Sioux Center, IA
The Event...Northwestern College will play in the fourth and final round of the GPAC men's golf championship held today at The Ridge in Sioux Center, Iowa. The Red Raiders will play in the final groups of the day, along with golfers from Morningside and Nebraska Wesleyan. They will begin to tee off around 12:15pm.
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.
Recap of First Three Qualifiers...Defending GPAC champion Northwestern holds a 26-shot lead after 54 holes in the four-round, 72-hole GPAC Qualifier. The Red Raiders have won each of three previous qualifiers with a 282, 292 and 291, respectively. They have a 54-hole total of 865, 26 shots in front of second place Morningside (891). Nebraska Wesleyan is third with a 900 while Dakota Wesleyan is a distant fourth with a 923.
Neil Malenke is the individual leader after three rounds, owning a five shot lead over teammate Jay Monahan. Malenke has a 54-hole total of 211 (-3), the only player under par. Monahan has a 216 (+2), followed closely by Brandon Thompson (Morningside) with a 218 (+4).
Michael Dykema is fourth with a 220 while Ryan Kiewiet (223) and Kyle Stanek (230) are sixth and tied for 10th, respectively.
Red Raider Notes...17th-ranked Northwestern has finished first in all nine events played this year and holds a 293.3 scoring average, the lowest team average in the program's history.
Neil Malenke leads the team with a 71.8 scoring average and has two first place and five top 10 finishes. Ryan Kiewiet is second on the team with a 73.8 scoring average with two first place and six top 10 finishes. Jay Monahan carries a 74 scoring average and has a team-best seven top 10 finishes. Michael Dykema (75.2; five top 10 finishes) and Kyle Stanek (75.6; one win and five top 10 finishes) round out the line-up.
Up Next...Northwestern will compete against Dordt College in the NORDOR Cup, an event started last year that has the same format as the Ryder Cup, on April 29-30.