Strong finish gives Van Sickle third victory

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Down three strokes with four holes to play, Van Sickle birdied his remaining four holes Wednesday afternoon to capture the Pacific Invitational title in unbelievable comeback fashion.,”Mike Van Sickle, a senior on the Marquette men's golf team, proved Wednesday he can't be overlooked no matter how far back on the leaderboard he is.

Down three strokes with four holes to play, Van Sickle birdied his remaining four holes Wednesday afternoon to capture the Pacific Invitational title in comeback fashion.

He took a few risks on the last holes and it paid off in a dramatic way.

"I was at even par with four to play, and thought I was out of contention," Van Sickle said. "I sunk a 25-footer on (my last hole) and did a Tiger Woods fist pump so it was very exciting."

After threatening the top of the leaderboard the entire tournament, Van Sickle waited as long as he could to pull off his third win in five events this year. He finished the tournament with a four-under-par 209, defeating four other players by one stroke.

With the win, he continues to add to his impressive resume as one of the nation's top amateur golfers.

"I am definitely happy with how I played at a lot of points throughout the year," Van Sickle said. "I still need to work on my short game a little, but I'm obviously pleased with how the season went."

The Golden Eagles as a whole ended their fall season Wednesday tied for eighth out of 12 teams.

After three days of inconsistent play, the Golden Eagles posted only three rounds under par, all by Van Sickle.

Marquette will be looking for more production from players outside of Van Sickle if they wish to become a force both in the Big East and the NCAA come springtime.

Collectively the team rounded out the tournament with a three-day score of 21-over-par, 873.

Dustin Schwab, the team's other senior, recorded only five birdies compared to 14 bogeys, three double bogeys and one triple bogey.

Schwab has struggled to find a consistent swing all season and has posted only one round in the 60s all year.

"I just want to come out (in the spring) playing well, especially better than I am now," he said. "I think the time off is going to be good for all of us, because we're all a little wiped out."

A pleasant surprise for the Golden Eagles this fall has been the play of redshirt freshman Matt Haase, who has finished second on the team in all four events he's competed in.

Haase has posted a 72.4 scoring average including one top 25 finish for the Golden Eagles this season.

Marquette's top finish of the season was second at the Xavier Invitational.

They will now have about three months off and will continue their season in March 2009.

"We're gonna practice quite a bit and hopefully get better as a team," Schwab said.