Men’s golf sit 10th after day one

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The first round at the Pacific Invitational Monday was the Marquette men's golf team's first competitive action since the Xavier Invitational on Oct. 14.

The time away from the course left the Golden Eagles a bit rusty.

The team is currently 8-over-par and 13 strokes behind the Fresno State Bulldogs. Struggles down the stretch from a few players plagued the team, as the Golden Eagles find themselves tied for 10th out of 12 teams after day one.

Coach Tim Grogan said he felt his team played well, but was disappointed with how each player finished his round.

"Overall, we played pretty well," Grogan said. "Then we just didn't finish our rounds off. It was a group effort on that. If we finish our rounds well, we're probably in first, second, or third. (The players) know that, and they each have to improve."

Senior standout Mike Van Sickle, who finished sixth at the event last year, led the Golden Eagles with a score of 1-under-par, but poor play over his last six holes dropped him four strokes behind leader Grant Doverspike of Fresno State.

After bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes and an uncharacteristic double bogey on 16, Van Sickle looks to rebound and climb back toward the top of the leaderboard.

"The good thing is I'm hitting the ball well, unfortunately I just misjudged a couple shots coming down the stretch," Van Sickle said. "I feel pretty fortunate to still be in contention . I just have to go out there and play a little smarter and some of those mishaps won't happen."

Also competing for the Golden Eagles were senior Dustin Schwab, sophomore Kelly Kretz and redshirt freshman Matt Haase, each of who concluded day one with a score of 3-over-par.

Kretz said he feels that with more concentration, he, along with the rest of the team, can bounce back from a tough first round.

"I feel confident that I can go out tomorrow and shoot a low score," Kretz said. "As a team, we dug ourselves into a hole, and we'll have to work out of it these next two days."

Fresno State, Rice and Oregon are the top three teams in the field.

The Golden Eagles are in action Tuesday and will round out the 3-day tournament Wednesday, which will conclude their fall season.