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Marquette Men’s Golf: MU suffers another frustrating performance

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Marquette golf treaded water again at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate, finishing 21st in a field of 29 teams. The finish mirrored the team’s previous tournaments this spring as the differential among the Golden Eagles’ scores kept them from rising in the rankings.

Freshman Adam Chester again led Marquette individually, finishing in a tie for 20th place by shooting eight over par. He was the only Golden Eagle to put together a consistent performance in all three rounds.

Coach Steve Bailey praised the team’s good performances and the bright spots, calling to mind Chester’s continued improvement as an English golfer in America.

“I’m happy for Adam and the progress he’s making,” Bailey said. “We see on a daily basis how talented he is. Once he tightens up his misses and converts on more birdie opportunities, he will make his way up the leaderboard.”

Bailey found another silver lining in Corey Konieczki’s last round, as the sophomore shot a 72 after shooting 78 in both of the first two rounds.

“I’m proud of the way Corey (Konieczki) battled today,” Bailey said. “He only hit eight greens and managed to shoot one over (par). We talked last night about playing with toughness and persevering through tough stretches.  Corey epitomized that today.”

Konieczki said his strong finish came from good shooting combined with good putting, a rare occurrence for the Golden Eagles so far this spring.

“The first few days were kind of rough,” Konieczki said. “I hit the ball decent, but my short game wasn’t where it needed to be. I missed a lot of putts and had a couple bad shifts the first two days. Luckily the last day it all came together, and I was able to hit the greens, and I was able to make birdies. When you have more than two birdies it really helps out your round.”

Again Bailey had to talk about the team as a whole and how the same struggles with unity, consistency and the short game continued to plague Marquette.

“Overall, a combination of our ball striking and short game hurt us this week,” Bailey said. “We only hit 51 percent of our greens and converted on 44 percent of our up and down opportunities. For us to compete, we must improve in both of those areas.”

Once again a player expressed his discontent with the team’s finish despite his own contributions providing a spark.

“I wouldn’t want to say we got worse, but I still would have to say we need to get a lot better,” Konieczki said. “Unfortunately there was a lot of emotion on the golf course, and it got to people, and we didn’t play as well as we should have.”

The ghosts of the USF Invitational and Bandon Dunes Championships returned to haunt the Golden Eagles, and as much as they try to break the mold every week, a pattern is developing.

“The weather wasn’t a big issue, it was a little windy the second day but it was a walk in the park compared to Bandon Dunes,” Konieczki said. “Mentally we still weren’t prepared for what we needed to do.”

The same problems called for the same expressed conclusion.

“It really comes down to all of us putting up a good round. It’s going to take a lot of practice and getting our mental game together. Good players come back from one bad hole or come back from a bogey all the time, and we need to focus on doing that.”

With another finish near the bottom of the ladder, the Golden Eagles appear stuck in a mental rut. The talent they keep saying is there has shown up in spurts, but hasn’t unified to produce an overall result worth celebrating.

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