OMAHA, Neb. – Sophomore Murphy Sears put it all together during Wednesday’s action, shooting a career low six-over-par 78 at Miracle Hill in Omaha. Sears’ third-place finish provided the highlight for the Concordia University women’s golf team at the College of Saint Mary Matthew Goette Fall Classic. Sears finished five strokes behind the medalist in a tournament that featured 76 golfers.
Seventh-year head coach Brett Muller’s squad carded a team total of 372 (team season low), placing 10th among 11 competing institutions. While Sears cut down on her previous career low by three strokes, fellow sophomore Payton DeMers-Sahling improved on her career best by five strokes.
“Murphy has been playing much better and hitting the ball a lot better the last couple weeks,” Muller said. “Breaking 80 has been a goal for her ever since she stepped on campus a year-and-a-half ago. For her to do that today was just great to see. She was very good with the putter all day. Today proved to her that she doesn’t have to play a perfect round to shoot in the 70s.”
A Crete native, Sears has been the top Bulldog finisher during each of the team’s six rounds this fall. Prior to Wednesday, Sears sported a season low of 82 (Lila Frommelt Classic). That score was one shot off her collegiate best of 81 in the final round of the GPAC championships in conclusion of her freshman season. Sears turned in three top-10 finishes last season. She already has two top-five claims as a sophomore.
DeMers-Sahling shot a 92 and tied for 43rd overall. The rest of Muller’s five-person lineup included freshman Rebecca Day (100; 61st), sophomore Paighton Barbre (102; T-63rd) and freshman Haley Nolde (104; T-67th). In addition, junior Madison Pitsch (104; T-67th) and freshman Gabrielle Coviello (113; T-72nd) also competed individually.
The only event remaining on this fall’s schedule is the upcoming GPAC Fall Championships. Two rounds of conference golf are scheduled to be played Oct. 9-10 at The Bluffs Golf Course in Vermillion, S.D. The 2016-17 Bulldogs placed eighth in the conference and were led by GPAC champion Amy Ahlers.
“This was our lowest team score. Going into the GPAC we’re starting to gain some confidence,” Muller said. “We were much better around the greens. We definitely saved some strokes around the greens and that was a big difference for us in the team score.