Ruge is Second Youngest Nebraska Women's Match Play Champion
Finals Conducted Wednesday at Kearney Country Club
KEARNEY (July 22, 2020) - Omaha's Katie Ruge defeated Snyder's Hannah Hunke in the Final of the 97th Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship on Wednesday at Kearney Country Club, becoming the second youngest champion.
Ruge is just 16-years-old and will be a junior at Millard North high school in the fall. Lincoln's Kate Strickland was the youngest, at 15-years-old when she won in 2019. Ruge is also the fifth junior golfer to win the title, joining Strickland, Wahoo's Hannah Thiele (2015), Lincoln's Anna Christenson (2007) and Omaha's Theresa Wanek (1975).
Ruge started the Final with a birdie to take a 1 up lead, and never trailed, winning 4 and 3 over Hunke. A couple holes later, Hunke tied the match with a par on No. 3, but Ruge won No. 4 to regain her lead. Ruge then won No. 5 with a birdie to go 2 up, and she never relinquished the lead.
It looked like Hunke might get one back on No. 9, as she had a birdie putt and Ruge was short of the green and a long way from the hole. However, Ruge hit a great pitch shot that nearly went in, stopping just inches short of the hole. Hunke two-putted and they made the turn with Ruge 2 up.
Hunke then won the par-3 10th hole with a par, but that's when Ruge made her run to close out the match. She won No. 11 with a par, when Hunke missed the green long and left. Hunke nearly holed her flop shot, but missed her par putt. Ruge hit another close approach on No. 13 and sank the putt for birdie to go 3 up. Hunke found the penalty area on No. 15, and Ruge sealed the win.
In the Founder's Bracket Final, North Platte's Karsen Morrison won 3 and 2 over Beemer's Lacie Fox. In the 1st Flight Bracket of the Non-Championship Division, Kearney's Sally Bryson won 1 up against Grand Island's Chris Seberger. In the 2nd Flight Bracket, Kearney's Sandy Janssen won in 19 holes against Lincoln's Kelly Nelson.
The final brackets are available at the championship website below along with additional information.
About the NGA
The Nebraska Golf Association, 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 the NGA. 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.
The Nebraska Women's Amateur Golf Association, founded in 1973, is an organization of golf clubs and individuals governed by amateur women golfers and formed for the purpose of promoting and conserving the best interests and true spirit of the game of golf for all women in the State of Nebraska. As NWAGA members, your participation and support is integral to NWAGA's success and will continue to enliven our efforts.