The men’s golf GPAC championship took course on Monday morning, Sept. 24, in Sioux Falls at Willow Run Golf Club. Red Raiders teed off at 10 a.m., and the greens were taken on by all 11 teams of the conference.
The GPAC golf tournament is a four-round, 72-hole competition, and the athletes will compete on two different courses while completing their rounds. The winning GPAC team, as well as the individual medalist, will head to the NAIA National Golf Championship in Mesa, Ariz., but these results won’t hit headlines for months. Only the first two rounds are completed this fall – the final two take place in the spring. The course they’ll be golfing in April is the Dakota Dunes Country Club in South Dakota.
The Northwestern men set themselves up well to start off the championship, shooting a season best score as a team in the first round. The 280 opening round score was the 4th best score recorded in NW team history. This score was four shots better than Midland, the GPAC team in second place after the first round. Morningside found itself in third on Monday with a 296, and Dordt was behind them at 299.
A five-way tie for lead after the first round found lots of representation from NW in the pool. Three Raiders, Caleb Badura, Dana Van Ostrand and Austin Reitz, all shot a one-under 69 to put them in with the leaders.
At the end of Tuesday‘s tournament play, the Red Raiders secured their spot to sit in the lead during the seven month intermission of the championship. NW extended their four-shot lead on the rest of the GPAC teams, placing themselves 6 strokes ahead of Morningside and 15 strokes ahead of Midland who was bumped into third by the Mustangs. The 288 team score left the Raiders with a 36-hole total of 568 to complete the fall rounds of the championship tournament.
Freshman Caleb Badura of Aurora, Neb., leads all the golfers of the conference. Shooting a 1 under 69 for the second day in a row gave him a 3-shot lead over the second place individual from Morningside. This sets Badura alone as the only golfer under par.
The NW men’s golf team has won six of the last seven conference championships, and head coach Aaron Aberson and the team must await April 23-24 to continue on their winning streak.