Before the Big East championships, Marquette golf put four players on the all-Big East teams, with three of them coming as First Team selections. After that, it almost seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Golden Eagles would come away with the Player of the Year trophy, and that came to pass last week. Freshman Hunter Eichhorn was named as the best player in the conference in 2017-18, and given his eligibility classification, Eichhorn was also named Freshman of the Year as well. The Marquette coaching staff of head coach Steve Bailey and Trake Carpenter were also named Big East Coaching Staff of the Year, giving MU all three major awards in the league this year.
If Eichhorn’s appearance on the all-Big East First team along with teammates Matt Murlick and Oliver Farrell didn’t clue you into his candidacy for the POY trophy, he sealed the deal by winning the individual title at the Big East championships. He’s the second straight Marquette freshman to finish with the low score at the conference meet. Eichhorn is the first Big East player to win both POY and FOY since USF’s Chase Koepka pulled off the double in 2012-13. Eichhorn is the third Golden Eagle to bring the POY trophy back to Milwaukee, following in the footsteps of Pat Sanchez (2014-15) and Mike Van Sickle (2008-09).
Eichhorn recorded the third lowest season average in Marquette history at 71.88 per round. His two tournament wins — the Big East title and the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational — ended up as the high water mark in the conference this year. Eichhorn came into the Big East championship as the best ranked player in the Big East according to Golfstat, and sometimes handing out a pair of trophies is just that easy.
As for the Coaching Staff of the Year honors, it’s the third trophy for Bailey, all in the past four seasons. Marquette posted the lowest team score average in school history in 2017-18, and on top of that, the Golden Eagles earned the first ever top 25 team ranking in program history back in September. It’s clear that Bailey has the Marquette program on the ascent, and it’s good to see a coaching staff recognized for winning.