Marquette Wire

Marquette Men’s Golf: MU hopes to finish season on a high note

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Coach Steve Bailey has advertised the Big East Championships in Orlando, Fla. as the ultimate goal and biggest event for the men’s golf team all season. Bailey and his team have spent a lot of time preparing for the tournament and hope their hard work finally comes to fruition.

It’s been a difficult spring for the Golden Eagles. They’ve had difficulty placing in the top 10 in three major tournaments. Marquette’s best performance came at the Bandon Dunes Championship in March, where the team finished in a tie for 10th place in a field of 15 teams.

While solid individual efforts have been a constant for the Golden Eagles, Bailey said the team has yet to post a complete top-to-bottom performance and its held Marquette back from high overall finishes.

“We’re looking for contributions from all five guys,” Bailey said. “We’ve talked all year long about people showing up at different times and that’s promising, but there’s no better time than now for everyone to peak at the same time.”

Bailey said it’s going to be important for his squad to have confidence in the work they’ve put in all season to prepare for the Championships and to play smart golf.

“Golf is a tricky sport,” Bailey said. “If you have a couple bad holes you’re not going to get them back in one shot. It’s a 54-hole event and it’s a matter of us being patient and not being overly aggressive, but taking opportunities when we can. On tough holes, making good pars is good enough for me.”

Last week, the team traveled to Florida for a dual match with Florida Atlantic. Bailey took advantage of the trip to get the team accustomed to the turf they would compete on in the Championships. Sophomore Michael Motz thinks the experience will give Marquette an edge this weekend.

“We don’t get to play on Bermuda (grass) obviously a whole lot up here, so it was good to get down there and get some experience on the greens,” Motz said. “We’ll have a couple days before the tournament starts to work with it, but I think (the trip) helped out a lot.”

Senior Matt Haase is no stranger to coming up big in the championships. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, Haase recorded the lowest round in the history of the tournament, firing an 8-under par 64 and pacing Marquette to a second-place finish.

Haase remembers that day fondly but said he wouldn’t expect to repeat such a feat. Haase said his time with the Golden Eagles has been special and is focused on ending his Marquette career with a bang.

“I’ve really appreciated my time here and this weekend’s really going to be about not getting down on myself in any way, shape or form,” Haase said. “I try to stay away from expectations and thinking about scores when I’m out on the golf course and just take the clichéd one-hole-at-a-time type of approach. I feel like my game is as good as it’s been in a while. Things are clicking and it would be huge for me to go out on a positive note.”

Bailey said he’s excited about the team’s opportunity to place high in the Championships and for Haase’s opportunity to create a fitting end to his career.

“Everything leads up to this,” Bailey said. “Both Matt (Haase) and C.J. (Swift) have had top-ten finishes this season, and I just look forward to seeing their play carry over into this week. It would especially be big for Matt to go out on a high note, and if he hits it as good as he did last week I think he’s got a great opportunity to have a good finish.”

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