Zikas, Otten card season bests to aid third-place finish

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 28, 2015 in Men's Golf

LINCOLN, Neb. – Junior Reid Wiebe returned to form and the Concordia University men’s golf team shot a solid 305 to place third among the 15 teams at Monday’s Doane College Invitational hosted at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln. The event ended a stretch of nine-straight days without a tournament for Wiebe and company while serving as a tune up before Thursday’s crucial conference round.

The bulk of Concordia’s ‘A’ lineup struggled over the final three holes, but it was an overall solid day at a challenging course.

“The last three holes were not what we hoped,” head coach Brett Muller said. “We were in position to have a score in the 295-299 range, but we just didn’t finish the round. For the most part I’m pretty happy with finishing third. Today doesn’t mean as much as Thursday’s round, but it should give us confidence.”

In his last time out, Wiebe carded an 84 after having trouble rebounding from a rough hole early in his round. This time the native of Sutton, Neb., got back in line with his season average of 75.2 entering the day. He placed fifth at the Doane Invite in recording his third top-five finish of the season and fourth of his Bulldog career.

Meanwhile, freshman Nolan Zikas chopped one stroke off his career best by shooting a 75. That score was good enough to give him a 10th-place finish, marking the first top 10 effort of his young collegiate career. He was followed closely by sophomore Russell Otten, whose 76 equaled a season best. Otten placed in a tie for 13th.

The other two spots in the A lineup were held down by sophomore Tyler Ehresman (80) and junior Jared Knoepfel (83). A trio of Bulldogs each turned in 84s as part of the ‘B’ lineup: junior Court Croghan and seniors Matt Otten and Garrett Suchanek. Seniors Sam Simonson (87) and Brock Colclasure (90) rounded out the group of 10 Bulldogs at the Doane Invite.

The team score of 305 ranks as the second best total of the season for Concordia. Muller’s squad has a season average of 307.8 with its program record 298 at the Siouxland Invite representing the best round of the fall.

The Bulldogs will return to Wilderness Ridge on Thursday for GPAC Qualifier No. 2, marking the final conference event of the fall season. At the opening conference qualifier held at The Ridge in Sioux Center, Iowa, Concordia turned in a team score of 312, placing it in a tie for eighth.