Junior golf athlete shows improvement

By Sam Bauman

Junior Jenny Niemiec has experienced a successful season for the women’s golf team, especially this spring.

The transfer student played for NIU last spring and has made vast improvements since joining the team. Last season, Niemiec had scores ranging from the high 70s to the low 80s, but this season has featured more scores in the low- to mid-70s, including a career- and team-low score of 71 at the Lady Bison Classic.

Throughout the season, head coach Kim Kester has seen the change in Niemiec’s game.

“It’s a lot of hard work that she puts in and it’s paying off,” Kester said. “Every aspect of her game has improved. Her putting has gone down, her up and down percentages have improved.”

One area of focus for Niemiec and Kester has been in the short game.

“I’ve gotten a lot smarter with my course management and my short game,” Niemiec said. “My short game has gotten a lot better this season. My coach has been working with me a lot on that.”

With all of the improvements in Niemiec’s game come added expectations. Kester wants the junior to continue her strong play through the last two tournaments of the season.

“I expect her to continue with her consistency that she’s shown so far this spring,” Kester said. “We know she can go low, she’s proven that. Over the last two events I look to see her in the top 10 of both fields.”

Should Niemiec finish in the top 10, it would be her first this season. Niemiec isn’t focused on herself, though, as she looks for the team to continue its success over the last two tournaments.

“We’ve been playing really well this spring. To keep that up would be fantastic,” Niemiec said.

Looking past this season, Kester expects Niemiec to keep growing as a golfer and as a leader.

“There will be a lot of leadership from her next year,” Kester said. “She’ll be the oldest player on the team, she’ll be more of a role model for the girls. She can lead not only by her scores and her hard work, but she’ll be able to show great leadership skills as well.”