Big East Championship: It's Marquette in a Comeback
Marquette University, 2017 Big East Champions
Marquette University, 2017 Big East Champions

CALLAWASSIE ISLAND, SC (May 2, 2017)--Led by individual champion Matt Bachmann, Marquette University erased a seventeen-shot deficit and stormed from behind to win the Big East Men’s Golf Championship in Callawassie Island, South Carolina.

Players had battled rain in round two, and nearly an inch-and-half of additional rain fell overnight at Callawassie Island, but sunny skies prevailed for the final round and the softer course yielded good scoring and a down-to-the-wire finish.

The Golden Eagles jumped into contention by playing the front nine one-under as a team. Their momentum continued into the back nine, with another freshman Matt Murlick providing the spark with four birdies in a six-hole stretch. Seton Hall University, who had started the final round seven shots behind, kept pace as the championship would come down to the final hole.

When Murlick birdied the 16th, Marquette took the lead. As the final two groups played the eighteenth, Marquette appeared to have the tournament in hand, leading by three shots. But Henry Klongland’s bogey on the short par four, in an otherwise stellar round of 72, gave the Pirates one last opening.

As Bachmann and Seton Hall’s Gen Nagai played the final hole, Seton Hall’s only hope was a two-shot swing that would have forced a playoff. Bachmann complied by making bogey, but the Nagai was unable to make the tying birdie and Marquette were champions.

Marquette finished at 304-309-286 for a 899 total, with Seton Hall at 304-299-297 for 900.

Earlier and playing in the wave ahead of the top three, the defending champions Georgetown had a chance to post a target score and they responded, with three of four players under par for the final round. When Cole Berman birdied the final two holes for a closing 69, the Hoyas were in the clubhouse with a 285 for a 901 total, putting them at the time four shots behind Seton Hall and Marquette and one behind DePaul. But they could only watch as Marquette and Seton Hall held on to the top two spots. Georgetown finished third, just two shots back.

Overnight leaders DePaul saw their seven-shot lead disappear Tuesday, struggling to a final-round 313 as no member of the team was able to break 76. Still leading with nine holes to go, the next six holes would be their undoing, as the four counting scorers lost ten shots to par. The Blue Demons ultimately finished in fourth place.

Xavier, Creighton, Butler, Villanova and St. John’s rounded out the field.

Bachmann, a freshman from Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, began the round tied for the individual lead with DePaul's Jonathan Hewett and Joey Arcuri of Butler.

Playing in the wave ahead of the other two, Arcuri posted a 74 to finish two-over for the day and for the tournament. While Hewett faded with a 76, Bachmann started strong with two birdies and an eagle in his first six holes. Three bogeys in the next six holes stalled his momentum, but his birdie at the short par-4 16th gave him a two-shot lead over Lloyd Jefferson Go of Seton Hall. When Jefferson Go bogeyed the long par-five 17th, the lead was three and Bachmann was able to close it out at even-par 216. Arcuri finished joint runner-up with Seton Hall teammates Jefferson Go and Nagai. Berman’s 69 tied for the low round of the tournament and moved him to a 5th place finish.

For Marquette, the championship is their third overall, having won in 2008 and 2015. Bachmann becomes the third individual champion for the Golden Eagles, joining Ted Gray in 2008 and Patrick Sanchez in 2015.

With the win, Marquette is an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championship. Regional play begins at six sites on May 15, with the championship held May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois.

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ABOUT THE Big East Championship

54 hole men's collegiate championship of the Big East Conference. Team (best four scores out of five players each round) and individual competitions.

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