Kent Roosevelt juniors Kelly Nielsen and Kasey Nielsen have verbally committed to attend Kent State University on golf scholarships.
The twins, 16, are set to join the Golden Flashes women’s golf program in 2015. KSU is currently ranked No. 31 in the nation by Golfweek and has won 15 consecutive Mid-American Conference women’s golf championships.
“This is a great feeling,” Kelly said. “It is a great school and it is the best golf program in Ohio. It is an honor to commit and it nice to put the pressure off to the side.”
Kelly and Kasey live in Kent with their parents, Joel and Sharon, and sister, Kory. Joel Nielsen is KSU’s Director of Athletics. Kory is a freshman golfer at Roosevelt. The sisters guided Roosevelt to the state tournament as a team under coach Bryan Harvey.
“[KSU head coach] Greg Robertson and [assistant] Maddi Swaney followed us around for a few tournaments and are really good coaches,” Kasey said. “We felt this would be a good fit four us. The atmosphere is great. We obviously are familiar with everyone and we felt this is the best decision.”
Kasey was named to the Division I All-Ohio second-team in 2012 and 2013. She placed sixth at state as a sophomore (70-80) and was 12th as a junior (77-79). She averaged 75.2 shots per 18 holes this past year and earned the NEOISGGL Player of the Year honor.
Kasey was medalist at the Lady Rider Invitational with an even-par-70, which set a women’s 18 hole course record at The Fairways of Twin Lakes. She also earned the medalist honor at the Midwest Classic Tournament at Skyland Pines Golf Course with a 73. She has a 3.94 grade-point average and plans to major in Sports Administration.
The twins said they also considered Seton Hall, Illinois, Georgia Southern and Bradley.
“We thought about splitting up, but we decided the best decision was to stay together,” Kelly said. “We both love the school and this worked out perfectly. We gave some consideration to other schools, but this is the best fit.”
Kelly is a three-time Division I state qualifier and averaged 77.2 shots per 18 holes this past year. She made four All-Tournament teams and was All-NEOISGGL first-team. During the summer, she was medalist at a Junior PGA Qualifier at Avon Lakes Country Club with a 74. She has a 3.90 grade-point average and plans to major in Nursing.