Monday, April 17, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. – Concordia men’s golf used a strong third-round performance to wrap up the regular season with a second-place team finish at the Hanny Stanislaus Invitational to earn selection as the Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.
Concordia shot a 1-over-par 289 in the final round to move from a tie for seventh place into a tie for second place with Chico State, one stroke behind Sonoma State. Ryan Melnychuk shot a 6-over-par 78 in the final round to edge Chico State’s TJ Katherineberg by one stroke to win the tiebreaker of lowest fifth score in the final round to earn sole possession of second place in the event.
“A lot of different elements went into our strong play this last week,” head coach Adrian Burtner said. “First, this is the first course during the spring we have seen before, which is a big from a comfort standpoint. Second, we are starting to understand how to better prepare for each event.”
Melnychuk also recorded the Cavaliers’ best single round at 3-under-par 69 in his second round to keep Concordia within striking distance going into the final day of competition. The Cavaliers trailed Chico State by 13 strokes and Sonoma State by nine strokes before the final round began.
Of the 15 teams competing in the Hanny Stanislaus Invitational, 14 recorded their worst round of the event on the second day of competition. The lone exception was Concordia, which thrived under Tuesday’s cloudy conditions to post its best score of the event.
Tanner Huddleston had the biggest individual day-two turnaround, improving on his best round by five strokes to card a 1-over-par 73. Jarred Gomez and Nick Huff matched Huddleston in the final round with identical scores. GNAC Player of the Week Dylan Cramer matched his best score of the tournament with a 2-under-par 70 to finish the even at 2-over-par 218 in a tie for fifth place.
“I’m happy with how I played and how the team performed,” Cramer said. “This course is a great tune-up to get us ready for the GNAC Championships, so it gave us a lot of confidence before heading to Coeur d’Alene.”
The Cavaliers’ effort in the final round eliminated a 13-stroke deficit with Chico State and put CU within a stroke of Sonoma State. The Cavaliers were one of three GNAC teams in the event and they defeated Saint Martin’s by 50 strokes and Northwest Nazarene by 55. It is the first top-two finish by any GNAC team this spring in an event featuring at least five teams.
For Cramer, this is his first top-five finish of the season and second top-10 finish. Gomez was just one stroke behind at 3-over-par 219 to finish in a tie for seventh place. It was also his second top-10 finish. Melnychuk brought his strokes per round average this season down to 73.5, which now ranks fifth in the GNAC.
Concordia will next compete in the GNAC Championships in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which will be the Cavaliers final event of the season. They enter the conference championship leading the GNAC in strokes per round this season, narrowly leading Simon Fraser by 0.4 strokes per round.
“All the hard work the team has been putting in over the last couple of months is starting to pay dividends,” Burtner said. “We are really looking forward to next week at the GNAC Championships.”