PREVIEW: Team looks forward to return to invitationals

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Max Lyons ranked No. 14 recruit in Class of 2021 by Golfweek. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Following an unusual year last season, the Marquette men’s golf team looks to jump back into some normalcy this season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team was unable to play in tournaments or outings last fall. In the spring Marquette participated in tournaments across the country including The Prestige, Valspar Collegiate, Hootie Intercollegiate, Calusa Cup and the Hawkeye Invitational. 

In the BIG EAST Tournament, Marquette finished 2nd overall out of seven teams. Redshirt senior Hunter Eichorn led the Golden Eagles as he tied for first with a score of -7. 

Head coach Steve Bailey said, regardless of the results, he saw last season as a positive one. 

“It’s a testament to our guys,” Bailey said. “The positive perspective they take on things with what’s going on in the country.” 

Bailey, a four-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year, will return for his 11th season as head coach.

Golf professional and former NCAA All-American Jace Long is joining Bailey’s coaching staff as an assistant coach after spending the last two years as an assistant golf professional and player development coach in The Colony, Texas at the Golf Clubs at the Tribute.

“Jace’s resume as a golfer initially garnered my attention, but what ultimately stood out was his positive energy, his passion for teaching and sharing his experiences to help develop our student-athletes,” Bailey said in a statement Aug. 6. 

Besides the coaching addition in Long, Bailey will add three first-year players to his roster: Patrick Adler of Winnetka, Illinois, P.A. Kilburn of Monroe, Georgia and Max Lyons of Phoenix, Arizona.

Lyons headlines the first-year class. He is one of the highest-ranked recruits in program history, sitting at No. 14 among all senior golfers in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings at the time of his signing of a National Letter of Intent.

Eichorn, who enters his fourth year with the team, said he is looking to leading by example for his team with a balance of hard work and enjoyment. 

“Despite playing golf at a high level, it is also supposed to be fun,” Eichron said. “That is something I try to do while playing.” 

Eichorn said another thing he tries to do while playing golf is keep a strong and positive attitude on the course regardless of how a shot goes.

“I take everything one shot at a time,” Eichorn said. “If I hit a bad shot I don’t focus on that, I just try to move on.” 

Like Eichorn, redshirt junior Nicolas Evangelio said he doesn’t try to think much about the future or the past on the course. 

“It’s important to focus on every set and not overwhelming what you did or what you’re doing,” Evengelio said. 

Evangelo said with playing over the summer, he saw it as a small season and way to get himself into the right mindset before the fall campaign.

“When I played over the summer back home, I think of that as preseason for me to come here and be ready for the season in the fall,” Evengelio said. 

Marquette opened the 2021-22 campaign with the Marquette Intercollegiate at Erin Hills, Wisconsin, where they placed 14th. Lynons led the Golden Eagles in the three-day event with a 2-under 214, while posted even-par 72s on the last two days to close out play with a 1-under 215.

The Golden Eagles then finished 7th overall at the Gopher Invitational. Lynons tied for 13th place in the event after posting a final round 1-under 70 to put him at 2-under for the overall tournament.

Next up for Marquette is a trip to Northwestern’s Windon Memorial Classic, followed by the Rich Harvest Farms Intercollegiate.

The Golden Eagles will wrap up the fall season in West Lafayette, Indiana for the Purdue Fall Invitational.

This article was written by Matthew Valente. He can be reached at matthew.valente@marquette.edu.