YANKTON, S.D. – Despite being met with rain, wind and temperatures in the 40s throughout much of the day, the Concordia University men’s golf team managed to duplicate their score from four days earlier at the same course. Competing in their final meet of the season, the Bulldogs carded a 325 to tie for eighth at Monday’s GPAC Qualifier No. 4
Overall, Concordia finished in a tie for eighth in the GPAC with its cumulative 2013-14 qualifier total of 317-345-326-325–1,313. The Bulldogs were four strokes better and two places better than the previous season.
“It was a step in the right direction,” head coach Brett Muller said of the season as a whole. “We had some speed bumps and ups and downs but that’s what you would expect with a lot of new faces.”
Sophomore Garrett Suchanek came through with a career best five-over-par 77 on Monday to lead Concordia. Suchanek (average of 84.77 in 13 rounds this season) shaved 10 strokes off his only other qualifier outing this season – back at GPAC No. 1. Suchanek did so despite having to endure a delay with a +2 score heading into his final four holes.
“The conditions were very similar to GPAC No. 2 – cold, wet and windy and even a little hail,” Muller said. “We had about an hour and 15 minute lightning delay.
“Garrett ended up bogeying three of his last four holes or he would have had a really impressive score. The delay hurt him.”
Junior Shawn Rodehorst again finishes as the top Bulldog on the overall leaderboard. Rodehorst placed 21st in the GPAC with his four-round total of 78-86-77-78–319. Having battled a hip injury throughout this season, the Kearney, Neb., native’s scored went up 17 strokes compared to his all-conference sophomore season.
Freshmen Court Croghan and Jared Knoepfel both turned in 85s on Monday. Senior Sam DeFreece rounded out the lineup with a 95. After Rodehorst, Knoepfel was the next highest Bulldog finisher in the GPAC standings, placing 28th with a total of 83-78-82-85–328. Knoepfel and Rodehorst were the only Bulldogs to compete in all four qualifiers in 2013-14.
Nebraska Wesleyan, which entered the day with a six-stroke lead atop the GPAC, won the conference title with its total of 301-325-296-303–1,225. The Prairie Wolves’ Rory Doll (77-76-71-73–297) won individual medalist honors after shooting a 73 on Friday.
With DeFreece being the only senior on this year’s roster, Concordia will expect to make another jump in the conference standings next season.
“With having most of our guys back and three good recruits coming in, we think we’ll have a solid team next year,” Muller said. “We expect to compete better. We have two recruits from Colorado coming that should push to be in our top five as freshmen. It should be practices very competitive.”