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Marquette Men’s Golf: Last place finish marks end of Prickette’s Marquette career

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Senior Ryan Prickette competed in his final match as a Golden Eagle at the Pinetree Intercollegiate. Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.

The Marquette golf team had a bit of a relapse after winning its first tournament in four years two weeks ago.

The Golden Eagles finished at the bottom of the team leaderboard, in 12th place, at the Pinetree Intercollegiate in Kennesaw, Ga., which ended Tuesday.

Coach Steve Bailey said the team struggled with some rough starts on an unforgiving course.

“I feel like each round we got off to some tough starts early on and got a little frazzled,” Bailey said. “We weren’t able to adjust to the speed of the greens. It’s a really tight golf course with a lot of hazards.”

Freshman Patrick Sanchez led the Golden Eagles with an overall score of 231 and finished in a tie for 34th overall. Junior Michael Motz finished three strokes behind him in his first action of the year. The Intercollegiate was a special chance to visit home for Motz, who is originally from Milton, Ga.

“It was the first time I’ve been home since school started, and I got to spend the day at my house,” he said.
“I had actually played nine holes on the course when I was nine or 10 years old, but I was still really unfamiliar with it.”

Motz said he didn’t feel that the scorecard told the story of his tournament, but that some trouble late in rounds led to a disappointing finish.

“My score didn’t reflect how I played at all,” Motz said. “I hit the ball really well, but I feel like I lost a lot of those shots on the greens. I think I had 34 putts in the first round, 33 in the second and 37 in the third. I think everyone had their moments where they hit the ball OK, but I feel like overall as a team we lost our games on the greens.”

For most of the squad, the low finish was a minor setback, but for one golfer it marked the end of an era.

For senior Ryan Prickette, who will graduate in December, the Intercollegiate was the last tournament action he’ll see in his college golf career. As a player under Bailey for three years and with the program for five, it was tough for Prickette to think about saying goodbye throughout the week.

“It was weird,” Prickette said. “I kind of had a lump in my throat for a few hours after I finished. It’s finishing a stage of your life once that ball hits the bottom of that final hole. It was kind of going through my head the whole trip. Every time I was doing stuff with the guys, I kept thinking this could be my last time. You just kind of knew the end was coming.”

Prickette finished fourth for Marquette in a tie for 62nd on the individual leaderboard after recording an 81 in the first round and two 80s in the final two rounds.

“I didn’t play very well (in the final round) I had one big number, which kind of ruined the scorecard,” Prickette said. “I won’t remember it, though. I’ll remember the experience of the last tournament and all the good times I’ve had with the guys.”

Prickette didn’t feel that the long layover from the win hurt the team; rather that the underwhelming performance was a result of overly high hopes.

“I don’t think it was victory hangover so much as it was a higher set of expectations,” Prickette said. “In golf, it doesn’t help to put more expectations on yourself, and I think the guys might’ve done that.”

In the end, Bailey said he was very glad Prickette had decided to return for the first semester, as his experience was greatly needed.

“Ryan really filled that position of leader for us as someone who has been around for five years,” Bailey said. “Having four new guys come in this year, I couldn’t have asked for a better guy to fill that leadership role. I think the guys are going to be better people and players for having played with him.”

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