The Nebraska women's golf team makes a quick turnaround after the Price's "Give 'Em Five" Invitational in New Mexico, Oct. 8-10, to compete at the Missouri State/Payne Stewart Memorial in Springfield, Mo., Oct. 15-16.
The Huskers produced their best team score of the year with a 900 over three rounds in three days on the New Mexico State Golf Course in Las Cruces. The young Huskers have shown improvement in each of their three tournaments this fall, and hope to continue that trend in Missouri.
Nebraska will compete among 15 teams on the par-72, 6,104-yard layout of the Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield. The tournament opens with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. (CT) on Monday, Oct. 15, with the teams playing 36 holes. The event will conclude with the final round on Tuesday, Oct. 16, with another shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.
Junior Katelyn Wright leads the Huskers to Missouri following the best collegiate performance of her career. The Incline Village, Nev., native tied for third in a 76-player field at the Price's "Give 'Em Five" Invite with a career-best three-round score of 217. For her effort in New Mexico, Wright earned the first Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week Award of her career on Oct. 11.
True freshman Cassie Deeg, and redshirt freshmen Morgan Smejkal, Jackie O'Doherty and Cassidy Stelzmiller also posted the best tournament totals of their young careers in New Mexico. Deeg, a native of Hugo, Minn., notched her second straight top-20 tournament finish by tying for 12th.
The Huskers will feature the same lineup in Missouri as they did in New Mexico, with Wright, Deeg, Steffi Neisen, Morgan Smejkal and Jackie O'Doherty filling out the top five. Redshirt freshman Cassidy Stelzmiller will also make the trip as an individual, along with true freshman Hannah Luebke.
Live scoring for the Missouri State/Payne Stewart Memorial will be available at GolfStat.com, while daily reports will be provided by Huskers.com.
Missouri State/Payne Stewart Memorial
Location: Springfield, Mo.
Host: Missouri State
Course: Rivercut Golf Course (Par 72, 6,104 Yards)
Shotgun Start (All Times Central)
Monday, Oct. 15 - 8:30 a.m. (36 holes)
Tuesday, Oct. 16 - 8:30 a.m. (18 holes)
1. Katelyn Wright
2. Cassie Deeg
3. Steffi Neisen
4. Morgan Smejkal
5. Jackie O'Doherty
Individuals: Cassidy Stelzmiller, Hannah Luebke
Missouri State/Payne Stewart Memorial (15 Teams)
Arkansas-Little Rock, Creighton, Drake, Drury, Indiana State, Missouri State, Nebraska, Oklahoma City, Oral Roberts, Rockhurst, South Dakota, UMKC, UNO, Valparaiso, Wichita State
Live Scoring: www.golfstat.com
Wright Produces Career Best at Price's "Give 'Em Five"
Katelyn Wright fired an even-par 72 to claim the best tournament finish of her career by tying for third with a career-best 217 at the Price's "Give 'Em Five" Invitational, Oct. 8-10.
Wright's three-round total on the par-72, 6,319-yard layout at the New Mexico State Golf Course, eclipsed her previous career best of 218 at the 2012 Westbrook Spring Invitational. Her tie for third marked the first top-five finish of her career and her third straight top-20 effort to open the season.
The native of Incline Village, Nev., finished four strokes back of individual medalist Yupaporn Kawinpakorn of Kansas, who closed with a 54-hole total of 213 (69-71-73), while leading the 76-player field from start to finish. Idaho's Kaitlyn Oster finished second at 216, just one shot ahead of Wright and Washington State's Mallory Kent.
Husker freshman Cassie Deeg (Hugo, Minn.) added the best tournament finish of her young career by tying for 12th with a career-best 221 over three rounds. Deeg shot a 76 on Wednesday, after opening the tournament with rounds of 75 and 70.
As a team, Nebraska tied for seventh in the 13-team field with a season-best three-round tournament score of 900. The Huskers closed the event with a 300 in the final round. Kansas won the team competition with a three-round total of 871, while Washington State took second at 881.
Junior Steffi Neisen (New Prague, Minn.) helped the Huskers with a final-round 75 to close at 230 in a tie for 46th. Redshirt freshmen Morgan Smejkal (Columbus, Neb.) and Jackie O'Doherty (Lincoln, Neb.) both managed final-round 77s. Smejkal tied for 53rd with a career-best 232, and O'Doherty tied for 64th with a career-best 238. Redshirt freshman Cassidy Stelzmiller added a 79 while playing as an individual outside Nebraska's lineup. The Placerville, Calif., native added a career-best tournament total of her own with a 238 to finish in a tie for 64th.
Wright Named Big Ten Golfer of the Week
After producing the best tournament performance of her career, Nebraska's Katelyn Wright captured her first Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week award on Oct. 11.
The junior from Incline Village, Nev., carded a career-best 217 over three rounds on her way to a career-best tie for third at the Price's "Give 'Em Five" Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M., Oct. 8-10.
Wright opened the tournament by matching her career-best with a 71 on the par-72, 6,319-yard layout of the New Mexico State Golf Course on Oct. 8. She added a second-round 74 on Oct. 9, before closing the tournament with an even-par 72 in the final round to finish at one-over-par for 54 holes. Her tie for third in a 76-player field marked her first career top-five finish.
Wright, who is in her third year in the Nebraska lineup, leads the Huskers with a 74.44 stroke average over nine rounds and has shot 76 or better in eight of those nine rounds.
Neisen, Wright Expected to Lead Huskers in 2012-13
The Nebraska women's golf team is one of the youngest in the Big Ten and the nation in 2012-13. Returning starters Steffi Neisen and Katelyn Wright lead a nine-player Husker roster that is without any seniors. The remainder of the roster consists of seven freshmen, including four true freshmen and a trio of redshirts.
