Written by Kate Bowling
Tall trees compliment the hills and small bodies of water as flags dot the green grass in scenic beauty. Sophomore Katie Kesti grips the shaft of her club in anticipation for the next shot. In her final swing, Kesti exited the familiar grounds with a career-high score of 229 on a 54-hole tournament.
Kesti tied for second place at the Gary Crossley Ford Kansas City Shootout on April 8. There were a total of 90 golfers.
Kesti’s three-round score of 229 tied with tough competition from Susan Kirschenman of UMKC and Ivon Reijers of Redlands CC. Kesti ended with 80 points from the first round, 77 from the second and the par of 72 for the final round.
A 72 was Kesti’s second-best score of her career, which put her in the top-two highest scores for the Mavericks so far this season.
“I added it up… and I had to add it up a couple times to make sure I got the right score,” Kesti says.
The tournament was host to 15 women’s golf teams, including our own UNO, Creighton, Drake, Kansas City, Missouri State, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Oklahoma Christian, Oklahoma City, Redlands CC, SIU Edwardsville, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Michigan and Wichita State.
With a little persuasion from family friends, Kesti began playing golf when she was in the sventh grade.
“I was more natural at it than I thought I would be,” Kesti said. “I enjoyed it a lot, so I kept with it.”
In her time of playing golf, she learned the importance of setting short-term goals. She says if she thinks too much, then she has a greater possibility of thinking about something that will go wrong, and then it usually does. So Kesti knew what she needed to do in this tournament.
“I was taking it hole by hole. By the end, I knew I was playing well, but I didn’t know how well,” Kesti said. “I try not to keep track of my overall score, so I don’t put any pressure on myself.”
Along side Kesti is freshman Kat Slump, sophomore Makenna Kroeker and junior Sophie Peters. The girls all carry different strengths, which combine to make this team strong as a whole.
“We challenge each other, but have fun in the process,” Kesti said. “We all have different personalities, but they compliment each other. This is similar to our golf game…we rely on one another. ”
Not only does Kesti love the camaraderie of her teammates, she loves the competition of the game. She says competing gives her the drive to obtain success.
“I’m a really competitive person,” Kesti said. “Competing makes it all worth it.”
In the few years to come, Kesti still has time to master her college game. Not only does Kesti play on a golf course, but she is also employed at a golf course. Between seasons she will continue to work at and improve on her passion for golf. Her goal for next season is to decrease her average score.
The next and final tournament the Maverick ladies have this season is the Summit League Championship on April 21 at the Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club in Keller, Texas.
“I’m more excited than anything,” Kesti said. “It’s a tough and tricky course, but we have been practicing for it, and I think it will be a good time.”