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SEASON PREVIEW: Marquette men’s golf looks for success at Badger Invitational

Graphic+by+Tom+Hillmeyer
Graphic by Tom Hillmeyer

Graphic by Tom Hillmeyer

Graphic by Tom Hillmeyer

Jack Phillips

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As Marquette men’s golf begins its season at the Badger Invitational over the next three days, the squad will be looking to continue its success in the fall 2018 season after a second-place finish last spring.

“We’re excited to get back into the swing of things,” junior Matt Murlick said. “I did have a great freshman year, but this sophomore year was even better, so I’m just trying to improve every year and get better.”

The Golden Eagles came just short of a BIG EAST Championship last year, losing by three strokes to Georgetown. Now-sophomore Hunter Eichhorn and Murlick were selected for the NCAA Golf Regionals. Both players finished the tournament decently, but their results were not enough to make the cut.

Despite not moving past the NCAA Regionals, Eichhorn won BIG EAST Freshman Player of the Year and BIG EAST Player of the Year.

Over the course of the summer, Murlick patiently waited for the new season while also improving his game one step at a time.

“I had a really strong year last year,” Murlick said. “I’ve been practicing a lot and just trying to bring as much positive energy as I can into the season and just trying to get off to a good start at the Badger event.”

Three months after the team’s latest invitational, it’s a new season for the Marquette Golden Eagles and head coach Steve Bailey has plenty of excitement and expectations. Just like always, the nerves don’t faze the talented group, and Bailey remains in sync with each of his players.

“We always say that we’re just trying to be our best,” Bailey said. “It’s me getting on the same page with each one of our players and knowing what they’re setting out to accomplish individually. I think the competitiveness amongst our team is going to push everyone to elevate their games.”

A new season also means new freshmen join the Marquette golf program, and Bailey said he believes these fresh faces can drive up the competitiveness among veteran returners.

“We’re just excited to ramp up the competition amongst our team,” Bailey said. “With new guys coming in, it’s going to be good experience for our younger guys to come in and compete for a spot. They’ll have every opportunity to do that coming into the season.”

As the fall season starts in the coming days, winter slowly approaches in Milwaukee. The cold season may last a lot longer in Wisconsin than the competition in some warmer areas around the country, but Bailey and the Golden Eagles said they aren’t concerned.

“We’ve always taken the perspective of making the best of your situation,” Bailey said. “Regardless of what the weather is outside, everyday we’re practicing. You can see it as a hindrance, or you can see it as an opportunity to improve and get better. I only think it’s a hurdle if you see it that way.”

With a mix of new recruits and veteran experience, Marquette will look to make the most of its warm season this week, starting the year at the Badger Invitational in Verona, Wisconsin.

“We’re just going to hold them accountable to those process-oriented goals that they’re setting,” Bailey said. “Our guys are eager to go and compete, and we’re looking forward to new opportunities in the new season.”

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