The Marquette men’s golf team ended its season with an eighth-place finish in the Big East Championships. The Golden Eagles finished above South Florida, DePaul, Rutgers and Cincinnati in the field of twelve teams with an overall score of 898, 34-over par.
Coach Steve Bailey said some rough holes at the beginning of the rounds kept Marquette from placing higher, but he was proud with the way his team responded.
“We had some bad starts, and guys turned it around,” Bailey said. “Ryan (Prickette) hit one of his first shots out of bounds to double bogey and came back to play one-under the rest of the round. We had some guys fighting, and we wish we could’ve finished higher, but I saw some positives.”
Bailey said he still has yet to see his team put on a complete top-to-bottom performance, as again he saw solid individual performances that were offset by other individual struggles.
“Everyone contributed at some point this week, but we still haven’t gotten the full five out there,” Bailey said. “We really struggled in particular on the par fives. If you’re going to succeed in this sport you have to take advantage of them, and unfortunately we didn’t do that this week.”
The end of the tournament also marked the end of senior Matt Haase’s Marquette career. Haase led the Golden Eagles along with sophomore Michael Motz as both players finished with overall scores of 225, placing them in a tie for 31st place on the individual leaderboard.
Haase shot a 79 in the second round sandwiched between two 73s in the first and third rounds, while Motz fired a pair of 74s in the second and third rounds after a 77 on the first day.
Motz said the tournament was disappointing and frustrating. But that his team had really left everything on the course. Haase felt the tournament was “so-so,” but said he didn’t have any regrets.
“There’s always going to be shots left out there, but overall I felt like it was decent,” Haase said. “I feel like it was one of the better tournaments I’ve had in a while, and I was leading the tournament on the first day at one point.”
Bailey said Haase had been playing really well as of late, and he was happy with his lone senior’s effort to close out his career.
“He had some good stretches of solid golf this week,” Bailey said. “He was unable to finish out some rounds the way he wanted to, but he had a nice birdie on the second to last hole Tuesday. He’s a guy you want to build your program around and a hard worker, so we’re going to miss having him around.”
With the summer looming ahead, Bailey named Motz and sophomore Corey Konieczki as his top prospects to replace Haase’s leadership.
“Michael’s really shown that when he can get going, his good is really good,” Bailey said. “We need him to be more consistent, but he’s going to be a team leader next year. I was also proud of the way Corey bounced back. Ryan (Prickette) is only going to play in the fall next season, so Corey and Mike are going to have to carry that leadership torch.”
As for Haase, he plans on taking it easy and said he doesn’t have any plans to go pro in his sport.
“It’s just going to be for fun now – I’m not going to try to play professionally or play any tournaments this summer,” Haase said. “There’s been a lot of highs and a lot of lows for me at Marquette, and overall it’s been a tremendous experience. The teammates I had were incredible, and they really are what kept me going while I was here.”