The Big East Championship presented by Jeep turned into a frantic three-team race down the stretch with Marquette, led by individual champion Matt Bachmann, capturing the title by a shot Tuesday at Callawassie Island Golf Club’s Dogwood and Magnolia nines in Callawassie Island, S.C.
The Golden Eagles came into the final round in a tie for third, 17 shots behind the leader, DePaul. But Marquette fired a final round of 2-under 286 to finish at 35-over 899, a shot better than Seton Hall and two shots clear of Georgetown, whose furious rally in a bid for a second straight team title came up just a little short.
Seton Hall carded a final round of 9-over 297 to claim runnerup honors at 36-over 900 while Georgetown had the best team round of the tournament, a 3-under 285, to finish third at 37-over 901. DePaul struggled to a 312 in the final round and got left behind by the top three teams. The Blue Demons ended up in fourth place at 44-over 908.
Xavier also had a final-round 312 and was another 23 shots behind DePaul in fifth at 931. Villanova struggled with a final round of 316 and ended up eighth of nine teams at 941.
It was a couple of freshmen who led the way for Marquette, primarily Bachmann of Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Playing with both team and individual titles on the line, Bachmann held on doggedly to the individual lead, finishing with an even-par 72 over the 6,983-yard, par-72 Dogwood and Magnolia nines for an even-par 216 total.
Another rookie, Matt Murlick of Winnetka, Ill., had opened the tournament with a pair of 79s, but carded a 3-under 69, one of just two sub-70 scores in the tournament, in the final round to finish tied for 11th at 227. In a one-shot team victory, Murlick’s sudden turnaround had a lot to do with Marquette’s victory.
Henry Klongland, a senior from Naughton, Wis., joined Murlick in the group tied for 11th at 227 after matching par in the final round with a 72. Oliver Farrell, a sophomore from England, bounced back from an 80 in the middle round with a 1-over 73 to finish tied for 15th at 229. Also for the Golden Eagles, Charlie Maleki, a sophomore from Mequon, Wis., finished tied for 32nd at 240 after a final-round 79.
Bachmann was being chased by Seton Hall’s Philippine connection of Lloyd Jefferson Go, a senior who was the defending Big East individual champion, and sophomore Gen Nagai. The duo ended up as part of a three-way tie for second at 2-over 218, two shots behind Bachmann. Go closed with an even-par 72 while his teammate and fellow Filipino Nagai had a 1-over 73.
Joining the Seton Hall pair in the tie for second was Butler’s Joey Arcuri, a sophomore from Cincinnati. Arcuri had taken the opening-round lead with a 2-under 70 and hung around the top of the leaderboard the entire tournament. Arcuri finished up with a 2-over 74.
The other 3-under 69 for the tournament at Calawassie Island was turned in by Georgetown junior Cole Berman, a former Haverford School standout and the 2015 BMW Philadelphia Amateur champion. It’s been a bit of an inconsistent spring for Berman, but he came on strong when it counted and his stellar final round gave him a fifth-place finish at 3-over 219.
Berman also sparked a final-round surge by the Hoyas that came up just a little short of a second straight trip to the NCAA regionals.
Sam Madsen, a junior from Madison, Wis., bounced back from a 79 in the middle round with a 1-under 71 in the final round to finish tied for seventh at 8-over 224. Kevin Jackson, a sophomore from Atlanta, finished tied for 15th at 229 after a final-round 74.
Eduardo Blochtein, a freshman from Delray Beach, Fla., put a second-round 82 in the rear-view mirror and carded a final round of 1-under 71 to finish tied for 18th at 231. Jack Musgrave, a junior from Chesterton, Ind., finished tied for 34th at 241 after a final-round 77.
There are no seniors in that group of Hoyas that made the trip to Callawassie Island, so Georgetown will be a force to be reckoned with next season.
Villanova was led by its lone senior, Lucas Trim of Tampa, Fla. Trim wrapped up a solid four years on the Main Line with a 2-over 74, finishing tied for 11th at 227. Connor Daly of Bronxville, N.Y., meanwhile, capped a very solid first year at Villanova as a final-round 77 left him in a tie for 19th.
Zach Egermayer, a junior from Glen Rock, N.J., finished tied for 34th at 241 after a final-round 80 and junior Andy Butler, a former Manheim Township standout, struggled to an 85 in the final round and finished 38th at 242. Andrew Bowyer, a sophomore from Summit, N.J., finished 42nd at 251 after a final-round 87.
It was a bit of a disappointing way to end a season that has certainly had its moments for the Wildcats. Of the quintet that traveled to Callawassie Island, all but Trim should be back and Villanova has every right to improve off a pretty nice season.