EAGLE, Neb. – Hopes the Concordia University men’s golf team had of winning a conference championship were dashed by a rough 36 holes of action on Monday, which was the first of two days at the GPAC Spring Championships. On Tuesday, the Bulldogs left a more positive impression, turning in a team score of 314 for a significant improvement.
When everything settled, head coach Brett Muller’s squad was left with a seventh place conference finish. Concordia concluded the GPAC championships with a four-round total of 300-343-324-314–1,281. The Bulldogs sat in third place following the lone conference round played back in the fall.
“Today was a better day for us,” Muller said. “As a team we got off to a great start on the front nine, but let too many scores slip away late in the first round. I am proud of Jared (Knoepfel) and the way he played in his final round as a Bulldog.”
In his last time out as a collegian, senior Jared Knoepfel carded the team’s lowest round on Tuesday by shooting a four-over-par 75 (tied for fourth best on the day). Knoepfel placed 26th overall in the GPAC with his four-round total of 84-82-85-75–326. The team’s highest place finishers were freshman Tylar Samek (73-83-79-86–321) at 22nd and sophomore Nolan Zikas (76-91-79-77–323) at 24th. Junior Russell Otten was the other Bulldog to qualify for the individual leaderboard. He placed 33rd (77-92-85-79–333).
A 91 in the second round of the championships cost Zikas a shot at repeating a top-10 conference finish. Zikas won or tied for first at both the third and fourth GPAC qualifiers last season as a freshman on his way to a ninth-place claim. Zikas ended up with a team season best average of 76.65 over 17 rounds in 2016-17.
Of the five Bulldogs to compete at the GPAC championships this spring, only Knoepfel is a senior. Concordia will return its top three players, in terms of 18-hole average, for 2017-18.