SIOUX CITY, Iowa – While returning to Green Valley Golf Club in Sioux City, Iowa, for the second day in a row, the Concordia University men’s golf team fell back one spot in a battle against a field made up almost exclusively of GPAC rivals. The Bulldogs settled for fourth place out of 12 teams, carding a two-day score of 296-314–610 in an event that took place on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Head coach Brett Muller’s squad has placed fourth or better at five of seven events during the 2016-17 campaign.
“Conditions were a little bit tougher today. The wind blew a little harder than it did yesterday,” Muller said. “The course played a lot longer. We had some good rounds going. We just didn’t do a very good job of finishing. Both Nolan (Zikas) and Russell (Otten) gave away multiple shots late in their rounds, otherwise they would have finished a lot better.”
Otten and Zikas were tied with each other for sixth place after Wednesday’s round. Zikas managed to remain inside the top 10 with his two-round total of 72-76–148, good for a share of ninth place. Meanwhile, Otten fell just outside the top 10, scoring out at 72-77–149 (tied for 14th). Zikas’ four top 10 finishes this season are a team best.
The rest of Concordia’s five-member team included freshman Tylar Samek (76-79–155, T-25th), senior Jared Knoepfel (76-84–160, T-36th) and freshman Tyler Knoepfel (80-82–162, T-40th). Three Bulldogs competed individually: junior Tyler Ehresman (78-78–156, T-29th) and freshmen Grant Suchanek (83-87–170, T-56th) and Noah Rohlfing (79-96–175, 62nd).
Concordia managed to beat out the ‘A’ teams from Mount Marty (seventh), Briar Cliff (ninth) and Dordt (10th). The Bulldogs hope to step up their game in time for the GPAC spring championships (April 24-25).
“We were in third going into the day and Dakota Wesleyan passed us,” Muller said. “We’ll be playing with Northwestern and Morningside at conference. Those are the two schools ahead of us (in the GPAC standings). We need to do a better job of competing and playing complete rounds.”
Concordia will take on Northwestern in a match play event April 17-18. The two-day meet will take place at Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City, Iowa.