Green Valley Golf Club
Sioux City, Iowa
The Event...Northwestern College begins conference play in the first of four GPAC Men's Golf Qualifiers held today at Green Valley Golf Club in Sioux City, Iowa. The Red Raiders, will begin teeing off at 11:30am, along with golfers from Doane and Concordia.
Teams Competing...All 11 conference teams will compete in the four-round, 72-hole event. Two qualifiers will be played in the fall and two in the spring to determine the 2013-14 GPAC Men's Golf Champion and Individual Medalist.
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 second qualifier round will be played at Firethorn Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb on Oct. 14. The spring rounds will take place on April 21 (Lochland Country Club) and April 28 (Fox Run Golf Club in Yankton, S.D.).
Last Year...Northwestern College won its second straight GPAC men's golf championship, taking the title by an impressive 40 strokes over second place Morningside. In doing so, the Red Raiders earn their second consecutive berth into the NAIA Men's Golf National Championship.
Neil Malenke won the GPAC individual championship and is the first Northwestern golfer to win the conference title since Luke Vermeer did so in 2009-10. Malenke completed the four-round, 72-hole championship with a two-under 283, the only player to finish under par in the field. He finished four shots in front of teammate Jay Monahan, who shot a two-over 287 over the 72-hole championship.
Northwestern carded a four-round score of 1,155 and finished a remarkable 40 shots better than second place Morningside (1,195). Nebraska Wesleyan finished third with a 1,199, followed by Dakota Wesleyan (1,234) and Midland (1,235).
In addition to Malenke and Monahan, Northwestern had two other golfers finish in the top five overall after the 72 holes. Ryan Kiewiet and Michael Dykema tied for fourth with a four-round total of 295 (+10). Kyle Stanek tied for 14th with a 310 (+25).
Red Raider News and Notes...Northwestern carries an average of 298.5 into today's first round and has one win in its two events played this season.
Senior Ryan Kiewiet leads the team with a 72.5 scoring average this year, winning the Siouxland Invite held on Sept. 5-6. Kiewiet is a three-time all-conference player and has a 76.1 career scoring average. Neil Malenke, the reigning GPAC champion, has an average of 72.8 and two top five finishes. Malenke is a three-time all-conference selection and was an All-American last year. Kyle Stanek ranks third on the team with a 75.3 average and one top five finish. Stanek is a two-time all-conference player. Both Caleb Malenke and Jordy Reinders have an average of 77 this season.
Up Next...Northwestern will play in the two-day, 36-hole Palace City Classic held in Mitchell, S.D. on Sept. 27-28.