Kate

Smith

KateSmithZoom
Year: Junior
Hometown: Detroit Lakes, Minn.
High School: Detroit Lakes
Major: Graphic Design

Bio

Honors & Awards

  • 12 Career Top-10 Finishes (3, 2018-19)
  • 17 Career Top-25 Finishes (3, 2018-19)
  • School-Record Stroke Average (73.66, 2018)
  • Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Oct. 11, 2017)
  • Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Sept. 6, 2017)
  • Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Oct. 12, 2016)
  • T37th at NCAA Columbus Regional (2017)
  • T19th at Big Ten Championships (2018)
  • 47th at Big Ten Championships (2017)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (2018)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2016, 2017; Spring 2017, 2018)
  • Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2017, 2018)
  • 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: 2nd (UNO Invite, 2017) 
Career Stroke Average: 73.68

Junior (2018-19)
The top player for the Huskers in her first two seasons at Nebraska, Kate Smith is focused on earning an NCAA Regional bid while helping the Huskers to new heights as a team.

Smith, a junior from Detroit Lakes, Minn., has set Nebraska’s single-season stroke average record each of the past two seasons and continues to show she is capable of producing even better scores.

Smith produced a season-best 210 (71-68-71) at the UNLV Collegiate Showdown (Oct. 21-23). Her performance at the Boulder Creek Golf Club included a season-best, four-under-par 68 in the second round on her way to an eighth-place individual finish in a 90-player field.

She closed the fall with her fourth consecutive round better than par with a 71 in the only round of the rain-shortened Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii (Oct. 31). Her performance in Hawaii was good enough to tie for sixth - her third top-10 finish in five fall events. It marked the 12th top-10 finish of her career and her 17th career top-25 showing.

Smith got her third season at Nebraska off to a strong start with an even-par, three-round total of 216 (73-73-70) to tie for sixth in a 75-player field at the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic in Fort Collins, Colo. (Sept. 17-19). Smith added a 230 (76-81-73) to finish in a tie for 54th at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Wolcott, Colo. (Sept. 24-26). She was Nebraska's top finisher at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Oct. 5-7), closing at 225 (74-79-76) in a tie for 33rd.

She carded five rounds better than par during the fall season. Smith carries Nebraska's No. 1 stroke average on the season (73.23), while owning the No. 1 career stroke average in school history (73.68).

“It is only a matter of time before Kate wins a college tournament. She has the innate talent it takes to compete at the highest level,” Nebraska Coach Robin Krapfl said. “As her game has matured, her low scores and consistency have really improved. She is our rock and someone we will count on to help lead us to the postseason.”

Sophomore (2017-18)
Smith produced the best individual scores in school history with a second-round 64 on her way to a three-round total of 202 (67-64-71) at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 25-26. She finished third in a loaded field at Westbrook.

She continued to play at a high level at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz., March 16-18, tying for ninth at 219 (73-74-72) to produce her fifth top-10 performance of the season. Smith added a tie for 13th with a 221 (72-76-73) in a talented field at the Mountain View Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., March 23-25.

Smith capped the 2017-18 regular season by tying for 19th to lead Nebraska at the Big Ten Championship in Maineville, Ohio, April 20-22. Her three-round total of 218 (75-68-75) dropped her season stroke average to a school-record 73.66. Her performance at the Big Ten Championship was her seventh top-25 finish of the season and 14th of her young career.

Smith got her sophomore season off to a strong start with a runner-up finish at Nebraska’s season-opening UNO Invitational at ArborLinks, Sept. 1-2. Smith fired a three-round total of 221 (76-70-75) to post the best tournament finish of her career. After her effort in Nebraska City, Smith was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week for the second time in her career.

Smith added her second Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week honor of the season and the third of her career after firing a then-career-best 212 (69-72-71) to tie for seventh at the 19-team Pinehurst Challenge in North Carolina, Oct. 9-10. Smith’s opening-round 69 was her best round of the fall season.

She added a third top-10 finish by taking ninth at Nebraska’s Chip-N Club Invitational at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course, Oct. 1-3. Smith closed with a three-round total of 230 (77-77-76) in challenging scoring conditions over three days in Lincoln to help the Huskers to a runner-up team finish in their lone home tournament of the season.

Overall, Smith owns nine career top-10 finishes and 14 top-25 showings in two seasons as a Husker. 

Smith settled for a tie for 34th (73-80-153) in the stroke play portion of the East & West Match Play Challenge in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 17. She closed the fall as Nebraska’s No. 2 finisher at the UNLV Collegiate Showdown. She managed a three-round score of 224 (78-71-75) to tie for 49th in a 96-player field in Las Vegas.

Through 14 fall rounds, Smith posted a 74.29 stroke average. She opened the spring as Nebraska’s No. 2 finisher at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. She managed a 236 over three rounds to tie for 43rd.

Freshman (2016-17)
Smith opened her Nebraska career in the top of the 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 in NCAA Regional play since current LPGA professional Madeleine Sheils in 2012.

Smith closed her first season at Nebraska with a then-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 a season-best three-round score with a 214 (68-75-71) to tie for eighth at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz., March 17-19. Her opening-round 68 was also a season best. She closed the regular season with a tie for 28th (78-75-72-225) at the Hawkeye El Tigre in 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 (74-84-76-234).

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 UNLV Collegiate Showdown, Oct. 23-25.

Smith 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.

High School/Amateur
A five-time Minnesota Class 2A state champion (2012-16) and a six-time Class 2A all-state selection (2011-16), Smith  was the Minnesota Ms. Golf Award winner in 2016. 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 ArborLinks with a three-day career-best score of 209 (74-68-67.

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 graphic design and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2018. She is a four-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll. She was also chosen to the 2017 and 2018 Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

“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

2017-18

29

2,136

73.66

64

202

2018-19

13

952

73.23

68

210

Totals

73

5,379

73.68

64

202 

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