Bulldogs top Doane in Sunshine State match-play

By Jacob Knabel on Mar. 7, 2016 in Men's Golf

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After arriving in sunny Florida on Sunday, the Concordia University men’s golf team took the Fiddlesticks Country Club in Fort Myers on Monday. In three matches involving two-man teams, the Bulldogs defeated Doane, which also made the trip to the southeast, by a count of 2-1 in the first outing of the spring season.

Freshman Nolan Zikas produced the best results on Monday. Zikas and partner Russell Otten won 4 and 3 over their Doane counterparts. Meanwhile, senior Garrett Suchanek made a crucial par on 17 to even up the match he and sophomore Tyler Ehresman were engaged in. Suchanek then birdied 18 to give the Bulldogs the win in a match-play contest that was decided by the final putt of the day. Suchanek and Ehresman won 1-up. On the other hand, juniors Reid Wiebe and Jared Knoepfel led after the front nine but ended up relinquishing their advantage and fell, 1-down.

“It was a great performance for us,” said head coach Brett Muller. “Especially with having such a long break since our last competition. We haven’t been outside a whole lot so it’s nice to get out and play. It was a very good first performance for us.”

Upon finding its way to Florida, Muller’s squad went to a driving range on Sunday for chipping and short game work. While Monday was the only competition day, Concordia will get practice rounds in on Tuesday and Wednesday in Florida. Then on Thursday, the team will attend the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor prior to flying back home on Friday.

The spring break trip is a new thing for the golf program. The women’s team will get a similar opportunity next March. Said Muller, “The guys were pretty excited to be able to do this. A lot of guys said that Fiddlesticks is the nicest course they’ve ever played.”

The Concordia men’s golf team will wait until April 2-3 when the Bethel College Invite takes place to resume the spring season. Five meets and seven total rounds are scheduled to take place in April and May.