Sears joins Placke in top 10 halfway through GPAC championships

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 2, 2018 in Women's Golf

VERMILLION, S.D. – On the second day of the GPAC Women’s Golf Championships, the Concordia University women’s golf team turned in a round very similar to their first. Though the Bulldogs slipped a few places in the team standings down to sixth, just 17 strokes separate them from second place. They will enter the spring portion of the conference championships with a two-round score of 334-338–672. The first 36 holes took place at The Bluffs Golf Course in Vermillion, S.D., on Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 1-2).

In order for eighth-year head coach Brett Muller’s squad to maximize its potential, it needs the one-two punch of freshman Kendra Placke and junior Murphy Sears to perform like stars. So far so good. Both players currently hold down top-10 placements within the GPAC.

“This was much more like I envisioned our season being like in terms of team scoring,” Muller said. “We knew coming into the day we had to play well with how tightly packed the teams were in the standings. Murphy really played well today and got some confidence back and Kendra played better than what her score showed.

“It’s great when you can have two in the top 10. We’re definitely counting on Murphy and Kendra to be our leaders.”

Placke had the entire field looking up at her after she carded a three-over-par 75 in Monday’s round. She’s now tied for fourth in the conference after shooting a 78 on Tuesday. Placke is +9 for the tournament (75-78–153). The Seward High School product has a teammate keeping her company inside the top 10. Sears chopped eight strokes off her Monday round to move up from 14th to eighth place (83-75–158). That’s exactly where Sears finished her 2017-18 sophomore campaign. Sears’ 75 was just two strokes off a career low.

The remainder of the lineup includes three newcomers, led by sophomore Andrea Peterson, a transfer from Concordia College of Moorhead, Minn. Peterson has turned in back-to-back 90s this week and is in 39th place. Rounding out the lineup are freshmen DJ Bokelman (86-96–182; 42nd) and Britney Jepsen (101-95–196; T-47th).

Based on this fall’s results, the Bulldogs have saved their best for the right time. With its team total of 334-338–672 (+96), Concordia has turned in this season’s top two rounds during GPAC championship play. The previous season best was a 339 in the second round of the Lila Frommelt Classic. The Bulldogs’ 672 GPAC total is not far behind the teams directly in front of them: Dakota Wesleyan (658), Northwestern (665) and Briar Cliff (670).

Only one event remains on the fall schedule. The Bulldogs now look forward to the Nebraska Intercollegiate (Oct. 15-16), which is nearly two weeks away. The event will take place at Meadowlark Golf Course in Kearney, Neb.