Golf Places Second at El Macero Classic

Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Images
Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Images

Marquette men’s golf is getting hot at the right time with the Big East Tournament right around the corner. The Golden Eagles tied for second place behind host California-Davis in the nine-team field of the El Macero Classic, despite not playing in a competitive tournament for more than a month. Junior Pat Sanchez finished the weekend with the team’s best three-day score, finishing 3-over par.

Coach Steve Bailey was proud of how his team competed on the trip out to California.

“We made a good run (on Sunday) and got within two shots of the lead on the back nine after back-to-back birdies by Sanchez and Cloete,” Bailey told “Unfortunately, we didn’t capitalize on par-5s on the back nine and made a few big numbers on par-3s.”

Friday’s score of 281 (7-under par) was the team’s best round of the season and the lowest team round score of the weekend. Senior Brandon Cloete got off to a hot start with his opening day 69 (3-under par). The round put Cloete in a tie for second place to open the weekend and was his first under-70 round of the season. Four Golden Eagles finished with first-round scores at or below par – Sanchez, Cloete, junior Nick Nelson and freshman Trevor Thomas.

Saturday’s score of 296 (8-over par) was higher, but the increase was consistent with every other team on the course, as seven of the nine teams posted higher second-round scores. Nelson followed his consistent performance in round one with a round two score of 71 (2-under par), posting three birdies on the back nine to get under par.

Sunday’s final-round score of 298 (10-over par) secured Marquette a second-place finish in the tournament. Sanchez finished with his final round below par with a 71 (1-under par). Junior Zach Gaugert also finished the last round well, scoring his best round of the tournament with a 73 (1-over par).

The tournament was also a chance to improve on the scores from last month’s Desert Mountain Intercollegiate. Sanchez’s weekend of 3-over par was a vast improvement over his March 7 round of 15-over par. Cloete also made a big improvement, shooting nine strokes better with a 7-over par versus his 16-over par the previous tournament. But Thomas’ jump was the most essential for the weekend’s success. While shooting an ugly score of 27-over par in Scottsdale, Ariz., he finished second on the team going 5-over par, a massive 22-shot improvement.

Marquette wraps up its regular season slate with the Hawkeye Invitational at Iowa. Bailey viewed the scoring as great preparation for their trip to Iowa City this weekend.

“Overall, it was a decent finish and a good sign to have five guys in the top-20,” Bailey told “There are plenty of positives heading to Iowa.”