Smith sets sights on Augusta

Kate Smith
Kate Smith(NU Athletic Communications)
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 1:37 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (Press Release) - Nebraska’s Kate Smith will become the first Husker golfer in history to compete in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, when the senior takes part in the second tournament to be played at the legendary course ahead of next week’s Master’s.

The international field of 82 women amateurs will take on the course at the Champions Retreat Golf Club on March 31. The first round begins at 6:45 a.m. (CT). The second round of the championship is set to start at 6:45 a.m. on Thursday, April 1. The first 36 holes will cut the field to the top 30 golfers for Saturday’s final round to be played at Augusta National on Saturday, April 3.

Saturday’s final round will begin at 7 a.m. (CT) with three hours of live television coverage provided by NBC Sports from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (CT).

Smith earned a coveted invitation to the event in January after an outstanding year of amateur competition. In August of 2020, Smith finished in the top 16 in stroke play at the 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in Maryland, before advancing to the round of 32 in the match play portion of the event. She was also named the 2020 Minnesota Golf Association Co-Player of the Year after winning the MGA Women’s Amateur Championship.

In early January, Smith took 12th in an 85-player field at The Sally (95th annual South Atlantic Women’s Amateur Championship) in Ormond Beach, Fla. (Jan. 6-9). Her performance at The Sally followed a top-25 finish at the Orlando International Amateur (Jan. 3-5).

In 2019-20, Smith became the first Husker in history to win the Big Ten Mary Fossum Award presented to the golfer with the best stroke average relative to par among all conference golfers. The first-team All-Big Ten golfer is Nebraska’s career stroke average record holder (73.49) after setting NU’s single-season record for the third straight year in 2019-20 (72.18), Smith is in the middle of an outstanding final season at Nebraska.

She is coming off her first collegiate tournament title with a win at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate in New Orleans (March 14-16). Her season-best three-round total of 215 (-1) at English Turn Golf and Country Club also earned her the second Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week award of 2021. She won her first conference honor of the year by opening the collegiate season with a tie for third at the Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas (Feb. 1-2).

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