Zikas ties for first, Bulldogs move up GPAC standings

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 11, 2016 in Men's Golf

LINCOLN, Neb. – Freshman Nolan Zikas claimed his first career tournament win and Reid Wiebe chipped in his best conference performance of his junior season in helping the Concordia University men’s golf team move up a spot in the overall GPAC standings. At Monday’s GPAC Qualifier No. 3 at Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln, the Bulldogs carded a team score of 319 while up against a difficult course and the windy conditions typical of a Nebraska April.

Zikas’ three-over-par 74 bested his previous career best by a stroke. He entered the day 35th on the overall conference individual leaderboard. As a team, head coach Brett Muller’s squad now sits eighth with a three-round total of 312-316-319–947. Monday’s fourth-place finish allowed Concordia to leapfrog Dordt.

“Given the setup of the course and conditions today, it’s hard to be too upset with a 319,” Muller said. “It was nice to move up a spot in the overall race and we put ourselves in position to move up at GPAC No. 4.”

After an inauspicious start, Zikas rallied impressively while turning in his second top-10 finish through eight events in 2015-16. The La Vista, Neb., native was a third-place Nebraska high school Class A state finisher as a prep senior a year ago.

He did a great job of bouncing back after started with a double bogey on hole 10,” Muller said. “He really didn’t get rattled. He focused in and put together a nice round. He ended with four birdies for the day.”

Though he failed to finish Sunday’s practice round due to feeling under the weather, Wiebe improved dramatically from his previous two GPAC qualifier rounds of 84 and 82 by carding a 75 on Monday. He came into the day 45th on the overall leaderboard.

The rest of Monday’s lineup included sophomore Russell Otten (84, +13), junior Jared Knoepfel (86, +15) and sophomore Tyler Ehresman (87, +16).

The Bulldogs resume the spring season next Monday with day one of the two-round Briar Cliff University Invite (April 18-19). Monday's round will be held at Dakota Dunes Country Club in Dakota Dunes, S.D. Tuesday's play will be held at Two Rivers Golf Club in Dakota Dunes. The action will get started at 10:30 a.m. both days. Two Rivers will also serve as the location for GPAC Qualifier No. 4 on May 9.