Freshman Oliver Farrell finished strong with a final round 72 on Tuesday.
May 3, 2016
OKATIE, South Carolina - Senior Nick Nelson finished tied for ninth place (74-72-76—222), leading Marquette in its fourth-place showing (299-293-306—898) at the 2016 BIG EAST Men’s Golf Championship, hosted by Callawassie Island Club.
Nelson, a four-year starter and First Team All-BIG EAST selection in 2015-16, finished the suspended second round with an even par 72 and climbed to as high as fifth place in the final round. He and classmates CJ Swift (T-29, 233) and Zach Gaugert (31st, 233) played in their final BIG EAST Championships.
“It wasn’t what we were looking for, but at this point my focus goes to thanking our seniors for what they’ve done,” head coach Steve Bailey said. “I’m so pleased with what they’ve done to represent our program and what they’ve accomplished for us. I won’t remember these scores 10 years from now, but I’ll remember the impact that they had on our program.”
Swift and Nelson, along with senior Pat Sanchez, who traveled to Callawassie to support his classmates, led MU to its second BIG EAST Championship in program history last year. Gaugert played in his third career BIG EAST championship this season.
Georgetown (even par, 864) blistered the course with a final round 1-over-par 289 to run away with the championship, topping second place Xavier by 27 shots. Seton Hall’s Lloyd Jefferson Go finished 6-under-par and was the league’s individual champion, thanks to a course record 65 in the second round.
“We had some good runs and stretches of play, but what we saw from Georgetown was impressive,” Bailey said.
Tuesday saw the resumption of the second round, which was suspended by lightning on Monday afternoon. Freshman Charlie Maleki (T-20, 227), who led MU with his opening round 73, started to push up the leaderboard with birdies on three of the last four holes of the second round when play resumed to post a 72 and a 1-over-par score for the tournament. He entered the final round in sixth place, but struggles on No. 6 and No. 7 stopped Maleki’s momentum.
Nelson was 1-under-par in the final round before hitting trouble starting at No. 14. Freshman Oliver Farrell (T-14, 225) birdied five holes in the final round to post a 72, but Marquette was unable to make up significant ground on Georgetown, which combined for 10 back nine birdies to win going away.
“I really was so impressed with Charlie’s entire year and how he matured as a person, and I think the good golf is a direct reflection of that,” Bailey said. “[Oliver] capped it off nicely today with his birdie on No. 18 and to shoot near par for the year is a great score. We’re excited for what these guys are going to do for the future of our program.”
The 2016 championships were the third in a row at Callawassie Island Club.
“You won’t find a place that’s going to embrace an event like this more than Callawassie,” Bailey said. “The conditions were phenomenal and it’s nice to have our championship in places where they want you.”
Marquette University will prepare to host the 2016 NCAA Kohler Region, May 16-18, at Blackwolf Run G.C. Team and individual participants will be announced on Thursday, May 4.