The Nebraska women's golf team travels to French Lick, Ind., this week to take part in its first Big Ten Tournament, April 27-29. The three-day, 54-hole event tees off on Friday, April 27, at 8 a.m. central time with the Huskers going off the 10th tee at the Donald C. Ross Golf Course at the French Lick Resort. The Huskers and the rest of the 12-team Big Ten Tournament field will play single rounds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Coverage of the tournament will be televised by the Big Ten Network on Sunday, May 13, at 10 a.m. central time.
Senior All-Big Ten contender Madeleine Sheils leads the Huskers to the Big Ten Tournament. She carries a team-best 74.40 stroke average and owns eight top-20 finishes. Sheils is the highest ranked Big Ten senior (No. 78) in the GolfStat Cup rankings. She is ranked sixth overall among Big Ten golfers.
According to GolfStat, Sheils is the only college golfer with a pair of hole-in-ones in 2011-12. She notched her second of the season on the par-3, 165-yard 13th hole of The Scarlet Course in the first round of the Lady Buckeye Invite April 21. She recorded her first this season at the Ross Course in French Lick in the third round of the Lady Northern. Sheils found the bottom of the cup off the tee on the par-3, 133-yard 16th hole on Oct. 11. Sheils owns three hole-in-ones in the past 10 months.
Sophomore Steffi Neisen owns NU's No. 2 stroke average (76.07) and four top-20 finishes. Senior Kayla Knopik has joined Neisen and Sheils for every round in the Husker lineup the past two seasons and carries NU's No. 3 stroke average at 76.54.
Sophomore Katelyn Wright has come on strong during the spring season, posting a 76.75 stroke average over Nebraska's last 12 rounds. She was NU's No. 2 finisher at last week's Lady Buckeye Invitational. Senior Katie Keiser and sophomore Remylee Molyneux round out the Husker lineup at the Big Ten Tournament.
2012 Big Ten Tournament
Location: French Lick, Ind.
Host: Big Ten
Course: Donald C. Ross Course at French Lick Resort
Par 72/6,156 Yards
Tee Times (All Times Central)
Friday, April 27 (18) 8 a.m. (10th)
Saturday, April 28 (18) 8 a.m.
Sunday, April 29 (18) 8 a.m.
Television Coverage: Big Ten Network - Sunday, May 13, 10 a.m. (CT)
1. Madeleine Sheils
2. Steffi Neisen
3. Kayla Knopik
4. Katelyn Wright
5. Katie Keiser
6. Remylee Molyneux
Big Ten Tournament (12 Teams)
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Live Scoring: www.golfstat.com
Sheils Leads Huskers at Lady Buckeye Invitational
Madeleine Sheils produced her eighth top-20 finish of the season to lead Nebraska to a ninth-place showing at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, April 21-22.
Sheils, a senior from Boise, Idaho, posted a team-best, four-over-par 76 on the 6,268-yard, par-72 layout of the Scarlet Course to close the 54-hole tournament in a tie for 17th at 233.
Sophomore Katelyn Wright added a final-round 77 to close at 239 in a tie for 35th as Nebraska's No. 2 finisher in the 11-team event. With Sheils and Wright leading the way, the Huskers posted a final-round 312 to close the two-day event at 953.
The hosts from Ohio State ran away with the title by posting a three-round score of 894, including the best round of the tournament by any team with a final-round 289. The Buckeyes defeated runner-up Michigan State by 16 strokes in a tournament that featured eight Big Ten Conference squads and a pair of Big 12 foes. Iowa State finished a distant third at 921, while Baylor settled for fourth at 924.
Ohio State's Rachel Rohanna cruised to the individual title with a three-round total of 212, including a tournament-best final-round 68. Rohanna won medalist honors by eight strokes over Iowa State's Punpaka Phuntumabamrung, who finished at 220. OSU's Kendall Prince finished third at 226, 14 strokes off Rohanna's winning score.
Nebraska senior Kayla Knopik finished 46th at 243, while sophomore Steffi Neisen shot her best round of the tournament with a 79 on Sunday to finish 50th at 246. Senior Katie Keiser tied for 58th at 251, while Remylee Molyneux settled for 64th at 254 in the six, count-four format of the event.
