The Event...The Northwestern College men's golf team will make its spring season debut today at the third round of the GPAC Qualifier held at the Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb. The Red Raiders will be part of the final group to tee off starting at 12:15pm, along with players from Nebraska Wesleyan and Morningside.
Teams Competing...All 11 of the conference teams will compete in the GPAC Qualifier.
Format...The GPAC golf championship consists of four, 18-hole rounds played at four different sites throughout the year, two during the fall season and two in the spring. The top team and top individual after the four rounds win the GPAC Championship and earns the automatic bid to the NAIA men's golf championship held in May. The final two Qualifiers will be hosted by Doane (Wilderness Ridge) and Dordt (The Ridge).
Recap of First Two Qualifiers...Defending GPAC champion Northwestern shot a 292 and won the second round of the GPAC Qualifier played at the Green Valley Golf Club in Sioux City, Iowa. The Red Raiders extended its lead to 17 strokes at the halfway point of the four-round, 72-hole 2012-13 GPAC Championships.
After two rounds of play, Northwestern is in first place with a 574 (+2) and pushed its lead to 17 strokes over second place Nebraska Wesleyan (591). Morningside is in third place, just one shot back of NWU with a 592. Midland (614) and Dordt (619) round out the top five teams.
Monahan is the overall leader with a one-under 142 (67/75), one stroke in front Malenke who is even-par with a 36-hole total of 143 (70/73). Stanek is fifth with a 146 (+3) and both Kiewiet (71/76) and Dykema (75/72) are tied for sixth with a 147.
Defending GPAC champion Northwestern College is the leader after the first round of the 2012-13 GPAC Qualifier held at Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City, Iowa.
The Red Raiders shot a season-best 282, tied for the second lowest round in the program's history, and hold a nine-shot lead over last year's runner-up, Nebraska Wesleyan (291). Morningside College is in third place with a 296, followed by Midland (302) and Dordt (306).
Sophomore Jay Monahan (Spencer, Iowa) is the overall leader after the first round, shooting a four-under 67, tying the school record for the lowest round (T.J. Korver-2003). Monahan shot an even-par 35 on the front nine and followed with a four-under 32. Junior Neil Malenke (Orange City, Iowa) is in second place with a one-under 70 (32/38) and Ryan Kiewiet, the current GPAC player of the week, is tied for third place with an even-par 71. Kyle Stanek (T9-74) and Michael Dykema (T14-75) round out the Northwestern scores.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are ranked 17th in the current NAIA coaches' poll (March 29) and are making their spring season debut. Both events that were scheduled prior to the third GPAC Qualifier were canceled due to the cold and wet conditions.
Northwestern won all six events played last fall, including the first two GPAC Qualifiers held at Landsmeer Golf Club and Green Valley Golf Club. They have a team stroke average of 294.8, by far and way the lowest single season scoring average in the history of the program.
Junior Neil Malenke leads a balanced line-up with a 72.7 scoring average, finishing in the top five in five of the six events played. He won the Doane Classic last fall. Another junior, Ryan Kiewiet, carries a 73.4 scoring average and has six top five finishes, including two wins (Siouxland and Palace City). Jay Monahan owns a 74.1 scoring average and has finished in the top 10 in all six events, includind one win (GPAC #2). Kyle Stanek averages 74.8 with one win and five top 10 finishes. Michael Dykema rounds out the line-up with a 75.5 scoring average and has five top 10 finishes.
Line-up and current place: Neil Malenke (2nd), Jay Monahan (1st), Kyle Stanek (5th), Michael Dykema (T6) and Ryan Kiewiet (T6).
Up Next...Northwestern will play in the Morningside Invite, held at Whispering Creek Golf Club in Sioux City, Iowa, on Friday, April 12.