Strickland is Youngest Nebraska Women's Match Play Champion
FREMONT (July 17, 2019) – Kate Strickland of Lincoln became the youngest champion on Wednesday at Fremont Golf Club, cruising to win the 96th Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship over another young player, Lauren Thiele of Wahoo, 6 and 4.
Strickland jumped out to an early lead and never let up. The 2018 Nebraska Girls’ Golfer of the Year won the first hole, and after a birdie on the par-4 fifth hole, she was already 4 up, winning four of the first five holes. Strickland chipped in for birdie on the par-4 seventh hole and won the par-5 eighth hole to move to 6 up.
Thiele then showed some fight, holing a 10-foot par putt on No. 10 to win her first hole and cut the lead to 5 up. Strickland regained that lead with a win on the 12th hole, but Thiele answered with a great approach shot to the par-5 13th hole for a win with a par. However, Strickland wouldn’t let it go anyt further, sticking her approach shot close on No. 14 and converting an easy two-putt par to close out the match.
Strickland is just the fourth junior champion in the 96-year history of the championship, joining Theresa Wanek of Omaha (1975), Anna Christenson of Lincoln (2007) and Hannah Thiele of Wahoo (2016), as the only juniors to win. Wanek and Christenson both were 17-years-old when they won. Strickland, who turned 15 in March, is now the youngest to win this title. It’s her second NGA title, after winning the 2018 Nebraska Girls’ Amateur Championship.
Strickland will be sophomore this fall at Lincoln Southwest High School, while Thiele will also be a sophomore at Bishop Neumann High School in Wahoo.
In the Founders’ Flight of the Gross Division, Omaha’s Katie Ruge defeated Omaha’s Jalea Culliver, 5 and 4 in the final.
In the Senior Gross Division, former Husker women’s golf coach Robin Krapfl of Lincoln won her first tournament ever, defeating Debbie Wilbeck of Omaha in the final, 5 and 3.
Three flight winners in the Net Division were also crowned, with Patty Meister of Fremont winning, 5 and 3, over Shelly Miratsky of Bellevue in the First Flight final. Omaha’s Gay Gross-Rhode won the Second Flight final, 4 and 3, over Bev Guzinski of Tekamah. In the Third Flight, Kearney’s Kathy Garrelts defeated Amy Bear of Kearney, 2 and 1.
Full results and more are available on the championship website at the button below.
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.