For Northwestern, the past week on the course has been full of early-season success.
The women’s squad is in second place after the first of four GPAC qualifiers. They shot a school-record 328, which has them only 12 strokes back of Dakota Wesleyan.
Senior Taylor Malenke shot the best round for the Raiders. She carded a 79 and is in third place overall. Junior Emma Wynja is only one stroke off her teammate and in fourth place. Junior Jessica Locker is in 12th place after recording her career best, an 83. Junior Betsy Wallen and freshman Courtney Hummel are in 16th and 18th, respectively.
The second round of the qualifier will take place in Sioux City on Oct. 2.
On Sept. 6, the men’s side dominated the two-day Siouxland Invite in Sioux Center. The team finished 23 strokes clear of second-place Hastings and Jamestown College.
They were led in no small part by senior Ryan Kiewiet, who shot a six-under 136 over 36 holes. He was the only player under par.
“Ryan really did everything well and especially on the second day,” senior Kyle Stanek said. “It was pretty windy, and he was rolling a lot of long putts in.”
Seniors Neil Malenke and Stanek made it an all-Raider top three. Malenke shot even par and finished second while Stanek placed third with a two-over 144.
“I would say that this competition between us three is a very positive thing,” Stanek said. “We are able to push each other to be the best golfer that we can be, and we know that anyone of us could win any given tournament that we play in.”
Freshman Ryan Christy and senior Jordan Oltman tied for 41st with scores of 159 over 36 holes. Next Thursday, the men will begin their first round of GPAC qualifying.
“We are used to the pressure situations,” Stanek said. “We’ve experience many situations that test us. So it is nothing that we can’t handle.”