Coach Steve Bailey will make his first NCAA Championship appearance as MU's head coach.
May 4, 2015
Making its second NCAA Championship appearance in school history, Marquette has been selected to play in the Noblesville, Indiana Region (host - Ball State) at The Sagamore Club in the 2015 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, May 14-16.
"It's nice to know where we're going now, although it doesn't really change a whole lot of what we do preparation wise, but we're looking forward to it," coach Steve Bailey said. "It's only the second time in school history that we've made it to this stage, so it'll be nice to have no pressure at all and be able to go out and play golf."
Marquette will be the No. 12 seed in the 14-team regional. Teams joining MU at The Sagamore Club include: Illinois, Oregon, UCLA, Alabama, SMU, UNLV, Virginia Tech, Georgia Southern, Colorado, New Mexico State, East Carolina, Alabama State and Pennsylvania.
The NCAA allows one practice round per team to prepare for the tournament, which the Golden Eagles will need to take advantage of as no player on the current team has experience at The Sagamore Club.
"We'll definitely do a little research on the course beforehand and see what we need to focus on in our practices," said MU junior Pat Sanchez. "Obviously we will work on our short games and keep refining our long games as well."
Top-seeded Illinois enters as the No. 4 ranked team in the country according to Golfstat and has won six out of the last seven Big Ten Tournaments. The Golden Eagles will also have a sense of familiarity with the field, appearing in tournaments with five of the 13 other schools.
"We've played in regionals throughout the year with the schedule that we built," said Bailey. "It'll be no different than any other tournament because the regional has a lot of teams we have played against in the past."
Selections were made on Monday morning during the 9 a.m. Central hour of Golf Channel's Morning Drive. The top five teams and one individual winner after 54 holes from each of the six regional sites will advance to Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida for the 2015 NCAA Men's Golf Championship, May 29 through June 3.
Marquette earned the NCAA berth after winning the program's second BIG EAST Championship. After earning the tournament's top seed with a league-low 295.15 scoring average, the Golden Eagles had to rally from an eight stroke deficit after 36 holes to win at Callawassie Island Golf Course in Okatie, South Carolina. The Golden Eagles were guided by the play of team scoring leader and conference co-champion Pat Sanchez (73.53, 1.73-over-par), who finished regulation 54-hole play at 1-under-par.
"It's definitely exciting because we've been waiting for this for a while so the build-up paid off," said Sanchez. "It sounds like we're going to play a good course against a good field so we're very excited."
The Golden Eagles last advanced to NCAA Championship regional play in 2008 after winning their first BIG EAST Championship - the Golden Eagles finished 24th in Central Region play at Ohio State University's Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio.
NCAA Noblesville Region - hosted by Ball State - May 14-16, 2015
The Sagamore Club, Noblesville, Indiana
7. Virginia Tech
8. Georgia Southern
10. New Mexico State
11. East Carolina
13. Alabama State