Kelli Ann StrandKelli Ann Strand
Women's Golf

Huskers Open Spring Season at UCF Challenge

(Updated with schedule changes due to weather, Feb. 2, 3 p.m.)

The Nebraska women’s golf team opens its 2024 spring season by traveling to Florida for the UCF Challenge, Feb. 3-6. 

The 54-hole tournament at the Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando begins with a first-round shotgun start at 11 a.m. (CT) on Saturday, Feb. 3. The tournament is expected to pause on Sunday with no play because of the forecast of inclement weather. The second round will be schedule for a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start on Monday, befoe Tuesday's final round also begins with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m.

Live scoring for the UCF Challenge will be available through

The Huskers will be part of a large and strong field on the par-72, 6,367-yard layout at the Eagle Creek Golf Club. The 18-team field features 16 current top-100 teams led by the hosts from No. 13 UCF, No. 14 Northwestern, No. 28 North Carolina, No. 29 Michigan State, No. 35 Kentucky, No. 36 North Texas, No. 37 Virginia Tech, No. 46 Kansas, No. 48 Miami, No. 51 Iowa State, No. 52 Texas Tech, No. 57 Kent State, No. 61 Nebraska, No. 78 College of Charleston, No. 97 Old Dominion and No. 99 UNCW. No. 108 Penn State and No. 125 Central Arkansas round out the field. 

Kelli Ann Strand leads Nebraska to Florida after a strong fall campaign. The sophomore from Challis, Idaho, owns a team-best 71.08 stroke average and is ranked No. 113 individually in NCAA Division I.

Miu Takahashi, who was the first international golfer in history to be named the Nebraska Amateur of the Year in November, will play out of the No. 2 spot in the Husker lineup in Orlando. 

Arden Louchheim is also eager to get back on the course for the Big Red. The true freshman from Park City, Utah posted a 76.25 stroke average during the fall while competing in all 12 rounds in the Husker lineup.

Junior Andrea Velez (Pereira, Colombia) and senior Lindsey Thiele (Wahoo, Neb.) complete the top five in the Husker lineup. Velez made one lineup appearance in the fall, while Thiele played once as an individual outside Nebraska’s top five. 

Redshirt freshman Sydney Harz (Freiburg, Germany) will play as an individual at UCF.

UCF Challenge
Feb 4-6, 2024
Orlando, Florida (Host: UCF)
Eagle Creek Golf Club (Par 72/6,367 Yards)

Sunday, Feb. 4 (Round 1) - 8 a.m. (CT) (Tee Times)
Monday, Feb. 5 (Round 2) - 8 a.m. (CT) (Tee Times)
Tuesday, Feb. 6 (Round 3) - 7:45 a.m. (CT) (Shotgun)
Live Scoring: GolfStat

Participating Teams (18)
Central Arkansas, College of Charleston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kent State, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Old Dominion, Penn State, Texas Tech, UCF, UNCW, Virginia Tech

Nebraska Lineup
1. Kelli Ann Strand 
2. Miu Takahashi 
3. Arden Louchheim
4. Andrea Velez
5. Lindsey Thiele
IND:  Sydney Harz

Strand Earns All-Big Ten Honors
Kelli Ann Strand captured All-Big Ten honors as a true freshman in 2022-23.

Strand was one of eight second-team All-Big Ten choices for 2023, while the conference also announced eight first-team honorees.

She capped one of the best seasons in school history by tying for 30th at the NCAA Raleigh Regional, after tying for 20th at her first Big Ten Championship. Strand set a school record with a 72.05 stroke average on her way to final top 115 national rankings by both Golfweek and GolfStat.

Strand has continued to play outstanding golf, leading Nebraska with a 71.08 stroke average over 12 rounds that puts her on school-record pace for the season. Strand produced a runner-up finish with a 206 (-10) at the Dale McNamara Invitational (Oct. 9-10). With rounds of 70-66-70, Strand earned Big Ten Golfer-of-the-Week honors (Oct. 11).

