Marquette men’s golf: Disappointing finish at Cardinal Collegiate

Sophomore Corey Konieczki competes at the Cardinal Intercollegiate. Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.

Entering the second round of the Cardinal Collegiate Tuesday, the Marquette men’s golf team sat in 13th place, three strokes out of fifth place.

Aware that his team was within reach of a top-five finish for the first time this season, coach Steve Bailey said most of the team failed to show up in the second round.

While sophomore Corey Konieczki shot a team-best 2-under par 70 in the first round and freshman C.J. Swift posted a 73, no other Golden Eagle shot better than a 77.

The second round brought more of the same as Konieczki and sophomore Michael Motz each shot a 2-over par 74 while their teammates combined for a score of 241 (25-over par). That landed the Golden Eagles in 14th place out of 18 teams.

“We just didn’t have the complete team effort we needed,” Bailey said. “We basically had two guys show up in both rounds we played.”

Konieczki, whose 10th place finish tied his career best, said the weather had an impact on the team’s second round performance.

“It was really windy the second day and some of the guys got off to a rough start,” Konieczki said. “I wouldn’t say they (my teammates) gave up, but it got to their head. And they got frustrated. They weren’t picking the right irons for the right fairways, and they weren’t playing conservative and playing the safe shot to the right pin.”

Marquette is a young team, with only two upperclassmen on the roster, and Motz said the frustration with the weather was especially evident with the freshmen.

“Our younger guys haven’t played under those conditions nearly as much as we (the upperclassmen) have,” Motz said. “I think they just have to get out there and experience everything and get some more rounds under their belt before they start closing out some solid rounds.”

However, Bailey wasn’t convinced that the wind was much of a factor and was unwilling to make any excuses for the Golden Eagles’ finish.

“Obviously other teams were able to post good scores, and we weren’t one of them,” Bailey said. “We’re used to playing in bad conditions being a school from the Midwest, so there aren’t any excuses for us.”

Bailey pointed more to the team’s continued struggles in the short game as cause. No player finished 18 holes in any round with 30 putts or less.

“We had a few big numbers on a couple holes,” Bailey said, “and when you have double bogey and higher on a few holes it’s going to be tough to gain ground on other teams.”

Bailey took the positives with the negatives and has opted to move on.

“I think we’ve proven we could make a lot of birdies,” Bailey said. “I think our team was in the top five or so in birdies made in the tournament, and it was good to see a freshman (Swift) have a good first round.”