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Oliver Farrell leading men’s golf into BIG EAST Championship

Second+round+action+during+the+BIG+EAST+men%27s+golf+tournament+in+Okatie%2C+S.C.%2C+Monday%2C+May+2%2C+2016.+%28Photo%2FStephen+B.+Morton+for+the+BIG+EAST%29
Second round action during the BIG EAST men's golf tournament in Okatie, S.C., Monday, May 2, 2016. (Photo/Stephen B. Morton for the BIG EAST)

Second round action during the BIG EAST men's golf tournament in Okatie, S.C., Monday, May 2, 2016. (Photo/Stephen B. Morton for the BIG EAST)

Photo by Stephen B. Morton

Photo by Stephen B. Morton

Second round action during the BIG EAST men's golf tournament in Okatie, S.C., Monday, May 2, 2016. (Photo/Stephen B. Morton for the BIG EAST)

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With the BIG EAST Men’s Golf Championship coming up next Sunday, sophomore Oliver Farrell is peaking at the right time for Marquette men’s golf. The Worcestershire, England, native recently put together the best 54-hole event finish in his career (third) at the Hawkeye Invitational with a 70-74-66—210 scoring line. His six-under-par final round was the finest round of his young Marquette career.

Farrell also had a fantastic 54-hole tournament performance back on March 18-19 at the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular. He led Marquette in scoring with a three-over-par performance (tied for fifth), which helped Marquette earn a second-place finish at the event. These two strong tournament finishes catapulted Farrell to the top of the BIG EAST leaderboard.

“The last few weeks I think my course management has gotten so much better,” Farrell said. “I’m making better choices, I’m not making as many mistakes.”

The sophomore is averaging 72 strokes through 29 rounds, and has earned four BIG EAST Male Golfer of the Week honors including two within the last month, which is top in the conference.

“From driving through to putting, I’ve been very solid throughout,” Farrell said. “This semester compared to the fall I have improved my scoring clubs, my wedges, my short irons. That’s obviously allowed me to have some of these lower rounds.”

So far this season, Farrell has been methodical in his approach. He consistently uses the word “solid” when describing his game. When looking at his scoring trends, it is clear why the 6-foot-2 power hitter tosses around the word.

The sophomore has the physical skills to strike the ball a good distance, but his knack for staying out of trouble may be more impressive. In 29 rounds, Farrell is averaging the least amount of bogeys and the least amount of double bogeys on the team.

He is playing to his par-5 strength of driving by avoiding mistakes on par-3s and par-4s, It is on these lengthy holes where Farrell is taking strokes off his game.

“My long game gives me a big help, I’m always pretty long and pretty straight,” Farrell said.

He has tallied eight eagles during the 2016-’17 season, one behind the Division I leader. Additionally, he ranks 72nd in the country in par-5 scoring average (4.62).

“For Oliver, so much of his success is attributable to his work ethic,” head coach Steve Bailey said. “He has a real knack for competing. … He works harder than anyone I’ve seen in the game.”

This hard work helped Farrell shave off more than a stroke per round between his freshman and sophomore campaign, placing him second in the BIG EAST Conference in scoring average. As the Marquette leader in scoring in 12 of his 17 career events, the Golden Eagles will most likely rely heavily on Farrell at BIG EAST Championships in Okatie, South Carolina.

“I’ve been to the course a few times,” Farrell said. “This year going there I know where I can be aggressive and pick up shots and where I need to be more conservative,” Farrell said.

As a team, Marquette placed fourth in the 2016 BIG EAST Men’s Golf Championship last season, while Farrell finished tied for 14th, including a five-birdie final day. The Golden Eagles tee off Sunday at Callawassie Island Club.

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