Smith starts strong at Texas Women’s Open

Kate Smith.jpg
Kate Smith was a top 15 qualifier after the first two days of stroke play at the U.S. Women's Amateur in Maryland and heads to match play Thursday against No. 50 Louise Yu. Robert Williams / Tribune

Part of the COVID-19 athletic scenario has come full circle with Kate Smith’s return to competition this week at the Texas Women’s Open at Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas June 2-4.

Smith was the first feature interview when spring sports were canceled due to the virus and this week’s tournament is one of the positive changes since that disappointing end.

Smith accepted a fifth year of eligibility at the University of Nebraska after being on track to earn an NCAA Regional bid. She will return to the Cornhuskers to finish her senior college season.

She was also the recipient of Big Ten Conference awards in the offseason.

Tuesday, she got off to a strong start in Texas finishing the opening round as the low amateur with a 3-under-par 68. Smith is one stroke off the lead in a tie for third place in a field of 118 golfers.


Only two players were better than Smith: Maddie Szeryk and Cheyenne Knight, both of Allen, Texas are one stroke better with 4-under 67s.

The three-round tournament continues Wednesday.

In May, Smith earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition while becoming the first Husker in history to win the conference's Mary Fossum Award, which honors the Big Ten golfer with the lowest stroke average relative to par during the season.

Smith is Nebraska's career record holder with a 73.45 stroke average over 104 rounds. She set the school single-season record for the third straight year with her 72.18 average over 17 rounds in 2019-20.

Smith was also one of 14 Big Ten golfers to receive the conference’s sportsmanship award.

Live scoring is available this week on the Texas Women’s Open website .

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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