Brandon Cloete used strong play on the back nine to finish tied for ninth.
April 26, 2015
Championship Results | Photo Gallery
OKATIE, S.C. -- Pat Sanchez (T-6, 1-over-par 73) and Brandon Cloete (T-9, 2-over-par 74) finished opening round play in top-10 positions to lead Marquette to a fourth-place spot through 18 holes at the 2015 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship at Callawassie Island Golf Course on Sunday.
The top-seeded Golden Eagles, who came into the championships as the BIG EAST scoring leader (295.15/round), finished at 304 (16-over) and five shots behind leader DePaul (299), the No. 2 seed. Georgetown and Xavier are tied in second place at 301, three strokes ahead of MU. First-place DePaul and sixth-place Creighton are separated by only seven strokes.
"It was a disappointing start to the event, but fortunately we are still in the right mix," coach Steve Bailey said. "We got off to a sloppy start, making big numbers with loose shots. Sanchez and Cloete really kept us in the game."
After teeing off with the final groups from second seed DePaul and third seed Seton Hall, Marquette got off to a slow start with a collective 6-over-par start on the opening three holes. However, Sanchez helped reverse the trend for MU, and shot quickly up the leaderboard with three birdies on four holes, beginning at the par-5 third hole, to go 2-under-par through six and move into a tie for first place with Mitch Hadfield of St. John's.
Sanchez played even par on holes seven through nine to go out at 34 (2-under-par), moving a shot ahead of SJU's Dylan Crowley and SHU's J.T. Harper. However, three bogies on the back nine raised his score back over par and into a group of three players at 1-over-par that includes top-seeded individual Jose Montano of Xavier. XU's Tanapol Vattanapisit sits atop the board at 2-under-par, two shots clear of the field.
Sanchez, the No. 4 seeded individual, teed off with the final pairing at 9:20 a.m. CT, and finished with the lowest score of his threesome.
Cloete, MU's top finisher a season ago when he posted a fourth-place performance, went out with a 2-over 38. He picked up a shot on the back nine with birdies at the par-5 11th and par-3 15th, but bogied on the 18th to come in at an even par 36 and finish in the top-10. Two other players joined Cloete at 2-over-par for the day.
Cloete was seeded 10th for the championships.
MU will begin Monday's second round in a group with Creighton and defending BIG EAST champion St. John's, with the first threesome teeing off at 7:50 a.m. CT. For complete tee times, visit Golfstat.com.