Sears makes move on final day of Bulldog Invite

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 20, 2018 in Women's Golf

LINCOLN, Neb. – More than 70 golfers competed at the two-day Concordia Bulldog Invite that concluded at Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln on Friday (April 20). The Concordia University women’s golf team shaved 10 strokes off its Thursday round and placed 10th. Individually, Murphy Sears moved from 12th place after Thursday to eighth and collected a tournament medal.

Head coach Brett Muller’s squad carded a two-day total of 367-357–724. The Bulldogs placed in front Northwestern.

Said Muller, “We didn’t play the way we wanted to play in our home event. Yesterday’s round was pretty disappointing. I am proud of the way the girls bounced back and played better today. Murphy had a great round, shooting a 74. I think she’s in a good spot going into the GPAC tournament. We’re going up to Quail Run Sunday for a practice round and hopefully get a little more familiar with the course.”

Sears improved on the second day of the event despite worse weather conditions on Friday. The Crete native turned in five birdies over the 36 holes at Highlands and ended with a two-day score of 80-74–154. The two-over-par on Friday marked the second lowest score of her career.

“I was hitting my driver really well today, right down the middle,” Sears said. “I didn’t get in as much trouble except for the first hole. My putting was pretty good today. Everything came together.”

Sears has effectively taken over the role of No. 1 in the lineup. She’s done something no other player in program history has done: win a NAIA national golfer of the week award. Said Sears, “That was really cool. I honestly didn’t know that was a thing. I was not expecting that.”

Five other Bulldogs competed at Highlands, including Payton DeMers-Sahling (97-92 – 189; T-49th), Haley Nolde (95-95–193; T-56th), Paighton Barbre (101-93–194; T-58th), Madison Pitsch (95-101–196; 60th) and Gabrielle Coviello (102-98–200; 64th). Five of the six Concordia golfers lowered their scores on day two of the invite.

The rounds of 357 and 367 at the Bulldog Invite were the team’s second and third lowest totals of the 2017-18 season for Muller’s squad. Concordia’s 343 at the CSM/Midland Invite stands as the top team round this season.

Up next are the GPAC Spring Championships (April 27-28) to be contested at Quail Run Golf Course in Columbus, Neb. Last year’s conference championships concluded at the same site with Amy Ahlers’ historic GPAC title run that clinched an individual berth to the NAIA national championships. The Bulldogs will enter next weekend in ninth place in the conference standings (383-376–759).