Strickland, Thiele to Face-off in Nebraska Women's Match Play Final
FREMONT (July 16, 2019) – History will be made on Wednesday at the 96th Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship, as junior golfers Lauren Thiele of Wahoo and Kate Strickland of Lincoln advanced to the final after wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals on Tuesday at Fremont Golf Club.
Thiele could be the first player to ever win the Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship and the Nebraska Girls’ Match Play Championship in the same year. She won the 57th Nebraska Girls’ Match Play last month and has a chance to do something no other player has accomplished since the junior championship began in 1963. With Thiele and Strickland advancing to the final, there will also be just the fourth junior champion in the 96-year history of the championship. One of them will join Theresa Wanek of Omaha (1975), Anna Christenson of Lincoln (2007) and Hannah Thiele of Wahoo (2016), as the only juniors to win. Thiele could also join her sister, Hannah, as a champion for the second time this summer.
Both players faced a tough road to get to the final. Strickland, the 2018 Nebraska Girls’ Amateur Champion, had to take on the top seed, after rolling to a 7-and-6 quarterfinal win over Kristin Goertz of Omaha. The No. 1 seed Danica Badura of Aurora defeated two-time Girls’ Match Play Champion Megan Whittaker of Elkhorn in her quarterfinal match, 4 and 2, and the two squared up in the semifinals. Strickland made the first move, winning the first two holes and rolling in a birdie on No. 5 to take a 3-up lead. She pushed the lead to 4 up after a par on No. 11, but Badura made a late push, dropping birdie putts on Nos. 14 and 15. However, Strickland answered with a birdie putt of her own on No. 15, and then closed out the match with a par on No. 16 to win, 3 and 2.
Thiele played eight more holes than Strickland in the quarterfinals, defeating the No. 2 seed Emily Karmazin of Omaha in 20 holes. Thiele led for most of the match, but Karmazin fought back to force extra holes. However, Thiele took the win with a birdie on the second extra hole. She went on to meet Doniphan’s Brandi Lemek in the semifinals, after Lemek defeated the 2017 Nebraska Girls Amateur Champion Ricki Hickstein of Chadron, 1 up in the quarterfinals. Thiele took the early lead, winning No. 1 with a par and No. 2 with a birdie. She added birdies on Nos. 5 and 7 to take a 3-up lead. Lemek answered with birdies on Nos. 9 and 12 to cut into the lead, but Thiele won two of the next three holes to close out the win, 4 and 3.
In the Founders’ Flight of the Gross Division, Omaha’s Jalea Culliver is set to take on Omaha’s Katie Ruge in the final.
In the Senior Gross Division, former Husker women’s golf coach Robin Krapfl of Lincoln will face Debbie Wilbeck of Omaha in the final. Krapfl won in 19 holes over Anne Robertson of Columbus and Wilbeck defeated Maggie Peters of Fremont, 2 and 1, to advance.
There are also three flights competing in the Net Division, with Patty Meister of Fremont taking on Shelly Miratsky of Bellevue squaring up in the First Flight final. Omaha’s Gay Gross-Rhode and Bev Guzinski of Tekamah will play in the Second Flight final, while Kearney’s Amy Bear and Kathy Garrelts will match up in the Third Flight final.
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.