Landsmeer Golf Club
Orange City, Iowa
The Event...The Northwestern College men's golf team will open its 2013 season at the two-day, 36-hole Siouxland Invite held Sept. 5-6, an event co-hosted by Northwestern and Dordt College. The first round on Sept. 5 will be at Landsmeer Golf Club with a noon start time, followed by Friday's round at The Ridge in Sioux Center at 9am.
Teams Competing...A total 16 teams will be competing representing 12 different schools, including two teams from Northwestern, Dordt and Morningside and one team, along with several individual golfers from Jamestown, Doane, Concordia, Dakota Wesleyan, Buena Vista, Midland JV, Hastings, Mount Marty and Briar Cliff.
Northwestern Season Preview...The Northwestern College men’s golf team has achieved great success over the past two years, winning back-to-back GPAC Championships and qualifying for the NAIA men’s golf national championship both seasons. The 2012-13 season, in particular, was one for the record books as the Red Raiders set the record for the lowest single season average (296.4), achieved the highest national ranking (14th) and qualified for the final round of the 72-hole national championship for the first time in the program’s history. Aaron Aberson’s squad, who begins his fourth season as the head coach and 10th overall season as part of the program, won all 11 events played last year heading into the NAIA championship and had all five of its varsity golfers earn all-conference honors. Aberson returns three players from his line-up and six total players off last year’ squad.
Aberson returns four outstanding seniors who all have been an integral part of the team’s success the last three years. Neil Malenke (Orange City, Iowa) earned second team NAIA All-American and PING All-American honors after leading the team with a school-record 73.2 scoring average last season. The reigning GPAC player of the year won two events, including the 72-hole GPAC Championship, and was named all-conference for the third time in his career. Malenke carries a 75.3 career scoring average and has 17 top-10 finishes over the last three years. Ryan Kiewiet (Grundy Center, Iowa) is also back for his final season after being named third team NAIA All-American in 2013. A three-time all-conference player, Kiewiet was third on the team with a 74.8 scoring average and tied for the team lead with two first place finishes. He finished in the top 10 in six events last year and has a 74.8 career scoring average with a total of 14 top-10 finishes. Kiewiet also holds the school record for the lowest round, shooting a 66 at the Palace City Classic. Kyle Stanek (Bellevue, Neb.) returns after earning all-conference honors for the second straight year, tying for 14th place at the GPAC Championship. Stanek was fourth on the team with a 76 scoring average and had four top 10 finishes. He has a 77.4 career scoring average and 15 top-10 finishes. Jordan Oltman (Spencer, Iowa) has played in 14 events over the last three years and has an 84.3 scoring average with one top five finish.
Two juniors are on the 2013-14 roster, Jordy Reinders (Orange City, Iowa) and Kyle Meyer (Ackley, Iowa). Reinders recorded an 80.4 scoring average playing in four events last season, placing in the top 10 in one meet. He has a 80.6 career scoring average. Meyer is a newcomer to the golf team after playing basketball the first two years.
A pair of sophomores, Andrew Minor (Des Moines, Iowa) and Caleb Malenke (Orange City, Iowa), are on this year’s roster. Minor played in two events last season and posted an 83.7 scoring average. Malenke, one Aberson’s top recruits, transferred to Northwestern after playing for Iowa Western Community College. Malenke enjoyed an outstanding prep career at Unity Chrisitan where he earned all-state honors three years.
Aberson brought in two freshmen, Ryan Christy (Orange City, Iowa) and Adam Bleeker (Mitchell, S.D.), who will compete for a spot among the top five and provide depth in the line-up. Northwestern opens the 2013-14 season at the Red Raider Fall Invite on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Landsmeer Golf Club.
Up Next...Northwestern will play at the two-day Grand View Invite on Sept. 16-17.