Krzyzanowski makes semifinals of state match play tourney
     2013-06-13      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski made a name for herself in high school as one of Nebraska’s best girls’ golfers, earning medals at the Class B State Tournament all four years.

Last week, Krzyzanowski turned her stroke-play success into a semifinal berth at the 51st Nebraska Golf Association Girls’ Match Play Championship, which was Monday through Wednesday at Lincoln Country Club.

Krzyzanowski finished the preliminary round at 82 to earn the No. 2 seed. Haley Thiele of Wahoo, who plays at Bishop Neumann High School, earned the No. 1 seed with an 81 in the qualifying stroke play round and went on to win the match-play tournament .

“Some of the fairways are pretty thin,” Krzyzanowski said of the course. “You’re almost guaranteed to get in the trees sometimes.”
The top 16 players from the qualifier were placed into the match-play bracket. Krzyzanowski said in previous years, the players who did not make the championship bracket were placed in different flights, and in 2011 she made the quarterfinals of her flight, losing to the eventual winner.

In this year’s championship round of 16, Krzyzanowski won her first match with a convincing 6-and-5 victory over Emma Jacoby of Lincoln.

That win put Krzyzanowski into a quarterfinal match against Madison Romjue of Lincoln in a competition that went down to the final hole. Krzyzanowski knocked in a par on the 18th hole to take her only lead of the day — when the lead mattered the most, for a 1-up victory.

“I had not been up the entire match until the very last hole,” Krzyzanowski said. “She had gone 3-up on me at the turn. I got them back and then she got up 3-again. I was 2-down with three to play and I got all three holes just to keep going. to win.”

In the semifinals, Krzyzanowski lost to a familiar former high school opponent in Megan Vetrovsky of McCook, whom Krzyzanowski topped by five strokes to win the District B-4 championship last fall.

Vetrovsky, who will be a senior at McCook in August, outplayed Krzyzanowski 4-and-3 to earn a spot in the finals, where she finished runner-up to Thiele, 6-and-5.

During the first two rounds, Krzyzanowski said each player kept their own results. That changed in the round of four, however.
“By the time you get to the semifinals, you have someone with you who tells you the scores after each hole,” she said.
In her two previous appearances in the Girls’ Match Play, Krzyzanowski won one match in 2011 and then lost in the quarterfinals.

“It’s a learning experience,” she said of competing in the match play format. “It’s always different to compete that way. It just puts me in a different spot mentally, because I probably should worry about my score and just try to play par, but I am aware of how far up or down I am.“

After she transferred to Gering midway through her sophomore year at Scottsbluff, Krzyzanowski won eight titles in each of her junior and senior seasons.

At the Class B State Tournament, she finished fourth as a senior after taking second in 2011. While at Scottsbluff, Krzyzanowski was third at state as a sophomore after finishing in a tie for 15th as a freshman.

Krzyzanowski said she will also play in the NGA Girls’ Amateur Championship, a two-day stroke play event on July 16 and 17 at the Oakland Golf Club in northeast Nebraska.
Krzyzanowski will continue her golf career at the University of South Dakota, where she has chosen to major in the new field of contemporary media and journalism. In preparation for her studies, she is working as the Gering Citizen’s graphic designer and teen columnist this summer.

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