Bulldogs hold at fourth place at conclusion of first two GPAC rounds

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 3, 2017 in Men's Golf

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – At the conclusion of the second round of the GPAC championships, the Concordia University men’s golf team remains in the thick of the race near the top of the league standings. The Bulldogs turned in their sixth single round score of 300 or better on Tuesday (Oct. 3) and sit in fourth place after 36 holes of GPAC golf.

It’s been a solid week for seventh-year head coach Brett Muller’s program. The Bulldogs carded a two-round score of 288-295–583 over the past two days in action that took place at Willow Run Golf Course in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“It was a little bit cooler and a little bit windier today. I’m proud of the guys for the way they played the first two days,” Muller said. “Kort Steele played very well today and Russell (Otten) as well. Russell was very consistent all day. I think he had 13 pars, three birdies and two bogeys. He was right there all day.”

Junior Nolan Zikas will enter the spring with a strong chance of claiming a third all-conference honor in his career. He is the team leader in the individual standings, sitting tied for fifth. After carding a one-under-par 70 on the opening day, Zikas turned in a two-over-par 73 on Tuesday. He has made waves for Concordia as a consistent performer.

“He’s definitely been very consistent all fall long,” Muller said. “He actually had a bad break about middle of his round on a tee ball that he couldn’t find. He thought for sure it was in play. He had to go back and re-tee. He didn’t let it rattle him and made some birdies going out.”

Otten was a big mover on Tuesday. After a disappointing 77 on Monday, he went low on Tuesday with a one-under-par 70 and soared up to 15th place on the leaderboard. Steele improved in similar fashion, rising into a tie for 20th overall by knocking eight strokes off his Monday total (79-71–150). Senior Tyler Ehresman (70-82–152) and sophomore Tylar Samek (71-81–152) are knotted for 26th place. Ehresman carded a career best one-under-par 70 on Monday.

The ground has been laid for a meaningful spring championships event. Concordia will enter 2018 just four strokes behind Doane for third place, six strokes behind Northwestern for second place and 12 strokes behind Morningside for first place.

“We definitely want to finish the fall on a good note,” said Muller in reference to this weekend’s event. “Next semester we’ll go on a spring trip and play in a tournament in Alabama. That will be a good start to the spring season. We have to put in the time and improve our averages.”

The Bulldogs will conclude their fall season this weekend (Oct. 6-7) at the annual Nebraska Intercollegiate at Norfolk Country Club. The final 36 holes of the conference championships will be played this coming spring at Woodland Hills Golf Course in Eagle, Neb. For more details on the GPAC men’s golf championships, click HERE.