MITCHELL, S.D. – Concordia junior Melissa McIntosh saved a career best performance for Tuesday’s first GPAC women’s golf qualifier round of the 2013-14 season. McIntosh posted a team low score of 87 to pace the Bulldogs at Wild Oak Golf Course in Mitchell, S.D. As a team, Concordia shot a 366, placing seventh among the 11-team field of GPAC participants.
“That was the best we’ve shot in the last few years at a qualifier,” Bulldog head coach Brett Muller said. “Our goal was a 360. To be at 366 was not too far off. Had we played better on our front nine, we would have been right there. I’m pleased with how we did.”
McIntosh’s 87 also represents a better individual score than any Bulldog women’s golfer posted at the four conference qualifier events last season. The departed Chelsea Peck (’13 graduate) carded Concordia’s lowest GPAC rounds last season, twice shooting a 92 on the way to finishing in a tie for 29th individually.
McIntosh’s score is a significant improvement from the 97 she shot at last week’s Morningside Invite. Her previous career low was a 95.
“The difference for her was her putting,” Muller said. “She only had one three-putt, which is fantastic. She really improved her game from last year. She worked hard over the summer and our coaching staff noticed that. It’s nice to see that work pay off with the score she had today.”
While McIntosh’s current tie for 18th-place GPAC standing leads Concordia, the Bulldogs’ pair of standout freshmen fell in line close behind. Amy Ahlers, who hails from Albion, Neb., carded an 89 and Kayla Krueger, a native of Aberdeen, S.D., shot a 92. Ahlers and Krueger sit in 22nd and 30th place, respectively, after Tuesday’s round.
Muller said both showed some nerves on the front nine and then calmed down to complete solid first collegiate conference-qualifying efforts.
Juniors Allison Schieffer (98) and Jenelle Hallaert (118) rounded out the lineup that Muller traveled to Mitchell. Both knocked strokes off their scores from the Morningside Invite as Schieffer improved by 10 strokes and Hallaert lowered her total by two.
As a team, Concordia chopped 15 strokes off its 381 from four days ago. The Bulldogs’ 366 is also a huge decrease from last season’s top qualifier round of 392.
Muller was happy to see all five Bulldog golfers post lower scores on the back nine.
“We didn’t play well on the front nine,” Muller said. “They really bounced back and showed resilience.”
The Bulldog women will return to action for the two-day Nebraska Wesleyan Invite beginning on Sunday in Lincoln. GPAC Qualifier No. 2 will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 2 in Sioux City, Iowa.
“We have two more invites before GPAC No. 2 and we expect to improve progressively,” Muller said.