YANKTON, S.D. – The Concordia University Men’s Golf team began Tuesday (Aug. 31)’s round with a chance of winning the tournament title at the 36-hole, season opening Mount Marty Fall Invite. The Bulldogs wound up as the second-place finisher thanks in large part to three top 10 placing individuals in Drew D’Ercole, Ivan Yabut and Justin Webert. The Mount Marty Invite featured a total of eight teams and 43 golfers who navigated Hillcrest Country Club on Monday and Fox Run Golf Course on Tuesday (both in Yankton, S.D.).
Eleventh-year Head Coach Brett Muller’s ‘A’ squad carded a two-day total of 304-299–603. Dakota Wesleyan won the team title with its score of 321-276–597. Concordia also entered a second grouping that turned in a two-round total of 322-321–643.
“It ended up really close. We caught Dakota Wesleyan on the wrong day – they were on fire,” Muller said. “They made a ton of birdies and very few bogies. We had a few too many bogies that ended up being the difference in the team race. Overall, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at as a team to have three guys in the top 10. I’m not sure when the last time was that we had two guys shoot under par on the same day.”
D’Ercole and Yabut, the program’s top two players in 2020-21, both shot one-under-par (71) on Tuesday while sharing third place on the individual leaderboard. They recorded identical tournament scores of 76-71–147 (+3). The performance marked the fourth career top 10 tournament claim for D’Ercole while Yabut and Webert seized their first career top 10 finishes. A freshman from Lincoln, Webert led the field after day one and ended up in eighth place (73-79–152).
The other two Bulldogs on the ‘A’ grouping were Jake Hagerbaumer (79-78–157; T-16th) and Gavin McWhorter (81-79–160; T-22nd). The rest of the Concordia tournament roster featured Nathan Auffet (75-80–155; T-13th), Jack Williams (81-77–158; T-19th), Landon Walkenhorst (82-85–167; T-28th), Jacob Woodmancy (84-83–167; T-28th) and Josh D’Ercole (87-81–168; 31st).
The battle to retain spots within the varsity lineup will likely continue through the fall. Said Muller, “It’s been very tight in (practice) playoffs for the top five. That’s going to make it more competitive for us in these tournaments. Seven of our 10 guys improved their score from day one to day two. Just getting more guys in the 70s is going to help us down the road.”
Next up for the men’s team will be the Blue River Classic (Sept. 8-9), an event that Concordia co-hosts with Doane. The first round will be held at the home of the Bulldogs, Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln, before play shifts to Woodland Hills Golf Course in Eagle, Neb., for day two.