Stacked Field Headed to Kearney for Nebraska Women's Match Play Championship
Stroke Play Qualifying Begins Monday at Kearney Country Club
KEARNEY (July 19, 2020) - An accolade-filled field will tee it up at Kearney Country Club for the 97th Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship this week.
The championship, co-presented by the Nebraska Golf Association and Nebraska Women’s Amateur Golf Association, will begin with an 18-hole Stroke Play Qualifying round on Monday, followed by the Round of 16 later in the afternoon. Match play continues Tuesday with the Quarterfinals and Semifinals. The 18-hole Championship Final is slated to begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
With defending champion Kate Strickland of Lincoln not playing, the 44-player field is highlighted by 2019 NWAGA Player of the Year and 2020 Nebraska Girls’ Match Play and 2020 Nebraska Girls' Amateur Champion Danica Badura of Aurora. The University of South Dakota commit swept the girls’ circuit this summer and is looking to earn her first women’s title in Kearney.
In an event that was dominated by juniors last year, Badura will be joined by fellow junior player Lauren Thiele of Wahoo. Thiele finished as the runner-up in the championship last year after winning the 2019 Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship.
Lauren's older sister, Haley Thiele, will be chasing her third women’s title this week. The former Husker golfer won the 2017 and 2019 Nebraska Women’s Amateur Championships. It would also make her the third player to win all four of the NGA's female championships. Haley's sister, Hannah Thiele, and Doniphan's Danielle Lemek are the only players to own Nebraska Women's Amateur, Nebraska Women's Match Play, Nebraska Girls' Amateur and Nebraska Girls' Match Play titles.
Three-time NWAGA Player of the Year (2011, 2012, 2013) Kayla Barnes of Bellevue has also seen success in this event in previous years. Barnes won in 2009 when the championship was last held at Kearney Country Club. She also earned runner-up honors in 2013 and 2017.
Doniphan’s Brandi Lemek is looking to build on her 2018 performance when she was named the NWAGA Player of the Year. She also finished tied for second at the Women’s Amateur Championship that year.
The 2018 Women’s Match Play runner-up and University of Nebraska-Kearney golfer Lacie Fox of Beemer will join the field, eyeing her second NGA title after winning the 2017 Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship.
Omaha’s Kaitlyn Hanna and Jalea Culliver will both look to build on junior success at the women’s level. Hanna won the 2019 Nebraska Girls’ Amateur Championship and Culliver earned runner-up honors at the 2019 Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship.
Also joining the field will be Shelly Liddick, Head Women’s Golf Coach at Bellevue University. After turning professional in 1993, Liddick has regained her amateur status. The two-time LPGA National Coach of the Year is looking to win her first NGA title.
Kearney Country Club is a par-71 layout that will measure around 5,711 yards for the championship. Play begins at 8 a.m. for Monday’s Stroke Play Qualifying Round and each day’s match play. Pairings for qualifying are available on the championship website below, along with the scoring page and 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.