Kretz paces MU with tie for 14th finish

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Senior Kelly Kretz led the Marquette men’s golf team to a ninth place finish in the St. Mary’s Invitational in Seaside, Calif.

Kretz shot a team-best five over par and compiled an overall score of 221 over three rounds to finish in a tie for 14th place on the individual leader board.

“I drove the ball the best I have all year,” Kretz said. “But I left a lot of shots on the par fives and on the green which really was what kept me from having a really good tournament.”

Junior Matt Haase placed second for the Golden Eagles, finishing nine over par with a score of 225 in a tie for 34th place.

Marquette began invitational play Monday and sat in seventh place after the first round. Haase shot a 74 for the round as the team finished with a combined score of 303.

The second round saw Marquette drop to ninth place overall despite a solid 72 turned in by Kretz.

Kretz repeated his score in the third and final round Tuesday, but it was not enough the lift the Golden Eagles any higher.

The performance, though unsatisfying, marked an improvement from Marquette’s earlier tournament showings where it had struggled to finish better than last place.

Coach Steve Bailey knew heading into this season that his team would have a lot of growing to do, but their steady progression has given him hope for the future.

Bailey hopes that his team will continue to build on the positives and finish out the season on a strong note.

“There are a lot of little things we still need to improve on, such as finishing out rounds,” Bailey said. “We also need to show a little more confidence, but I think we are starting to turn the corner.”

Freshman Corey Konieczki feels that he has gained a lot of experience this year, which he noticed particularly in the invitational. He finished fourth for the Golden Eagles with a score of 227.

“I think I hit the ball really well,” Konieczki said. “I also think my short game has really been improving.”

Players like Konieczki are crucial to Marquette’s success in future years. This season has been one of transitions and development for Bailey and his squad.

The team’s performance in the invitational would be considered poor by the casual observer, but for the Golden Eagles it provides proof that this team has the ability to grow under fire and under the leadership of its new head coach.

Marquette has viewed each tournament as a chance to get better. They get one more shot to do so next week when they head back to California for the Pacific Invitational.