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Ruge in Charge at Nebraska Women’s Amateur, Marchese Leads Senior Amateur

Ruge in Charge at Nebraska Women's Amateur, Marchese Leads Senior Amateur

Round Two Conducted Wednesday at Oak Hills Country Club

OMAHA (June 5, 2024) – Omaha's Katie Ruge has taken command of the 50th Nebraska Women’s Amateur Championship after the second round, and Omaha's Susan Marchese leads again after the first round of the 46th Nebraska Senior Women's Amateur Championship at Oak Hills Country Club on Wednesday.

Ruge, who will be a junior on the Kansas golf team, rebounded from a tough start to surge ahead of her competition. She leads by a whopping 11 strokes with a 139 (-3) total, which is one off the 36-hole scoring record (4-under by Doniphan's Danielle Lemek in 2015). Ruge shot a round of 71 (E), which included four-straight birdies, and holds the 36-hole lead for the second-straight year.

In the Nebraska Women's Senior Amateur, Marchese, an eight-time champion, shot a round of 78 (+7) to take the first round lead by two strokes. She's looking for her ninth title, which would pull her within one of the championship record held by Alice Torpin of O'Neill. It would also be Marchese's 27th overall NebGolf title, also a record.

Ruge's round started slow, as she bogeyed two of her first three holes, but her lead didn't really diminish. Most players were struggling early on the back nine, where the Women's Amateur competitors started. Ruge rebounded in incredible fashion, making birdie on holes No. 16, 17 and 18 to close her first nine in 34 (-1). Another birdie on the par-5 first made it four-straight, and pushed her lead to 12 strokes at 5-under.

Despite two late bogeys, Ruge still holds an 11-stroke lead over Papillion's Kelli Taulbee. Ruge will have a shot at the championship scoring record of 3-under, accomplished by Lemek in 2015 and matched by Aurora's Danica Badura in 2020. She could also be the seventh player to win by double-digit strokes, joining Marchese (twice), Elizabeth Bahensky-Schott of Kearney, Sarah Sasse-Kildow of Lincoln (twice) and Steph Kolbas of Lincoln. Kolbas owns the record with a 21-stroke winning margin in 2007.

Taulbee, who played at the University of South Florida from 2010-12, recently moved to Nebraska. She posted a round of 76 (+5) and is in second at 150 (+8).

Two Husker teammates are tied for third at 151 (+9), including the defending champion, Miu Takahashi of Japan. Takahashi was three strokes back to start the final round last year, and at one point was six strokes behind before her comeback to win the title. She's joined by teammate Arden Louchheim of Park City, Utah, who shot 77 (+6).

Lincoln's Olivia Lovegrove is in fifth at 152 (+10), after a 75 (+4). She leads the race for Low Junior by one stroke. Omaha's Julia Karmazin and Lincoln's Elly Honnens are tied for sixth at 153 (+11), with Omaha's Kaitlyn Hanna and Omaha's Elly Speece. Karmazin has been the Low Junior two-straight years.

Wahoo's Lauren Thiele and 13-year-old Naryn Kim of Lincoln are tied for 10th at 157 (+15) to round out the top 10.

Back on the Senior Amateur side, Marchese was jostling for position with several others throughout the first round. She lost the lead briefly on the back nine, but made a closing birdie on No. 18 to get into the clubhouse at 7-over.

Lincoln's Jill Pilkington held the lead at one point during the back nine, and was tied with Marchese heading into the 18th hole, but a bogey dropped her two strokes back. She shot a round of 80 (+9) and is in second.

Five-time champion Jane Pohlman is in third after a round of 82 (+11). Another title for the Oak Hills member would move her into solo-third all-time, passing Jean Hyland of Lincoln.

Norfolk's Julie Hall is fourth after an 83 (+12), and Elkhorn's Miae Hatfield is fifth with an 85 (+14).

The Final Round begins tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., with Ruge, Taulbee and Takahashi teeing off No. 1 at 10:20 a.m. Marchese, Pilkington and Pohlman are in the final group of the Nebraska Women's Senior Amateur at 9:40 a.m. Pairings are available on the championship website below, along with the scoring pages and additional information.

Nebraska Women's Amateur Championship

Nebraska Women's Senior Amateur Championship

About NebGolf
The Nebraska Golf Association (NebGolf), founded in 1966, is comprised of all members of public and private clubs and/or municipal or regional golf associations which utilize an approved handicap service recognized by the USGA and provided by NebGolf. Our mission is to uphold and promote the game of golf and its values to all golfers in Nebraska. Among the duties of the Association include governance of member clubs and service as their handicapping and course rating authority, conduct of state golf championships, local USGA qualifying & other notable competitions, promotion of junior golf, presentation of worthwhile educational programs and support of allied golf organizations in Nebraska. The Nebraska Golf Association is an Allied Golf Association of the USGA and carries out core services including Handicap Administration and Oversight, Course Rating, Rules of Golf and Rules of Amateur Status, Tournaments and USGA Championship Qualifiers and USGA Initiatives and Community Programs.

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