Kretz fires final round 64; Golden Eagles take sixth

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This fall golf season had been one of close shaves for senior Kelly Kretz. He had turned in solid performances but had been frustrated with himself at times, coming within a few shots of what he has described as “really good games.”

In past tournaments, one bad round, such as his second round 83 in the Windon Memorial, had spoiled otherwise good days.

That changed in Stockton, Calif., where Marquette played its last tournament of the fall in the Pacific Invitational. On the par-72 Brookside Country Club, Kretz turned in scores of 70 and 67 in the first two rounds, setting him up with an opportunity to prove to himself that he could make those game-changing shots.

He shot an improbable 64 in the final round which put him in second place on the individual leader board for the tournament. Kretz was pleased with his finish to the fall season, but had still hoped for better in the final round.

“Going into the last round I wanted to try for something around a 63 to try to get to a playoff,” Kretz said. “I did a good job finishing today and in the second and third round. I did a pretty good job of keeping myself calm and making good swings.”

Kretz’s fantastic performance led the Golden Eagles to a tie for sixth place overall in the 12-team Pacific Invitational, their best performance of the year. The team tallied an overall score of 853. ES

The first round of the invitational saw Marquette come out firing, as freshman Corey Koniecszki finished 3-under-par with a 69. Senior Ben Sieg, the team’s second best performer this week, and Kretz both recorded 70s. At the end of round, the Golden Eagles were sitting pretty in a tie for third place.

In the second round, Marquette slipped to sixth as Kretz was the only Golden Eagle to finish below par. Sieg and junior Matt Haase tallied scores of 74 as the team turned in an overall score of 294, fourteen stroks higher than the previous round.

Beside’s Kretz’s incredible finish, the third round saw Sieg and Koniecszki each turn in solid scores of 71 to finish their fall seasons on a high note. Sieg finished in a tie for 21st place and Koniecszki in a tie for 39th on the individual leader board.

“I thought it was a very good tournament,” Koniecszki said. “I’m somewhat happy with our finish. It shows that we are improving.”

Coach Stephen Bailey saw the showing as continued improvement, but he still sees a need for his team to focus on closing out rounds.

“We’re getting better every tournament,” Bailey said. “We still have to learn to finish our rounds as a team. We lost seven shots on the last two holes today.”

Bailey said his team has grown considerably since the start of the season, and he will look for them to continue their trend of progression into the spring season.

“I think that we can compete with the best teams in the country,” Bailey said. “Now it’s just a matter of closing the deal and carrying our momentum into the spring.”