"This year looks to be a rebuilding year on paper, with only two returning starters and no other players with collegiate experience," Nebraska Coach Robin Krapfl said. "But the potential is there for us to become a pretty good team. Steffi and Katelyn will need to provide strong leadership on and off the golf course to help our young team grow and develop."
Neisen has plenty of experience to draw upon as she assumes the role of a leader. The junior from New Prague, Minn., was in the NU lineup for 65 consecutive rounds in her first two seasons. She completed her sophomore season with Nebraska's No. 2 stroke average (76.67) in 2011-12. Her year included a school-record round of 66 at the Mountain View Collegiate on March 23. She notched three top-10 tournament finishes on the year, including a tie for second at the Alamo Invitational, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, when she fired a career-best 214 over three rounds. She closed her second year in Nebraska's starting lineup by tying for 25th at the 2012 Big Ten Championships.
A standout in the classroom and in the community, Neisen was honored as a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient, while also earning academic All-Big Ten honors. She also captured NGCA Scholastic All-America recognition for the second straight year.
Wright was also in the starting lineup throughout the 2011-12 campaign. The junior from Incline Village, Nev., competed in all 33 rounds for the Huskers and continued to shave strokes off her game as the season progressed. She started slow and battled some health issues in the fall, but came on strong in the spring. In one three-tournament stretch, Wright averaged 75.77, including a career-best 218 at the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Ariz.
"I'm really excited to see what Katelyn will do this year. She has the ability to not only be our most improved player, but also one of the most improved in the Big Ten," Krapfl said. "When you take a multi-sport athlete like Katie was, it takes a couple of years to catch up with those players who only played golf. But when that athlete breaks out, great things can happen. With Katie's work ethic, she has put in the time it takes and is ready to break out."
Redshirt Freshmen Hoping to Make Impact in Second Seasons
Second-year Huskers Jackie O'Doherty, Morgan Smejkal and Cassidy Stelzmiller all redshirted in their first seasons in Nebraska's program in 2011-12.
O'Doherty, a two-time Nebraska Class A state champion at Lincoln East High School, was a three-time Class A all-state pick in golf. She was also a member of the 2011 Four State Team and the 2010 Nebraska Junior Golf All-Star Team. She was also a competitive swimmer and posted better than a 4.0 GPA at Lincoln East.
"Jackie is a a great student with a wonderful personality and a good work ethic. She has good length, a solid golf swing and possesses a strong competitive side," Krapfl said. "She is coming off a hand injury that had her sidelined much of the summer, but it may be a blessing in disguise because she was forced to only work on her short game. It is going to be a battle between the freshmen to see who emerges into a prominent role in the lineup, but I would not be surprised if Jackie captures one of those spots."
Smejkal, a Columbus, Neb., native, was a two-time Class A all-state selection and produced a pair of top-five finishes at the state tournament. She was also a member of the Nebraska Junior Golf All-Star Team in 2009 and 2010, and she was a member of the 2010 and 2011 Nebraska Four State Team. She was also an outstanding basketball player who set Columbus High's three-point record.
"Morgan was recruited as an athlete with potential to develop into a college-level golfer, and she has embraced that goal," Krapfl said. "We have had quite a few hard-working athletes in my tenure, and Morgan's work ethic is right up there with the best. You've got to love a kid who gives it her all in everything she does. Not only that, she has also embraced what being a great teammate is all about. Morgan has good length, is meticulous in her thought process and hates to lose. As soon as she can get away from thinking too much and just play, she could develop into one heck of a player."
Stelzmiller was a highly regarded recruit from Placerville, Calif., who had success as a junior player competing in several major events, including the Women's Trans.
"We headed into last season thinking Cassidy could help us right away, and even though I think she could have, I'm glad she elected to take the year off and develop her game. It is exciting to think of how far she can progress in the next four years," Krapfl said. "She has excellent length and a great touch on the greens. With a year of maturity, we are hoping for big things from Cassidy."
Deeg Expected to Lead Four True Freshmen on NU Roster
The final ingredients to Nebraska's 2012-13 team come from four true freshmen, including two international players. The freshmen will all be given an opportunity to compete for positions in the lineup.
Cassie Deeg could make an immediate impact. The Hugo, Minn., native captured the 2011 Minnesota state title while helping Stillwater Area High School to runner-up team finishes in both 2011 and 2012.
Deeg added a third-place individual Class 3A finish in 2012, and was also the Minnesota Women's Match Play runner-up.
Another true freshman with an excellent chance to contribute early is Hannah Luebke. One of the top young golfers in Germany, Luebke became the first European player to sign with the Huskers since Catha Fogelberg (Sweden) in 1997-98. A native of Stuttgart, Luebke is the second German to join the Huskers in history, following in the footsteps of Shirin Hornecker (Munich), who played for Nebraska from 1996 to 1998.
Luebke finished second in the BWGW International Match Play and third at the German Youth National Championships. At 6-foot-1, Luebke was also an All-German performer as a middle blocker/outside hitter on the volleyball court in both 2009 and 2010.
Huskers Continue to Set the Pace in the Classroom
Nebraska leads the nation with 61 NGCA Scholastic All-Americans since 1989, including two in 2012. Madeleine Sheils capped her outstanding career on and off the course as the fourth four-time NGCA Scholastic All-America award winner in Husker history. Sheils joined Jackie Beste, Allison Stewart and JC Stevenson as four-time Husker NGCA Scholastic All-Americans.
Sheils was joined on the 2012 NGCA Scholastic All-America squad for the second straight year by Steffi Neisen. The junior from New Prague, Minn., takes aim at her third straight award in 2013.
Overall, Nebraska owns one of the richest academic traditions in all of collegiate sports with a nation-leading 299 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports. NU also led the nation with 16 NCAA Top Eight Award winners.