Sheils Producing Stellar Senior Season for Huskers
Madeleine Sheils is producing the best year of her career for the Huskers. The senior from Boise, Idaho, owns a career-best 74.40 stroke average and has notched six top-15 tournament finishes in 2011-12. A rock in the Husker lineup since the end of her freshman season in 2008-09, Sheils has played 99 consecutive rounds in the Husker top five.
After opening her senior season with a 10th-place finish at NU's Chip-N Club Invititational, Sheils captured her first career title at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational, Oct. 3-5 in Sammamish, Wash. Sheils fired a then-career-best 214 over three rounds, including a career-best, and then-school-record-tying five-under-par 67 in the final round.
After tying for 18th at the Lady Northern, she tied for fourth at the Hoosier Fall Invite to produce her fourth straight top-20 showing to open the season. Although she tied for 37th at the Alamo Invite to close the fall, she shot her second sub-70 round of the year with a 69 in the second round.
Sheils opened the spring by taking eighth with her third-best tournament score of the season (220) at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. She tied for 21st with a 221 at the Westbrook Spring Invitational, before tying for sixth with a 225 at the BYU at Entrada Classic.
She added her sixth top-10 finish of the year by taking sixth with a career-best, four-under-par 212 (69-73-70) at the Mountain View Collegiate, March 23-24.
Sheils, who is ranked No. 78 nationally in the GolfStat Cup Standings (April 24), is a two-time Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Oct. 6, Oct. 19). Sheils owns 17 career top-25 finishes, including 10 career top-10 performances. She is a three-time NGCA Scholastic All-American.
Sheils Captures First Career Crown in Washington
Madeleine Sheils tied NU's then-school record with a final-round 67 to capture her first collegiate title at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invite at the Sahalee Country Club Oct. 5. The senior from Boise, Idaho, claimed her first individual medalist honor as a collegian with a three-round total of 214, one shot better than Washington's Jennifer Yang and Oregon's Cassy Isagawa. Sheils' final-round 67 included six birdies (Holes 3, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15) and one bogey (Hole 6) to go along with 11 pars.
The 67 marked the lowest round Sheils has ever produced, and matched Nebraska's school record before teammate Steffi Neisen established the new record with a 66 at the Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz., March 23, 2012.
Neisen Fires School-Record 66 at Mountain View
Steffi Neisen earned a place in Husker history by firing a school-record, six-under-par 66 on the 6,227-yard layout at the Mountain View Golf Course in Tucson, Ariz., on March 23. Neisen's second-round score surpassed NU's previous top round of 67, which was shot five times - most recently by teammate Madeleine Sheils at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Sammamish, Wash., on Oct. 5, 2011.
Neisen's school-record round was the highlight of her third top-10 finish of the season, as she tied for seventh at Mountain View with a 215 - the second-best three-round total of her career.
Neisen has shown continued improvement as a sophomore after producing one of the best freshman seasons in school history in 2010-11.
The New Prague, Minn., native owns Nebraska's second-best stroke average this season with a 76.67 over 30 rounds. Neisen, who has competed in 62 consecutive rounds in the Husker lineup to open her career, produced the No. 3 stroke average by a freshman in NU history with a 77.13 a year ago.
After notching just two top-25 finishes as a rookie, Neisen owns four top-15 showings as a sophomore, including a career-best tie for second at the Alamo Invitational to close the fall campaign. For her efforts in San Antonio, which included a career-best tournament score of 214 and a final-round 69, Neisen was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week on Nov. 3.
Neisen opened the season by tying for sixth (227) at the Chip-N Club Invitational, then finished outside the top 25 in three straight events (Edean Ihlanfeldt, 34th, 235; Lady Northern, T50th, 239; Hoosier Fall Invite, T26th, 234) before her runner-up finish at the Alamo Invitational. She opened the spring by tying for 48th (235) at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, before tying for 40th (225) at the Westbrook Spring Invitational. Neisen added a tie for 13th (230) at the BYU at Entrada Classic, before her record-setting effort at Mountain View.
Neisen owns six career top-25 finishes, including four career top-10 showings. Off the course, Neisen was an NGCA Scholastic All-American in 2011.
Knopik Capping Career with Strong Senior Year
Fifth-year senior Kayla Knopik is producing the best year of her career in 2011-12. The Papillion, Neb., native, who has played 71 consecutive rounds in the Husker lineup, owns NU's third-best stroke average. Knopik's 77.00 stroke average is nearly a stroke better than her junior season average, as she has shown impressive improvement each year on the course as a Husker. In fact, she has shaved six strokes off her average from her redshirt freshman season in 2008-09.
Knopik, who entered the season with just two career top-25 finishes, has produced four top-25 showings as a senior, including a career-best tie for sixth (227) to open the season at the Chip-N Club Invitational. She added a tie for 23rd (229) at the Lady Northern, before tying for 13th with a career-best 219 at the Alamo Invitational. Her effort in San Antonio included a career-best 69 in the second round. She added her most recent top-25 finish with a tie for 13th (23) at the BYU at Entrada Classic.
Knopik owns six career top-25 finishes, including one top-10 effort. She was a first-team academic All-Big 12 selection in 2011.
Wright Surging in Spring During Sophomore Season
Katelyn Wright is emerging as a contributor in the Husker lineup. The sophomore from Incline Village, Nev., has produced top-25 finishes in two of the Huskers' last four events, including a 15th-place finish at the Westbrook Spring Invitational. She fired a career-best 218 at Westbrook in Peoria, Ariz., including a career-best, one-under-par 71 in the final round. Wright added a tie for 21st (234) in the BYU at Entrada Classic.
Wright, who has played all 30 rounds in the Husker lineup as a sophomore, has lowered her season stroke average to 79.07, which ranks fifth on the team. Over the last 12 rounds, Wright has recorded a 76.75 average.
Wright regularly played as NU's No. 6 golfer as a freshman, before earning spring lineup spots at the BYU at Entrada Classic and the Mountain View Collegiate. She posted an 80.08 stroke average over 25 rounds as a freshman.
Freshman Martinek Knocked Out for Season with Hand Injury
Shelby Martinek had played in every round for the Huskers in 2011-12, including lineup spots in five tournaments, before missing the BYU at Entrada Classic, March 19-20, and the Mountain View Collegiate with a hand injury. Unfortunately for the Huskers, the injury required surgery and Martinek will miss the rest of NU's season.
Martinek owned NU's fourth-best stroke average (79.05) prior to her injury. She also produced a pair of top-25 finishes. She tied for 18th with a 230 at the Hoosier Fall Invitational. Her effort in Indiana included a second-round 71. She improved her career-best a second-round 70 at the Alamo Invite the next time out.
She added a tie for 21st at the Westbrook Spring Invitational in her home state of Arizona, Feb. 26-27. The Tempe, Ariz., native fired consistent rounds of 76, 72 and 73 to finish with a career-best 221 at Westbrook in Peoria, Ariz.
Martinek competed as an individual at the Chip-N Club Invite before earning lineup spots at the Edean Ihlanfeldt, the Hoosier and Alamo invites. She competed in the NU lineup in the first three spring tournaments before the injury.
Huskers Continue to Set the Pace in the Classroom
Nebraska leads the nation with 59 NGCA Scholastic All-Americans since 1989, including two in 2011. Senior Madeleine Sheils has captured three straight NGCA Scholastic All-America honors and will try to become just the fourth Husker in history to win four awards in 2012. Sheils, a senior philosophy major from Boise, Idaho, hopes to join Jackie Beste, Allison Stewart and JC Stevenson as four-time Husker NGCA Scholastic All-Americans. Sheils was joined on the 2011 NGCA Scholastic All-America squad by 2010-11 freshman Steffi Neisen. The sophomore from New Prague, Minn., will take aim at her second straight award in 2012.
Overall, Nebraska owns one of the richest academic traditions in all of collegiate sports with a nation-leading 294 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans across all teams and all sports. The Huskers also lead the nation with 16 NCAA Top Eight Award winners. In 2010-11, Nebraska produced 15 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans while 113 student-athletes across all sports earned their bachelor's degrees during the 2010-11 academic year.