LINCOLN, Neb. – For the first time this spring, the Concordia University men’s golf team played in a traditional tournament setting while getting things started at the Blue River Invite on Tuesday (April 2). The ever reliable senior Nolan Zikas fired a three-over par 74 while pacing the Bulldogs in the first of two rounds. Concordia is the co-host along with Doane for the two-day event. The first round took place at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb., and featured 108 golfers.
The rest of head coach Brett Muller’s lineup struggled a bit while navigating the challenging course at Wilderness Ridge. The Bulldogs are currently in 11th place out of 19 teams. They shot a team score of 332.
“Nolan played pretty solid all day today with him being in the top five after day one,” Muller said. “As a team we were way too inconsistent. We had too many guys take big numbers. That’s what Wilderness Ridge will do to you. It will definitely punish you. I definitely look for us to move up on the team side tomorrow. We have an advantage being on our home course. We just have to bounce back.”
Zikas led the way during the fall portion of the 2018-19 season with a scoring average of 73.63. He will enter day two tied for fourth, four strokes off the lead of Eastern Wyoming Community College’s Gonzalo Arcelay. Back in the fall, Zikas won the Siouxland Invitational and placed second at the Briar Cliff Fall Invitational.
The rest of the lineup has plenty of room to improve. The remainder of the group of five included sophomore Jayden Neal (84; T-54th), junior Tylar Samek (85; T-61st), sophomore Harrison Helmer (89; T-81st) and freshman Jack Williams (91; T-89th), who joined the team at the start of the semester. Three other Bulldogs competed solely as individuals: freshman Landon Walkenhorst (90; T-83rd), senior Grant Suchanek (97; T-101st) and freshman Nathan Auffut (102; 105th).
The action is scheduled to pick back up at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday when play shifts to Concordia’s home course of Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln.