The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Men’s golf fails to repeat Big East title, finishes fourth in conference tournament

Aidan Lafferty (right) hugs Marquette men’s golf head coach Steve Bailey at the Big East Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette men’s golf returned to Riverton Pointe Golf and Country Club looking to defend its team and individual Big East Tournament title.

But the Golden Eagles, who were without reigning individual champion Bhoom Sima-Aree, could not be crowned with back-to-back titles, shooting 17-over-par to finish fourth.

A key player for Marquette, Sima-Aree’s injury kept him off the tee box for the spring season.

“After the fall season, [Sima-Aree] was arguably our best statistically, and when you lose a guy like that, it forces us to have to respond,” head coach Steve Bailey said. “There were big shoes to fill with him, not only because he’s the defending champion of the conference but also because of the leader he is to this team.”

The Seton Hall Pirates won the tournament, shooting eight-over-par as a unit. St. John’s junior Peicheng Chen won the individual title, firing two-under-par, including a three-under-par score of 69 in the opening round.

This is the second year that Riverton Pointe Golf and Country Club — a Jack Nicklaus designed par 72 that plays 7,158 yards — has hosted the Big East Tournament.

This year, players did not have to face the 40-mile-per-hour winds that the final round last year presented, yet the course still presented its challenges.

“Last year, the course played a couple shots tougher on the final day compared to this weekend,” Bailey said on Monday’s conditions. “This year, the course played longer and was firmer and faster with some easier pin locations.”

First on Friday 

The Golden Eagles held the lead after day one of the tournament on Saturday, shooting three-over-par as a unit.

Graduate students Josh Robinson and Aidan Lafferty led the Golden Eagles, making 11 birdies combined and scoring under par.

Robinson had the individual lead after the first 18 holes, shooting a four-under round of 68 with six birdies, and Lafferty had five red numbers, finishing with a two-under-par 70.

The key to Robinson’s hot start came from staying present on the course.

“I just tried to take every hole and shot as it came at me,” Robinson said. “I get into a little black-out bubble where I just focus on every shot as it comes and worry about just me on the course.”

Robinson and Lafferty both finished the tournament in the top ten individually. Robinson was the team’s best, placing third and shooting even-par over the three-round weekend, earning him All-Big East Tournament honors.

“Aidan and Josh were our senior leaders, and they stepped up and went out and played great golf, which is all you can ask for in those moments,” Bailey said on the team’s top finishers.

Shaky second day

Lafferty was the only Golden Eagle to shoot even-par or better on the second day, which vaulted him to the top of the individual leaderboard amidst tough course conditions.

“Leading a golf tournament indicates that you’re doing the most you can for your team,” Lafferty said. “It was cool to have that comfort of knowing I was doing everything I could for the team and playing the best golf I could.”

Robinson and first-year Mason Schmidtke had the next best rounds for Marquette, shooting four-over-par 76 each.

The team shot 14-over-par as a whole in the second round and dropped down to fourth place behind Seton Hall, Butler and Villanova.

Marquette was unable to beat the course on Monday, firing even-par as a team.

Juniors Max Lyons and Patrick Adler, on his birthday, finished under par shooting two-under-par 70 and one-under-par 71, respectively.

Lyons finished tied-13th overall at six-over-par across the tournament, and Adler played his only round on Monday.

Fourth place is the lowest finish for Marquette at the Big East Tournament under Bailey since 2016.

“Throughout the year, we talk a lot about stacking bricks, and by the end of it all, the hope is that our foundation is solid enough to rely upon,” Bailey said. “Hats off to Seton Hall. They have a couple of guys who have been there before, and they stepped up.”

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on Twitter/X. 

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *