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Mary Kate Bird
Year: Senior
City/State: Kansas City, Mo.
High School: St. Teresa's Academy
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Bird Photos

Career Highlights

  • 15 Career Top 25 Finishes (5 in 2010-11)
  • Five Career Top 10 Finishes (1 in 2010-11)
  • Chip-N Club Invitational Runner-Up (2008)
  • Tied for 14th at 2011 Big 12 Championships
  • No. 3 at Nebraska in Career Stroke Average (77.08)
  • Two-Time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2009, 2011)
  • Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2010)
  • Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (2008-09, 2009-10)
  • Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Award (2009, 2011)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2011)
  • Six-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll
    (Fall 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010; Spring 2008, 2010)
  • No. 76 Nationally in Golfweek Class of 2007 Junior Rankings
  • Tied for 37th at Junior PGA Championships (2006)
  • Missouri High School State Champion (2006)

Best Finish: 2nd (2008 Chip-N Club Invitational)
Career Stroke Average: 77.08

Senior (2010-11)
Mary Kate Bird closed the best season of her Nebraska career with her best showing at the Big 12 Championships.

The Kansas City, Mo., native tied for 14th with a three-round total of 222 (74-69-79) on the par-72, 6,234-yard layout of The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Mo., April 22-24. Bird's three-under-par 69 in the second round marked a season best, while her 222 tied for her second-best tournament score of the season.

Bird finished with a career-best and team-leading 75.74 season stroke average in 2010-11. She played 90 career rounds, including 23 as a senior, while finishing with a 77.08 career average.

After missing the final three tournaments of the fall because of an illness, Bird bounced back to lead the Huskers during the 2011 spring campaign. She closed her career with six straight top-30 individual finishes, including a season-best tie for 10th (75-73-75-223) at the 33-team Kiawah Island Intercollegiate. It was the fifth top-10 tournament finish of her career.

She followed with a season-best 220 to finish 19th at the UNLV Spring Invitational in Boulder City, Nev., March 7-9. Her three-round score included a one-under-par 71 in the final round.

Bird tied for 26th (76-80-78-234) at the BYU Entrada Classic in St. George, Utah, March 21-22, before tying for 30th (74-75-73-222) at the Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz.

She headed to the Big 12 Championship following a tie for 23rd (81-74-76-231) at the Baylor Spring Invitational in Waco, Texas, April 11-12.

In her first two tournaments of the season, Bird produced a 78.00 stroke average over five rounds in the Nebraska lineup, including a tie for 18th (78-79-75-232) at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational. However, Bird sat out the Johnie Imes Invitational at Columbia, Mo., in early October. A few weeks later, she underwent surgery that ended her fall season.

Bird opened the fall by tying for 48th (81-77-158) at the rain-shortened Chip-N Club Invitational at Wilderness Ridge in Lincoln.

A standout in the classroom as well, Bird was a three-time academic All-Big 12 selection. She earned first-team academic all-conference honors for the second time in 2011. She is also a six-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll selection.

A role model in the community as well, Bird was a two-time recipient of Nebraska's prestigious HERO Leadership Award, claiming the honor in both 2009 and 2011 for her commitment to NU's Life Skills program.

Junior (2009-10)
Bird produced a strong season by posting a 77.04 while notching four top-25 tournament finishes as a junior.

She was relatively healthy throughout the season and competed in her first Big 12 Championships for the Huskers, after missing the conference tournament her first two seasons with illness and injury. She tied for 55th (82-79-82-243) at the Big 12 Championships in Norman, Okla., battling a back injury throughout the tournament. 

Before the injury, Bird had played well during the spring, including a tie for 17th with a season-best 222 (71-73-78) at the UNLV Spring Invitational, March 8-10. She followed with a tie for 24th (74-78-77-229) at Nebraska's Northern Migration in Florence, Ariz., March 15-17, before producing a season-best tie for ninth (75-76-73-224) at the BYU at Entrada Classic in St. George, Utah, March 22-23. She wrapped up regular-season play by tying for 36th (77-74-79-230) at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, April 10-11. 

Bird opened the season with a solid showing at Nebraska's Chip-N Club Invitational. She was NU's No. 3 finisher, closing with a 223 (77-75-71) in a tie for 12th place in the 83-player field. She added a tie for 34th with a 236 (79-76-81) at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate in Highlands Ranch, Colo., Sept. 21-23.

She notched a tie for 48th with a three-round score of 235 (79-83-73) that included a final-round 73 to help the Huskers to a second-place finish in the 20-team Heather Farr Memorial in Erie, Colo., Oct. 5-6. She did not play in NU's final two tournaments of the fall, then opened the spring season by tying for 55th (80-76-82-238) at the UCF Challenge. 

In addition to her skills on the course, Bird is a solid student, earning academic All-Big 12 honors for the second time in 2010. She was also a leader in the community for the Huskers, serving as the golf team's representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Sophomore (2008-09)
Bird rose to the top of the Husker lineup as a sophomore in 2008-09, after serving as a part-time starter as a true freshman. But a wrist injury suffered in the final regular-season tournament prevented her from competing at the Big 12 Championships for the second season.

Before injuring her wrist in the first round of the Lady Buckeye Invitational on April 18, Bird was NU's leader in the spring of 2009. She finished with a team-best season stroke average of 76.68 - better than a three-stroke per round improvement from 2007-08. Bird's season stroke average also ranked as the eighth-best mark in Husker history.

Bird opened the season by finishing second with a career-best 215 to lead the Huskers to the Chip-N Club Invitational title. Bird's opening round of the season tied her then-career best with a 70, before adding rounds of 72 and 73 to finish the 54-hole tournament at Wilderness Ridge at one-under-par.

She added a top-10 finish with a tie for ninth at the 19-team Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz., where she notched a career-best 68 in the opening round. She finished with a three-round score of 217. 

Bird added a top-25 finish by tying for 14th with a 234 (80-77-77) at the Marilynn Smith/Sunflower Invitational. Bird's strong effort helped the Huskers tie for first at the end of regulation. She added another top-25 finish and her second top-10 effort of the year with a tie for eighth with a 222 (72-74-76) at the Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic, Feb. 22-24. Bird entered the final round of the 43-team tournament in a tie for first.

She tied for 32nd (81-79-78-238) at the McHaney/Morehead Invitational, and tied for 40th (230) as NU's No. 2 finisher at the UNLV Spring Invitational. She settled for a tie for 51st (76-75-86-236) at the Lady Pirate Intercollegiate late in the fall season and managed a tie for 60th (242) in rugged weather conditions at the Aztec Spring Invitational to open the spring campaign.

Freshman (2007-08)
Bird battled for immediate playing time as a freshman, competing in six rounds in the lineup, while adding nine individual rounds. She was scheduled to play in NU’s lineup at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invite, but withdrew with an illness.

She tied for 15th (229) at the BYU Dixie Classic, April 1-2, which included an opening-round 74 and a second-round 75. Her finish in Utah followed a season-best 225 at the Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz., March 29-30. She notched a season-best with a two-under par 70 in the final round to finish in a tie for 25th.

Bird earned a spot in NU’s lineup at the Central District Invite to open the spring, finishing in 72nd place (264). In her first career tournament, Bird competed as an individual at NU’s Chip-N Club Invite, finishing 53rd (241). She earned her first lineup spot at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Invite in Kiawah Island, S.C., where she tied for 55th (239) to help the Huskers to a runner-up finish.

High School/Amateur
One of the top 100 golfers in the 2007 class, Bird won the AJGA qualifier in Wichita, Kan., and placed second at the Calloway PGA Junior Series with rounds of 71 and 75 in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2006. She won the IJGT Fitness and Golf Westin Kierland Classic in 2007, while also winning the IJGT at Daufuskie Island and the IJGT at Savannah Harbor in 2006. Bird added a fourth-place finish with rounds of 73 and 76 at the IJGT Fitness and Golf Classic in Mesa, Ariz. She captured the title at the 2006 Four-State competition as a member of Missouri’s five-player team. The Four-State features the best young players from Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.

At St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City, Mo., Bird won the 2006 Missouri High School state title, closing with a round of 69. She finished with a 74.4 stroke average on the year. She helped the Stars to state tournament bids in 2004 and 2005. A two-time district champion and the 2006 Kansas City Player of the Year, Bird earned all-state honors in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and was a four-time all-district selection. She also qualified for the 2007 USGA Women’s Amateur Championships.

Personal
The daughter of Jim and Debby Bird, Mary Kate was born Feb. 21, 1989 in Kansas City, Mo. She has a younger brother, David, and a younger sister, Madalyne. Mary Kate was a business administration major and earned her bachelor's degree from Nebraska in December of 2011.

Bird earned first-team academic All-Big 12 honors in both 2009 and 2011, while claiming second-team accolades in 2010. A six-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll, Bird also claimed a spot on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall of 2011. She was also the women’s golf team representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2008-09 and 2009-10, while earning Nebraska's Student-Athlete HERO Award in both 2009 and 2011 for her commitment to NU's Life Skills program.

 

 Bird's Career Statistics

 

Year

Rounds

Strokes

Avg.

Low 18

Low 54

2007-08

15

1,198

79.87

70

225

2008-09

25

1,917

76.68

68

215

2009-10

27

2,080

77.04

71

222

2010-11

23

1,742

75.74

69

220

Totals

90

6,937

77.08

68

215

First National Bank
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