KEARNEY (July 20, 2020) – Lauren Thiele of Wahoo took home medalist honors and played her way into Quarterfinals at the 97th Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship at Kearney Country Club
Scoring conditions were tough in Stroke Play Qualifying morning. Thiele carded a 72 (+1) to become the medalist and No. 1 seed by two strokes over her older sister Haley Thiele, who shot a 74 (+3).
There was also a 4-for-1 play-off for the 16th seed in the championship bracket between Baylee Steele of North Platte, Kristin Goertz of Omaha, Karsen Morrison of North Platte, and Lacie Fox of Beemer. All four players finished at 83 (+12). Steele and Fox were eliminated after the second hole of the play-off, while Morrison and Goertz went five holes before Goertz triumphed to move into the championship bracket.
Lauren Thiele was a finalist last year at just 15-years-old, finishing runner-up. She moved one step closer to repeating that, winning her Round of 16 match over Goertz, 2 and 1.
Thiele’s opponent in the Quarterfinals is Emily Karmazin of Omaha. Karmazin’s match was the only one in the championship bracket to go to extra holes. It took her one extra hole to close out over 2009 Champion Kayla Barnes of Bellevue.
The next quarterfinalist is Sydney Taake of Papillion, who won her match 1 up over Kira Mestl of Ogallala. Taake won five holes throughout the match, and never trailed at any point in the round. She goes on to face Hannah Hunke of Snyder, who won 2 and 1 over Shelly Liddick of Bellevue.
It’s a showcase of talent in the next match. Two-time Nebraska Women’s Amateur champion Haley Thiele takes on Danica Badura of Aurora, who is fresh off her sweep of the NGA girls’ championships.
Thiele won in strong fashion today, 4 and 3 over Neely Adler of Lincoln. Badura had a tougher battle this afternoon. She was down three holes to Kenzey Kanno of Morrill, but rallied to put together a 3-and-2 victory.
Katie Ruge of Omaha continues her strong summer with a Quarterfinal appearance and a big Round of 16 win. She won 5 and 3 over University of South Dakota golfer Jalea Culliver of Omaha. Her opponent will be Ricki Hickstein of Chadron. Hickstein also played a clean match, winning 4 and 3 over Kaitlyn Hanna of Omaha.
The rest of the Championship Division that did not make the championship bracket was seeded into the Founders Bracket. Those players also played their Round of 16 matches on Monday, and will begin the Quarterfinals Tuesday. The two net brackets from the Non-Championship start match play Tuesday as well.