Marquette Wire

Senior-heavy golf team could enter national radar

The team is coming off it's first BIG EAST championship since 2008

Coach+Steve+Bailey+%28left%29+with+senior+Nick+Nelson.+Photo+by+Maggie+Bean%2FMarquette+Athletics.
Coach Steve Bailey (left) with senior Nick Nelson. Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics.

Coach Steve Bailey (left) with senior Nick Nelson. Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics.

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Coach Steve Bailey (left) with senior Nick Nelson. Photo by Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics.

Jamey Schilling, andrew.schilling@mu.edu

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The golf team looks to pick up where they left off last season when they tee off Saturday at the Northern Intercollegiate Tournament in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

This is the second straight season the team will open their campaign in Sugar Grove. Last year the team shot a combined 40-over-par 904 en route to a 7th place finish out of 13 teams. However, following the Northern Intercollegiate, Marquette exceeded 904 strokes just twice for the remainder of the year.

That mark includes the Golden Eagles’ winning performance at the Big East Championship, their second team title in eight years. Marquette not only captured the conference crown, but they featured one of the top overall golfers as well. Senior Pat Sanchez tied for first and finished with a score of 215 after the three-day tournament.

Marquette advanced to the NCAA Regional in Noblesville, Indiana, where they missed qualification for the NCAA Championship.

For sixth-year head coach Steve Bailey, his team’s strength appears to come from the team’s seniors, who had strong performances last season and impressive showings at summer tournaments this year.

The Wisconsin State Amateur Championship offered signs of promise for the upcoming season, as seniors Sanchez (tied for second), Zach Gaugert (tied for fifth) and Nick Nelson (tied for twelfth) all finished in the top fifteen.

Along with the seniors, incoming freshmen Oliver Farrell and Charlie Maleki should give the Golden Eagles a sizable boost this season.

Farrell,  a Worcestershire, England product, and ranked 31st overall in England according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The most notable feat during a successful summer campaign came when Farrell won the 121-man regional qualifying field for the Open Championship at St. Andrews, though he failed to qualify for the tournament.

Maleki,  from Mequon, Wisconsin, had a much shorter journey to Marquette. As the 2013 Wisconsin State Golf Amateur Junior Player of the Year and member of the 2014 WIAA Division I state champion Homestead High School golf team, Maleki should provide support to an already talented roster.

Compared to the rest of their conference, Marquette looks particularly strong. The Golden Eagles received the top ranking out of all Big East golf teams at 94th of the 299 Division I Golf teams in the country according to Golfweek’s Collegiate Rankings. All other Big East Gold Teams had ratings of 167th or worse.

Overall, the Marquette golf squad this season is talented and filled players new and old who could provide balanced team play at every tournament. If the team can keep up their success from last season and get help from their younger golfers a second straight conference title may very well be in the books.

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