April 20, 2009
Second Round Results (PDF) | Photo Gallery
DADE CITY, Fla. -- Mike Van Sickle fired a five-under-par 67 Monday to move into a tie for first place following second-round action at the BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. The Golden Eagles now sit in second place in the team standings, but have just 18 holes remaining to try to chip away at Louisville's double-digit lead.
MU posted a team score of 287 to shave five strokes off its first-round tally, but at 3-over 579 through 36 holes the Golden Eagles still remain 11 strokes behind the Cardinals, who are at 8-under 568 (282-286).
"We're still making mistakes and that's frustrating," said head coach Tim Grogan, whose team was down by as many as 22 strokes early in the day. "We just need to eliminate those mistakes. It's not from a lack of talent, it's not from a lack of effort, it's just making a few little mental mistakes while we're out there. But we're working at it. Hopefully all the lessons we've learned throughout the year will pay off [tomorrow]."
After recording a 73 on Sunday at the par-72 South Course, Van Sickle's 67 is the tournament low-round. A favorite to win BIG EAST Player of the Year, the all-American candidate carded four birdies and just one bogey Monday to jump 13 spots up the individual leaderboard.
Van Sickle is now tied with Louisville's Adam Hadwin at 4-under 140 after the first two days of the championship.
In addition to scattered rain showers throughout the afternoon, play was suspended for an hour due to lightning in the area. During the delay Grogan decided to allow the Golden Eagles to go back to their villa, located off the 18th fairway, a decision which may have paid some dividends while all the other teams waited in the clubhouse for play to resume.
"It was actually a good break for us," said Van Sickle. "It was kind of like making the turn. I think that paid off in the long run."
"The rain delay was a bonus for us," added Grogan. "We could go back to the villa where we are staying at, dry off, re-group and kind of assess where we were at."
Four of the five Marquette golfers carded birdies on the par-4 hole 17 to help cap off Monday's late comeback, including Kelly Kretz. The MU sophomore is currently tied for ninth place at 1-over 145 (73-72) and leading the team with nine birdies for the tournament.
Using Louisville as an example, Monday's surge lead Kretz to believe that the Golden Eagles still have what it may take to catch the Cardinals, who last won the title in 2007. Last year, it was Louisville that nearly made up 13 strokes in the final round, giving Marquette a bit of a scare in the Golden Eagles' pursuit of their lone conference championship.
"It's going to take four scores under par tomorrow, probably," said Kretz. "We've flip-flopped positions from where we were at last year and [Louisville] proved it last year that it can almost be done.
"It's something that we need to do if we want to continue our season," he added.
Tuesday's final round is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. CT, with tee times on hole one and hole 10. Marquette golfers will be in the second group of pairings, along with golfers from Louisville and Seton Hall. Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com.
"At least we have a chance, but it's going to be tough," said Grogan. "We can't worry about Louisville. We just have to play the course, and hope for one of our best days of the year."
BIG EAST Conference Men's Golf Championship
April 20, 2009 (Second Round)
Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club - South Course
Dade City, Fla.
Par 72 / 7,031 yards
Complete Second Round Results (PDF)
T1) Mike Van Sickle 140 (73-67)
T9) Kelly Kretz 145 (73-72)
T16) Matt Haase 147 (73-74)
T16) Dustin Schwab 147 (73-74)
T41) Ben Sieg 154 (78-76)
1) Louisville 568 (282-286)
2) Marquette 579 (292-287)
3) Seton Hall 583 (285-298)
4) St. John's 585 (292-293)
5) Notre Dame 587 (295-292)
6) USF 589 (295-294)
7) Georgetown 593 (302-291)
8) Rutgers 597 (301-296)
9) DePaul 598 (297-301)
10) Cincinnati 604 (304-300)
11) Villanova 608 (312-296)
12) Connecticut 616 (324-292)