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Marquette prepares to defend title in upcoming BIG EAST Championship

Marquette+golfer+Oliver+Farrell+prepares+to+hit+a+drive+at+the+BIG+EAST+championships+in+Okatie%2C+South+Carolina.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29
Marquette golfer Oliver Farrell prepares to hit a drive at the BIG EAST championships in Okatie, South Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette golfer Oliver Farrell prepares to hit a drive at the BIG EAST championships in Okatie, South Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette golfer Oliver Farrell prepares to hit a drive at the BIG EAST championships in Okatie, South Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

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The men’s golf team is just one week away from heading to a place where they’ve experienced plenty of success: Okatie, South Carolina.

The Golden Eagles will head to the BIG EAST Championship Sunday April 29 through Tuesday May 1 having won the BIG EAST Championship two of the last three years (2015 and 2017). With the Golden Eagles’ recent success in the tournament, head coach Steve Bailey is optimistic about Marquette’s odds.

“I would say there’s a lot of positive energy going back to a place we’ve had great success at,” Bailey said. “The last round there was the most special that I’ve ever been a part of during my time at Marquette.”

Bailey still isn’t worried about the defending BIG EAST champions overestimating the competition and wants the team to be “extremely confident and believe in their ability.”

So far, some key players on Marquette’s roster are sophomore Matt Murlick and freshman Hunter Eichhorn, who both finished with the team’s lowest score in three different events this season.

Murlick is especially confident about the team’s chances headed into the weekend.

“We’ve been thinking about this for awhile,” Murlick said. “We probably have the deepest and best team we’ve had in all of Marquette’s history, so we’re probably favored and we all know that.”

Although Marquette relied on players like Murlick and Eichhorn throughout the season, Bailey said he believes everyone on the team has contributed during the long season, a strength as the Golden Eagles head into the BIG EAST Championship. Four out of the nine players on the Golden Eagles’ roster have finished first this season.

“At some point, they’ve all stepped up in one way or another,” Bailey said. “To know that we don’t just have to rely on two or three guys to get it done gives us a solid edge going into it.”

With the conference tournament quickly approaching, the Golden Eagles are mentally preparing themselves for what’s to come, and according to Bailey, their mentality toward the championship is similar to any regular invitational.

“I wouldn’t say it has changed at all,” Bailey said. “Our whole goal in preparation is to continue to improve and get ready for the upcoming event and to keep competing in what we’re doing on a daily basis.”

For Bailey, the BIG EAST Championship has been a year-long process in which he feels his team is ready for.

“This is what we prepare for,” Bailey said. “Those early mornings of heading to the dome and all those workouts. All the time and effort these guys put in — these are the moments you prepare for.”

With Marquette confident, Bailey has a simple message for his team: embrace the challenge.

“Believe in your ability, and go and compete until that final putt falls. They’ve all really embraced that mentality.”

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