Bulldogs rewrite single-round record on day two in South Dakota

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 19, 2016 in Men's Golf

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. – Co-GPAC golfer of the week Nolan Zikas stayed sizzling hot to lead a Concordia University men’s golf team that shattered the program record for lowest single-round score while playing at Tuesday’s round of the Briar Cliff University Mini-Tour Stop at Two Rivers Golf Club in North Sioux City, S.D. The team score of 291 bested the previous school standard of 298 at the Siouxland Invitational on Sept. 10, 2015.

With a two-day total of 325-291–616 at the BCU Mini-Tour Stop, fifth-year head coach Brett Muller’s squad placed fourth among the 12 teams in the field. The Bulldogs defeated GPAC rivals Dakota Wesleyan (fifth), Morningside (sixth), Dordt (eighth), Mount Marty (ninth) and Briar Cliff (11th). Concordia shot a lower round on Tuesday than every team except for one.

“To shoot a 291 you have to have four guys play very well,” Muller said. “We did today. It was great to see Nolan play well. He shot a 69 and actually had a put for 68 on the 18th hole.

“We knew we had it in us. Today was a much nicer day, but we still had to go out and put together a solid round. Nolan, Tyler (Ehresman) and Russell (Otten) played great golf all day long today.”

Honored by the conference on Tuesday for his then career-low 74 and first career tournament victory at GPAC Qualifier No. 3 on April 15, Zikas decided to go lower. He shot a one-under-par 69, placing him second on the day and in a tie for third on the overall individual leaderboard. He carded a two-round total of 78-69–147.

This spring Zikas is averaging an impressive 75.8 through five rounds. Zikas stayed incredibly consistent throughout the BCU Mini-Tour, collecting 22 pars and five birdies at the event.

“He’s doing a great job of staying away from the big number,” Muller said. “He put himself in position to put a low score on the board.”

Concordia’s 34-stroke improvement as compared to Monday was aided by the 72s turned in by sophomores Tyler Ehresman and Russell Otten. Those two also had identical 82s on Monday and finished tied for 14th on the leaderboard. Rounding out the team’s top five were juniors Jared Knoepfel (83-83–166) and Reid Wiebe (89-78–167). The 72 marked a season low for Otten.

In addition, three Bulldogs golfed as individuals at the event: seniors Sam Simonson (85-80 – 165), Brock Colclasure (87-82–169) and Garrett Suchanek (87-86–173).

Just two events remain on the 2015-16 schedule. Up next is the Midland Spring Invite at Tatanka Golf Club in Niobrara, Neb., on April 30. The season will culminate with GPAC Qualifier No. 4 at Two Rivers on May 9.