Kate Strickland shot the lowest score of her golf career Thursday at the Lincoln Classic at Holmes Golf Course.

So, yes, the Lincoln Southwest sophomore was very happy with her round. But it was how the Silver Hawks won the team title that had Southwest's No. 1 golfer more excited.

Despite being without two of its varsity golfers, the Silver Hawks came out on top of a very competitive field to win the A Division by 10 strokes over second-place Papillion-La Vista. Junior varsity golfers Grace Lonowski and Alysen Sander stepped in to help carry Southwest to the top of the 12-team leaderboard.

"Oh, my goodness," an elated Strickland said. "I think that all of us really did it for one another, did it for the team, thought of every shot as how can I contribute as much as a I can. I was so proud when I found out (the final team score)."

Sophomore Neely Adler was sidelined by a medical issue and junior Sadie Steele also was unable to play Thursday. The Silver Hawks' program depth showed as the team shot a 341. Papio shot a 351 and Lincoln Pius X was third at 356.

"I'm very ecstatic about their grit, of their true competitive spirit," Southwest coach Jim Danson said. "As a coach, I just cannot ask more of them than what they gave today."

Leading the way was Strickland with a 68 and senior Brynn Sundquist, who finished third with a 75. Tatum Terwilliger contributed to the team score with a 98.

"Kate and Brynn, they really stepped up today," Danson said. "They knew we were shorthanded, so they knew they had to shoot their best."

Strickland said her mentality is to shoot as low as possible every round, so her approach didn't change Thursday.

She made an eagle on a par-5, had a strong day off the tee box, and scrambled well out of a few trouble spots. The 6-under-par 68 is a school record.

"Being able to make putts and getting approach shots and having a decent short game, it kind of all came together," Strickland said. "I think taking advantage and capitalizing on where I was putting myself really helped lower my score."

Strickland finished third at state last year as a freshman, and became the youngest golfer to win the Nebraska Women's State Amateur this past summer. She outdueled Omaha Westside sophomore and defending Class A state champion Kaitlyn Hanna, who shot a 75 and finished second.

Lincoln Pius X freshman Nicole Kolbas shot a 76 to finish fourth and teammate Lauren Carr shot a 79 to place seventh.

Southwest has won every tournament in comfortable fashion this year. The Silver Hawks shot a school-record 304 at the Beatrice Invitational. On Thursday, they showed they can play through adversity.

"This is why we talk about being part of the Silver Hawk golf team," Danson said. "And that is at any moment, any time, you're asked to do something that's obviously extra-ordinary, and this is a moment that we had where two kids really stepped up nicely."

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.


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