"Throwback Thursday" is a weekly feature in the GoMarquette.com Social Summer Series
April 22, 2008...That was the monumental day when the Golden Eagles men's golf team captured Marquette's first-ever BIG EAST Championship in any team sport.
Marquette was led by the heroics of senior Ted Gray who opened with back-to-back rounds of four-under-par 68. Despite closing with a final-round 75, Gray still managed individual medalist honors, claiming a five-stroke victory over St. John's Keegan Bradley ... you know... the winner of the 2011 PGA Championship and Wanamaker Trophy? No big deal [sarcasm]. Bradley is going for his second major tournament victory this week at the U.S. Open, by the way.
"I just tried to play smart," Gray told Golfweek deputy editor Steve Harmon. "It was pretty nerve-racking," Gray recalled.
In addition to Gray, Marquette's lineup at the BIG EAST tourney that spring consisted of two-time all-American Mike Van Sickle, All-BIG EAST honoree and current MU assistant coach Michael Bielawski, as well as Kelly Kretz and Dustin Schwab, who rank third and 10th, respectively, in career scoring average.
"I honestly can't describe how happy I am," Bielawski told Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "This is the happiest golf moment I've had for a very, very long time. We've talked talked about taking Marquette University golf to this place, and we finally got it done."
Van Sickle posted a fourth-place finish in the event while Bielawski tied for seventh among individuals, as MU won its third tournament of year, still a single-season school record for wins.
Marquette, coached by Tim Grogan, led the nation in eagles that year with 22 during regular-season competition, en route to its first NCAA postseason berth.
(L-R): Ted Gray, Mike Van Sickle, head coach Tim Grogan, Michael Bielawski, Kelly Kretz, Dustin Schwab. The entire championship season is well-chronicled in that year's NCAA postseason media guide.