Amy Ahlers continues to stay busy on the golf course – and continues to excel.
Following a sterling sophomore season at Concordia University – albeit one that ended with disappointment – Ahlers has been facing some of the best women golfers in the state this summer.
During play in the recent Nebraska Women’s State Match-Play Championships at Oakland Golf Club, Ahlers told reporters she had been on a bit of a mission since missing out on a chance to play in the (NAIA) collegiate national tournament this past spring.
“I had a chance to go to nationals and didn’t make it,” the Albion native said. “I needed to find how to get over the hump, learn how to take my game to the course.
“This summer, I’ve really been focused, letting go of bad shots, and trying to focus on my mental game.”
The focus is obviously working, as Ahlers has experienced plenty of success in major Nebraska summer events.
After placing fourth in the Nebraska Women’s Amatuer, the former Boone Central standout advanced to the championship match in the state match-play event against Danielle Lemek of Doniphan, a Bradley University senior.
Ahlers reached the final with a 6 and 4 victory over former champion Susan Marchese of Omaha, while Lemek bested Scottsbluff’s Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski in a 22-hole marathon.
Lemek, one of the most decorated golfers in Nebraska high school history, ended Ahlers’ title hopes last Wednesday. Her 5 and 4 victory made her the first golfer since Marchese (1982, 1983) to sweep both the state stroke and match play tournaments in consecutive seasons. Lemek also won the Nebraska Women’s Amatuer Golf Association’s 36-hole season-opening tournament both years. Her last loss in state play was a 2013 match-play semi-final.
Although Ahlers came up short of claiming the championship, it was quite an accomplishment for the young golfer, who said she “wasn’t expecting to make it to the finals.”
Ahlers struggled a bit early while the experienced Lemek rattled off three birdies and built a 5-up lead over the first nine holes. Lemek closed the match with another birdie on the 14th and was 2-under par at that point.
“I got off to a really rough start. I was pretty nervous,” Ahlers told media. “Danielle just played great. She was making birdies and I wasn’t on the green in regulation sometimes.
“She deserved it.”
While Ahlers also deserves credit for her continued improvement and stellar accomplishments against top competition.