Three Huskers Named Big Ten Golfers to Watch
Nebraska juniors Kate Smith and Haley Thiele and sophomore Noor Ahmed were mentioned among the list of the top women's golfers in the Big Ten as the conference prepares to open its 2018-19 season.
Smith, who enters her third season as the top golfer in the Husker lineup, has broken Nebraska's single-season stroke average record in each of her first two years for the Big Red. As a freshman in 2016-17, Smith (Detroit Lakes, Minnesota) produced a then-school-record 73.90 stroke average on her way to an NCAA Regional berth. Last season, she followed with a school-record 73.66 stroke average while leading the Huskers with a tie for 19th individually at the 2018 Big Ten Championships. Along the way, Smith shattered Nebraska records for the best individual round (64) and best 54-hole tournament score (202) at the Westbrook Spring Invitational. She also earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades as a sophomore.
Thiele, who is her fourth season at Nebraska, opened her Husker career with a then-freshman-record 75.63 stroke average in 2015-16. A two-time WGCA Scholastic All-American, Thiele (Wahoo, Nebraska) missed all of the 2016-17 season with an injury before returning to the course as one of the regulars in the Husker lineup in 2017-18. In addition to her success in the classroom, Thiele also claimed a prestigious Sam Foltz Hero 27 Award as one of Nebraska's most committed student-athletes across all sports to the Husker Life Skills program.
Ahmed put together a solid freshman season for the Huskers in 2017-18. The sophomore from Folsom, California competed in Nebraska's lineup throughout the 2018 spring campaign. She closed the year as Nebraska's No. 2 finisher at the Big Ten Championships by tying for 40th individually among the 84 golfers in the conference tournament field.
Nebraska, under the direction of Head Coach Robin Krapfl and Associate Head Coach Kolton Lapa, will open its 2018-19 season at the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic in Fort Collins, Colorado (Sept. 17-19).