The fairways and greens of Karsten Creek Golf Club have a rich tradition of producing champions and Oklahoma State's Kenzie Neisen is the latest.
“Being up on the wall in the locker room with a lot of the other women who've played here who play in LPGA events is a really neat feeling that I accomplished something that they have as well,” said Neisen.
OSU head women’s golf coach Courtney Jones says with Neisen’s great talent, she remains humble.
“She's incredibly humble about her accomplishments, but she's got a ton of power, a ton of firepower,” stated Jones. “She's probably one of the longest hitters in college golf. With her work ethic and desire to get better, I think you're just going to keep seeing great things from her.”
At 20 years old, Neisen’s life is already filled with big wins.
She was a two-time state champion in high school, won the Minnesota state open, the Minnesota state amateur, and now two Big 12 titles.
But to truly appreciate the victories, you need to understand the losses.
“I kind of keep it more to myself, but I’ve learned a lot from things that I’ve gone through myself, and with my family, just more the life side of things and not so much the competitiveness in sports," said Neisen.
She lost her older brother Thomas (2009) and younger brother Samuel (2015) to hunter syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
“I learned a lot at a young age, just about life in general, and I think that perspective has taught me a lot to just not get so shook up about golf if something doesn't go right,” added Neisen. “Life goes on, and there's a lot of things to enjoy and just soak in those moments when things go well.”
Her golf career is far from over, but as an Academic-All Conference biology major her next chapter may trade a putter for a lab coat.
"I would like to spend my time helping people and kind of paying back what other people have done for my family when I'm older," stated Neisen.
Remember her name, because Karsten Creek is refining another champion, on and off the course.