Golf team seeks tougher mentality after rough tournament

The Marquette men’s golf team didn’t quite get the spark it was looking for at the adidas Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Ind.

The Golden Eagles finished in 11th place overall in the field of 15 teams with a combined score of 893, 41-over par.

While the weekend may have been a disappointment, there were some bright spots for Marquette in the form of senior Ben Sieg and freshman Michael Motz.

Sieg finished in a three-way tie for 15th place on the final player leaderboard with a score of 217, 4-over par.

“I didn’t play great golf, but I managed my game very well,” Sieg said. “I didn’t do anything great, but I didn’t do anything bad.”

Motz finished with a career-best 222, 9-over par tied with seven other players for 29th place.

“I actually didn’t hit the ball well,” Motz said. “I did well in the short game, but really didn’t drive the ball as well as I wanted to.”

The invitational was delayed shortly after beginning Saturday morning due to thunderstorms, pushing second round play into Sunday.

Sieg led Marquette in the first round with an even-par 71, and freshman Corey Konieczki fired a 3-over-par 74. Motz and Senior Kelly Kretz each shot 77  (6-over par) and sophomore Ryan Prickette’s 81 (10-over par) rounded out the scoring for the Golden Eagles, who finished the first round in 12th place with a score of 299, 15-over par.

In the second round, Motz had his best round in his seven starts of 2010-2011, shooting 3-under par (68). Sieg finished second with 1-over par (72) with Kretz and Konieczki close behind, both shooting 2-over par (73).

The third round was the toughest for the Golden Eagles, as Sieg again led with a 3-over par 74, and the rest of the Marquette player’s scores hovered around the high 70s. The team shot 308 overall, leading to its disappointing finish.

Coach Steve Bailey said he was disappointed in the way his team finished the weekend, but was happy with the individual efforts of Sieg and Motz.

“I’m proud of the way Ben played,” Bailey said. “He played steady and was one of the bright spots of the weekend.”

Bailey said his team needs to improve upon its mental toughness.

“Under adversity, we need to be a little tougher,” Bailey said. “We just need to play smart golf and not let one or two shots get us down.”

Though Sieg and Motz were the top two finishers for the Golden Eagles over the weekend, both seek considerable improvement in their game.

“I need to work on my putting, and make sure the ball is in play off the tee,” Sieg said.

Motz said he wanted to work on his consistency as well as “finding a swing that will work every time (and) that I can fall back on.”

Heading into the Big East Championship this Sunday in Palm Harbor Fla., Bailey and the rest of his team see much need for improvement.