Claire Orcutt

Junior Claire Orcutt lines up for a putt on the first day of the Stampede at the Creek Tournament held at Indian Creek Golf Club in Omaha. In their last meet of the regular season, the Bluejays came in first out of nine teams. 

Sophomore Katherine Lemke tied the conference record and set a new school record with a second round score of 67 en route to becoming the first ever back-to-back Big East individual women’s golf champion.

After scoring a 79 in the first round, seven strokes over par, Lemke got off to a hot start on day two, getting an eagle on hole two followed by a birdie on hole three. She stumbled on hole six, hitting a double bogey, but was dominant throughout the day, swinging under par in eight of her 18 holes.

“I’ve been telling Katherine ‘you’ve gotta be patient, it’s gonna happen,’” head coach Debbie Conry said of Lemke’s performance. “I’ve done this a long time, and this was a historic moment for us.”

The performance put Lemke at five strokes under par in the round, which tied the conference record for a single round, broke the program record for a single round and gave her a two-stroke lead heading into the final round.

Her performance also led the Jays on a comeback as a team, who were 11 strokes better on the day than their competitors, placing them into a tie for second place with Georgetown and putting them within striking distance of defending team champion Xavier.

Lemke held on to her two-stroke lead on day two, shooting one over par and earning her second consecutive Big East championship.

Lemke swung two under par in the front nine, appearing on track to potentially have another career day, but fell off on the back half of the course. Going into the final hole, Lemke held a five-stroke advantage, allowing her to coast to victory despite a double bogey on 18.

After what she felt was an underperformance in last year’s NCAA regionals, Lemke emphasized how much defending her title meant to her.

“Winning this again proved to me that not only did I earn this last year, but that I’ve improved since then and I deserve this,” Lemke said.

The team struggled throughout the day in comparison to their competition, falling ten strokes behind Georgetown. The Bluejays ended their days on the podium, though, with a third place finish.

While this spells the end of the season for the Jays as a team, Lemke will continue on to the NCAA regionals, with the location and date yet to be determined. Lemke looks to improve on her performance from last year.

“Just more short game practice, last year that’s where it got me,” Lemke said on where she needs to improve. “I’ll be researching the course to know what to expect in terms of grad and weather... I just want to go out there, compete and be in it and learn from last year.”

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