Concordia improves on day two of blustery Blue River

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 9, 2020 in Men's Golf

LINCOLN, Neb. – Another cold and dreary day of the Blue River Classic unfolded on Wednesday (Sept. 9) as the action shifted to Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln, home of the Bulldogs. Scores improved across the board in conditions that were actually more favorable than what greeted the field of 74 golfers a day earlier. The Concordia University men’s golf team placed ninth out of 13 teams (representing 10 different institutions) at the meet it co-hosted with Doane.

After the Bulldog ‘A’ team shot a 356 on Tuesday, it slashed its score to 319 on Wednesday. It was the type of improvement Head Coach Brett Muller hopes his squad can build upon moving forward from the season opening tournament.

“Our guys shot better individually (on day two),” Muller said. “Conditions were much more favorable and it was a more favorable golf course for scoring. It was good to see the guys improve. We still left some shots out there, especially with our putting. Our short game and our putting will definitely be the focus. We have to tighten some things up there.”

Omaha native Ivan Yabut is clearly a welcome addition to the lineup. He carded a two-day total of 84-80–164 and placed in a tie for 22nd. Yabut may end up battling Drew D’Ercole for the No. 1 spot in the lineup this season. D’Ercole shook off yesterday’s 90 in tough conditions at Beatrice Country Club and shot a 75 on Wednesday. He finished one stroke behind Yabut and placed 27th.

The remainder of the ‘A’ team group featured Jayden Neal (88-83–171; T-40th), Jack Williams (94-81–175; T-48th) and Jacob Woodmancy (94-85–179; T-56th). A strong performer in 2019-20, Williams cut 13 strokes off his day one total.

Concordia also entered a second grouping into the event. Nathan Auffet made his pitch to move up into the varsity lineup by carding the lowest score of all Bulldogs. He placed in a tie for 15th while shooting 87-75–162. He was followed by Landon Walkenhorst (92-81–173; T-45th), Gavin McWhorter (97-85–182; T-61st), Harrison Helmer (102-82–184; T-65th) and Taylor Johnson (113-86–199; 73rd). Johnson had the biggest improvement of any Bulldog from day one to day two.

“I’m proud out of what we saw out of Ivan,” Muller said. “Gavin and Jacob both improved. Those guys can really push for a top five spot. I’m really proud of the way Nathan Auffet played. He’s really worked hard on his game and 75 is a great score out of him today.”

The Bulldogs will hope for better weather next week at the Siouxland Invite (Sept. 14-15) co-hosted by Dordt and Northwestern. The event will take place in both Sioux Center, Iowa, and Orange City, Iowa. Meanwhile, the women’s team is getting set to open up its season this Thursday and Friday at the Mount Marty Invite.