Concordia settles for fifth place at GPAC preview

By Jake Knabel on Apr. 12, 2018 in Men's Golf

EAGLE, Neb. – Entering the day atop the leaderboard, the Concordia University men’s golf team knew it would have to play exceptionally well in round two in order to claim the GPAC Spring Preview championship. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs slipped back to fifth place at the conclusion of Thursday’s (April 12) action at Woodland Hills Golf Course in Eagle, Neb. Individually, Nolan Zikas tied for second.

Head coach Brett Muller’s squad turned in a two-day team total of 297-318–615, good enough to defeat nine of the other 14 teams in the field at GPAC preview. Concordia finished 15 strokes off of titlist Northwestern.

“Everybody played through some crosswinds today,” Muller said. “We just didn’t play as well as a team. Starting on the front nine we got off to a poor start and kind of dug ourselves a hole. The guys did a better job bringing it back on the back nine. At that point it was just a little too late.”

A one-under-par 70 on Wednesday gave Zikas a two-stroke lead going into day two. He wound up three strokes off the pace set by individual champion Russell Pick (74-68–142) of Dakota Wesleyan. Zikas still claimed his second top five finish of the 2017-18 season by carding a two-round score of 70-75–145.

The rest of the group of five included seniors Russell Otten (73-82–155; T-27th) and Tyler Ehresman (78-80–158; T-34th), freshman Kort Steele (76-84–160; 38th) and sophomore Tylar Samek (81-81 – 162; T-41st). Jayden Neal (84-80–164; T-56th), Harrison Helmer (88-83–171; 64th) and Grant Suchanek (87-90–177; T-69th) represented the Bulldogs as individuals.

“We’ll try to put this round behind us and focus on yesterday’s round and know that we can play with anybody in the conference,” Muller said. “It will be nice when we come back in about two weeks and play for the GPAC championship. The guys will be more familiar with the course. They’ve played the course now with a couple different wind conditions.”

The spring season is winding down for the Bulldogs. Their final tune-up prior to the final GPAC championship rounds is next week’s Morningside Spring Invite (April 18-19) in Sioux City, Iowa.