Marquette Wire

Men’s golf starts Spring strong in match play

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The Marquette golf team enjoyed its most successful stretch in recent memory last fall, winning the John Dallio Memorial tournament and placing fifth in the Kiawah Classic. Some of that success has already carried over into the spring season.

Coach Steve Bailey’s squad teed off for three rounds of match play action Monday and Tuesday in Orlando, Fla. The Golden Eagles won all three matches, defeating Seton Hall 4.5-2.5, DePaul 11-10 and Cleveland State 5-2.

Bailey was pleased with the team’s start and the opportunity to hit the greens for the first time in 2013.

“It was our mission to come down here and win each round, and we accomplished that,” Bailey said. “There are always a few concerns coming out of the winter, and these match play events always serve as a good barometer for where we are.”

Sophomore Adam Chester went 3-0, while freshman Patrick Sanchez went undefeated as well, halving in the second round with DePaul’s Russell Budd.

Monday afternoon was the most difficult stretch for Marquette, as it was the second round of 18 holes played that day. Chester and freshmen Zach Gaugert and Nick Nelson led the way with individual wins. Nelson shot a 1-over-par 73 and Gaugert finished the round with six birdies, shooting a 2-under-par 34 on his back nine holes.

Bailey was particularly impressed with Sanchez’s second round effort, as he came back to halve by shooting 2-under-par on his back nine. Bailey said his performance displayed the grit and determination the team focused on over the break.

“I was especially impressed with our back nine in the afternoon,” Bailey said. “After nine holes, we were down in nearly every match. Our guys showed some resilience and made up a bunch of ground.”

Sanchez echoed that Monday afternoon had been hard on everyone but said he personally was great off the tee despite the fatigue.

Nelson appreciated the chance to play in the Central Florida sunshine and felt his game was right where it needed to be.

“I thought my ball striking was great,” Nelson said. “I’m in better form at this point of the year than I think I ever have been in.”

Tuesday’s final round yielded an impressive team victory as Sanchez, Nelson, junior Michael Motz and sophomore Will Joiner all scored 3-0 wins, with Chester winning 2.5-.5.

Chester and the trio of freshmen stood out to Bailey as they did last spring, and each spent a lot of time practicing indoors during the winter months. Their hard work paid off in the solid showing.

“I continue to be impressed with the work and results our young guys have put up and what they’ve contributed as teammates,” Bailey said. “We’ve been stressing that positive energy since fall, and we truly believe it’s contagious. We’re going to take all of the good from match play and build on it heading into the spring.”

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