The sophomore from Challis, Idaho owns 12 career top-25 finishes, including seven top-10 showings. She claimed an individual title in her collegiate debut at the Green Wave Classic in New Orleans (Sept. 12-13, 2022). Strand tied the school record with a 54-hole score of 202 (-14) at Tulane. She also set the Husker freshman record with a second-round 65 (-7) at the Bayou Oaks South Course. 

Strand fired a 29 (-7) over the back nine in the second round before opening the third round with a 31 (-5) on the front nine, carding a 60 (-12) over those consecutive 18 holes splitting two rounds. The NCAA record for best round of women’s golf is 61. Strand also was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Sept. 15).

Strand, who earned her second straight Idaho Golf Association Women’s Player of the Year award in December of 2022, won the Idaho Women’s Match Play title. She added a runner-up finish at the Idaho Women’s Amateur. 

During the summer of 2023, Strand qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. She also advanced to the round of 32 in match play at the Women’s Western Amateur.
Takahashi Named Nebraska Women’s Amateur of the Year for 2023
Miu Takahashi was named the 2023 state Women’s Amateur of the Year by the Nebraska Golf Association. The junior from Nasu-Machi, Japan is the first-ever international winner of Nebraska’s top female amateur award, which dates back to 1997. She claimed the honor after winning the 49th Nebraska Women’s Amateur Championship. She was the first international player to ever win the tournament, dating back to its inception in 1975.

Takahashi also qualified for the 123rd U.S. Women’s Amateur by claiming a spot in Dallas, Texas. She fired rounds of 78 and 73 at the U.S. Amateur in Los Angeles. 

During the 2023 collegiate fall season, Takahashi posted a 74.00 stroke average over 12 rounds for the Huskers. 

As a sophomore, she was a key to Nebraska’s run to a 2023 NCAA Regional berth, setting the NU sophomore record with a 73.49 stroke average. Her 2022-23 season included an individual title with a career-best 213 (-3) at the Dale McNamara Invitational (Oct. 10-11, 2022). She was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week (Oct. 12, 2022). 

Huskers Pursuing Third NCAA Regional Bid in Four Years
Nebraska earned its second NCAA Regional appearance in a three-year span when the Huskers were selected to compete at the 2023 NCAA Raleigh Regional. It was Nebraska’s 13th all-time NCAA Regional berth dating back to the 1994 NCAA West Regional.
The Huskers, who finished ninth at the 12-team NCAA Raleigh Regional, also competed at the 2021 NCAA Columbus Regional, tying for 15th in an 18-team field in Ohio.
The Huskers made regional appearances in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2021.
Nebraska’s highest regional finish came with a fifth-place finish in a 21-team field at the 2003 NCAA Central Regional at Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln (May 8-10). The Huskers advanced to NCAA Championship appearances in 2000 (19th), 2003 (22nd) and 2006 (20th).
Sutherland Leads Huskers
In her second season as Nebraska’s head coach, Jeanne Sutherland is in pursuit of her 20th NCAA Regional appearance in 2024. 
Sutherland, who spent one season as Nebraska’s associate head coach (2021-22), was named head coach on May 5, 2022. She came to Nebraska after spending 10 seasons (2011-21) as the head coach at SMU. She previously spent 15 seasons as the head coach at Texas A&M (1992-2007).
Sutherland has coached three All-Americans, five individual conference champions and three conference players of the year.
In 2018, Sutherland was named the inaugural winner of the WGCA Kim Evans Award. She also earned the WGCA Founders Award in 2017. A four-time conference coach of the year at Texas A&M (3 Big 12, 1 Southwest Conference), Sutherland was also a two-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year (1997, 2007). She led 13 Texas A&M teams to NCAA Regional play, including four NCAA Championship appearances in 1997 (17th), 2004 (24th), 2005 (22nd) and 2006 (19th). 
Sutherland coached SMU to five straight NCAA bids (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).