Pat Sanchez is the second player in program history to earn BIG EAST Player of the Year honors.
May 11, 2015
NEW YORK - Marquette junior Pat Sanchez, the 2015 BIG EAST co-champion, was named BIG EAST Men's Golf Player of the Year and coach Steve Bailey was selected as the league's coach of the year as part of the conference's end-of-season awards on Monday afternoon.
The selections of Sanchez and Bailey to the league's top honors add to an already historic year for the Golden Eagles, who won the BIG EAST Championship in come-from-behind fashion on April 28. Marquette will tee off in its first NCAA Championship round on Thursday, May 14 in the Noblesville, Indiana Region.
In addition, junior Nick Nelson joined Sanchez as part of the All-BIG EAST Team.
Sanchez is the first Marquette player to earn BIG EAST player of the year honors since current Web.com Tour pro Mike Van Sickle garnered the award in 2009. He finished the campaign fourth in league scoring average at 73.53 (1.73-over-par) and was one of eight BIG EAST players to complete more than 30 rounds in 2014-15. Sanchez was named BIG EAST Golfer of the Month in September after a hot start to the season where he averaged a score of 72.33 over his first nine rounds, including a season-low 68 in the first round of the Badger Invitational on Sept. 28.
In January, Sanchez represented Mexico in the 110-player field of the inaugural Latin America Amateur Championships (LAAC) in Pilar, Argentina with an auto bid to the 2015 Masters Tournament on the line. Sanchez made the cut with a second round score of 71 (-1) in a round that included four birdies - he finished the tournament in 57th place.
At the BIG EAST Championships on the Dogwood/Magnolia courses at Callawassie Island Golf Course in late April, Sanchez hung in the top 10 in the first two rounds, before making his move to the top spot on the final day. Sanchez shot a 3-under-par 69 to seal up the co-championship, highlighted by a 20-foot par putt make on the 18th hole that secured his place atop the leaderboard and sealed up Marquette's championship. He finished the championships with a three-day score of 215, 1-under-par.
Sanchez has earned All-BIG EAST honors in each of his first three seasons at Marquette.
Bailey is the second MU coach to take BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors, guiding the Golden Eagles to their first league crown and NCAA appearance in his five years. MU played a challenging fall schedule that included seven events, but the Golden Eagles posted four top-5 team finishes in that stretch, including a third-place showing as host of the Erin Hills Intercollegiate, an event that included four top-25 teams. Marquette finished the fall ranked 71st, one of the program's highest-ever rankings.
A light spring schedule ended with the BIG EAST Championships - and a title highlighted by Marquette's rally from an eight-stroke deficit after 36 holes. One of the keys to the championship was clutch play on the back nine in the final round - Marquette made par or better on 34 of 45 holes.
Nelson earned his first career All-BIG EAST honor after finishing in a tie for 10th at the conference championships and sixth in average scoring (74.07, 2.27-over-par) during the season. Nelson joined Sanchez as one of two MU players to complete all 30 rounds this season and showed similar consistent quality of play by carding 12 rounds at par or better, including five in Marquette's abbreviated spring schedule. He had one of MU's best performances late at the BIG EAST Championships, with three birdie makes on the back nine to jump five spots on the leaderboard.
BIG EAST Player of the Year
Patrick Sanchez, Marquette
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Jose Montaño, Xavier
BIG EAST Coach of the Year
Steve Bailey, Marquette
All-BIG EAST Team
Freddy Thomas, DePaul, Fr.
Cole Berman, Georgetown, Fr.
Patrick Sanchez, Marquette, Jr.
Nick Nelson, Marquette, Jr.
Obe Ayton, St. John's, Sr.
Dylan Crowley, St. John's, Sr.
Lloyd Jefferson Go, Seton Hall, So.
Ryan Snouffer, Seton Hall, Jr.
Jose Montaño, Xavier, Fr.
Korey Ward, Xavier, Jr.