With a furious team rally from eight strokes back at the start of the day, Marquette powered past DePaul and Xavier to win the 2015 Big East men's golf tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
Patrick Sanchez led the way for Marquette on the final day with a 3-under 69, but it was a full team effort to guide the Golden Eagles to their second ever Big East title. MU shot a plus-8 296 as a team for the third round, a full seven strokes better than any other team in the field as they posted one of just seven sub-300 rounds of the tournament.
While Sanchez tied for the best round of the day and the tournament with Seton Hall's Lloyd Jefferson Go, it took all the way to his very last shot of the tournament to lock up the title for the Golden Eagles. His playing partners included DePaul's Freddy Thomas, and Thomas had already holed out on the 18th green with an even par 4 on the hole. Sanchez found himself 20 feet out from the hole and on the fringe of the green for his fourth shot. While he could afford to take a second shot to finish the hole and secure the team title, Sanchez had to make the shot from there to clinch a tie at 1 under par for the individual title.
So he did.
Yes, St. John's Dylan Crowley ended up defeating Sanchez on the third playoff hole, but that's just a technicality. Sanchez still drained a tough shot in a tough spot to lock up a title for his team and give himself a chance to win the whole shebang.
While Marquette was great as a team, we have to give special notice to Nick Nelson. The junior from Decorah, Iowa, salvaged a 10th place finish for himself by recording three birdies on the back nine, including one on both the 16th and 17th holes. The back nine was particularly great for Marquette as a team on Tuesday as they recorded par or better on 34 of the 45 team holes.
MU will find out their NCAA Regional destination on Monday, May 4, when The Golf Channel announces the fields in the 9am Central hour of Morning Drive.