VERMILLION, S.D. – The last time the Concordia University women’s golf team competed in a GPAC championship round it celebrated the individual championship for the highly accomplished Amy Ahlers. Sophomore Murphy Sears would relish the opportunity to one day achieve the same feat. An all-conference performer last season, Sears carded an 85 (+13) on the first day of the conference championship meet, which is being held at The Bluffs Golf Course in Vermillion, S.D.
In round one of a two-day (Oct. 9-10) fall championships event, seventh-year head coach Brett Muller’s squad shot a 383, putting it in a tie for ninth place in the GPAC. Concordia is hoping to move up from its eighth place claim in 2016-17.
The goal for Sears is to continue to climb up the conference leaderboard following an 11th-place finish as a rookie. The Crete native will enter day two tied for 13th. She sits just two strokes outside the top 10 and is eight strokes behind GPAC leader Arianna Presilla of Briar Cliff. Sears turned in pars on eight holes during Monday’s round. Her 85 ties for the second best score of her career in a conference round.
Muller’s lineup also featured freshmen Rebecca Day (97; T-40th) and Haley Nolde (100; 47th) and sophomores Payton DeMers-Sahling (101; T-48th) and Paighton Barbre (106; 52nd). DeMers-Sahling also competed in all four rounds last season and finished in 40th place.
Tuesday’s round has been pushed back to an 11 a.m. CT tee time due to possible frost early in the morning. The third and fourth rounds of the GPAC championships are scheduled to be played at Quail Run Golf Course in Columbus, Neb., this coming spring. The same venue hosted the final three rounds of last season’s conference meet that saw Ahlers taste championship glory.