YANKTON, S.D. – This was more like it. Spurred by the efforts of Lauren Havlat and Kendra Placke, the Concordia University Women’s Golf Team shot a score right in line with its season bests from 2019-20. By carding a 339 on day two of the Mount Marty Fall Invite (Sept. 10-11), the Bulldogs moved up a spot to seventh place in the final team standings (out of 13 total squads). The tournament field featured 72 golfers.
Concordia turned in a two-day score of 366-339–705 (+129) while competing both days at Fox Run Golf Course in Yankton, S.D. The event marked the first time out in 2020-21 for Head Coach Brett Muller’s squad, which placed third in the GPAC last season.
“Yesterday we struggled on the greens putting – a lot of three-putts,” Muller said. “That really hurt our team score. Today in much tougher weather conditions I thought we did a great job of refocusing. We played a lot better and it really showed in our team score.”
Havlat, a Norris High School alum, seems poised for a stellar season. In Friday’s round she topped her previous best 18-hole score by seven strokes and moved up to 14th on the individual leaderboard (89-82–171). Her average last season sat at 95.3. Meanwhile, Placke recorded a top 10 finish thanks to her total of 85-78–163. The seventh-place claim signaled Placke’s 12th career top 10 tournament placement (out of 14 events).
“She’s really improved since the fall of last year,” Muller said of Havlat. “She’s really worked hard on her game and in the weight room with Coach (Todd) Berner. She’s gotten stronger and is hitting the ball a little farther. She put in a lot of time on her game this summer and it’s great to have her see the results.”
Next in line for the Bulldogs were Emily Jensen (97-88–185; 36th), Logan Eschliman (95-91–186; T-37th), Mya Nurse (105-92–197; T-53rd) and Ashley Gerczynski (100-103–203; 62nd). Jensen, Nurse and Gerczynski each made their collegiate debuts at the Mount Marty Invite.
Though Concordia placed seventh, it was not far off the teams that placed second through sixth – Dakota Wesleyan (678), Briar Cliff (691), College of Saint Mary (699), Jamestown (700) and Northwestern (701). Muller believes his squad can compete for a top-two spot in the GPAC.
The season will continue next Friday and Saturday (Sept. 18-19) at the Lila Frommelt Classic hosted by Briar Cliff. The event will take place at Two Rivers Golf Course in Dakota Dunes, S.D.