Baete, Thiele advance to Nebraska Women’s Match Play Final
Two more rounds of match play were conducted on Wednesday for the 98th Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship at Awarii Dunes Golf Club in Axtell, and only two players remain in the Championship bracket.
Beatrice’s Kirsten Baete and Wahoo’s Haley Thiele will face-off in the 18-hole Final on Thursday morning for the title. The two former Husker teammates are both looking to win the Nebraska Women’s Match Play for the first time. Baete was the 2016 Nebraska Girls’ Amateur Champion, while Thiele owns five NGA titles, including two Nebraska Women’s Amateur wins.
Baete had to defeat two current Husker teammates to advance to the Final. She took down the No. 1 seed Vanessa Bouvet in the Quarterfinals, birdieing the final two holes of match to win 1 up. She then faced Nicole Hansen in the Semifinals and jumped out to an early lead with wins on holes No. 3-5. Hansen fought back, but Baete rolled in a long putt for birdie on the par-5 12th, and dropped an eagle putt on the par-5 14th hole to push her lead to 4 up. Baete then closed out the match with a par on No. 16 to win 3 and 2.
Thiele lost the first hole in her Quarterfinal match against North Platte’s Karsen Morrison, but rebounded with back-to-back birdies to take a lead she would never relinquish. After a birdie on No. 9, Thiele was 3 up at the turn. Morrison made birdie on No. 11 to cut into the lead, but Thiele answered with three straight wins, including an eagle on the par-5 14th hole to close out the match, 5 and 4.
In the Semifinals, Thiele met a familiar face, her younger sister Lindsey Thiele of Wahoo. Haley, a Husker alum, and Lindsey, a current Husker, had one of the best battles of the day in their first matchup against each other in a NGA championship. Haley was in control after losing the first hole again. She made birdies on Nos. 2, 4 and 6 to take the lead. Another birdie on the par-5 ninth after a great two-putt sent her to the back nine with a 3-up lead.
Haley pushed her lead to 4 up, but that’s when Lindsey made her run. She hit it close on the par-3 11th hole and made birdie, and added another birdie on No. 12. After an eagle on No. 14 and a par on No. 15, the match was tied. It eventually came down to the closing hole, and Haley converted an up-and-down from right of the 18th green for birdie to win the match, 1 up.
Haley will look to become the third player, including her sister Hannah Thiele and Danielle Lemek of Doniphan, to win the Nebraska Girls’ Amateur, Nebraska Girls’ Match Play, Nebraska Women’s Amateur and Nebraska Women’s Match Play.
The Championship Final begins at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday. There will also be finals in the four other flights, with the first match starting at 8 a.m. Visit the the championship website below for the updated bracket and more.
Courtesy: Nebraska Golf Association