was Deeg’s second Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week honor of the year, joining her award after opening the season with medalist honors in leading the Big Red to the Chip-N Club Tournament title, Sept. 9-10 at Wilderness Ridge. It was also Wright’s second career Big Ten award, following her selection Oct. 11, 2012.
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 124 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 77.22 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 and an 11th-place finish at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invite. She ranked second among the Huskers with a 76.14 stroke average through 14 fall rounds.
Wright led the Huskers with a 77.39 stroke average as a junior. The Incline Village, Nev., native has played 117 career rounds, including a team-best 75.64 average and six top-25 finishes in 2013-14.
She owns a trio of top-10 finishes as a senior, including a career-best tie for second at the Mountain View Collegiate (213) on, March 28-29. She finished sixth at the Clover Cup (220), March 14-16, in Mesa, Ariz. She opened the season with a tie for fifth (220) at Nebraska’s Chip-N Club Invitational. She opened the spring campaign with a season-best 70 in the second round at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 23-24.
True Freshman Chael Makes Instant Impact
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 the Big Ten Tournament ranked fourth among the Huskers with a 77.04 stroke average.
Chael has carded a 71 on three occasions this season, including the final round at the Westbrook Invitational on Feb. 24. She produced a three-round score of 226 that included a one-under-par 71 in the final round at the Westbrook Spring Invitational, Feb. 23-24.
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 Faced 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. NU tied for sixth at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invite, Sept. 23-24, before taking nearly a month off to prepare for the Hoosier Fall Invitational, Oct. 19-20. Nebraska wrapped up the fall campaign at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown, Oct. 27-29.
The spring schedule began with a tie for fourth at the 14-team Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 23-24. It was 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 made a return trip to Arizona to win the Mountain View Collegiate, March 28-29, in Tucson.
The spring season continued against a loaded 16-team field at an abbreviated SMU/Dallas Athletic Club Invite, April 4-6. The Huskers competed at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, April 19-20, before traveling to the Big Ten Tournament at the Donald Ross Course at the French Lick Resort in Indiana, April 25-27. 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 310 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports. NU also leads the nation with 17 NCAA Top Ten Award winners.