After posting the best NCAA regional round in program history on Monday, things didn’t quite go the same way for Marquette men’s golf on Tuesday. They finished +13 on the day at 297 strokes as a team, seven strokes worse than the day before. That pushed Marquette down the leaderboard from sixth place to eighth place at 19 over par after two days at the Austin regional in Austin, Texas.
Marquette currently sits 14 strokes back of the cutline for nationals. Only the top five teams in the region advance to nationals, and Arkansas is currently +5 as a team through two rounds. It’s team scoring, so weirder things have happened, of course. I don’t want to say that MU’s chances are completely out the door, but it would take Arkansas, USC (+10) and Iowa (+12) all going backwards on the third and final day of the event for the Golden Eagles to advance at this point.
Oliver Farrell and Austin Kendziorski were the team leaders after Day 1, and they’ve been joined by Hunter Eichhorn at this point. All three men are sitting at +3 through two rounds and are currently tied for 24th place. That’s pretty great, but it’s probably not going to lend itself to one of them grabbing the lone individual spot advancing to nationals. That goes to the best player not on the five teams advancing, and right now, that honor is held by USC’s Sam Kim at -2. There’s five guys between Kim and the Marquette trio, which kind of cuts down on the odds of a Golden Eagle sneaking their way up the leaderboard.
Eichhorn had the best score of the day for Marquette at +1, but you can make the argument that it was Farrell who had the best day of anyone in a MU polo shirt. Farrell recorded two eagles during his round, including a hole-in-one on #2 at the UT Golf Club.
I think my favorite part of this video is Farrell getting dapped up by San Jose State’s Kevin Velo and UMKC’s McCain Schellhardt. They’re excited just to have been there to see Farrell put it in the cup.
Marquette was having a very rough day at about the three-quarters pole, sitting at +17 on the day, even with Farrell’s two eagles. A birdie from Eichhorn on #14 as well as three on the back nine from Kendziorski were able to drop MU’s score down to just +13 and salvage what was a very rough outing. Farrell’s hole-in-one on #2 was one of just three scores below par on any of the front nine holes for Marquette, and that includes during Matt Murlick’s round (+12) that ended up as the low score for the day and the one that got dropped from the card. Murlick’s struggles were the big change between Day 1 and Day 2 for the Golden Eagles, as he came in at +2 on the first trip through the course.
While the chances of advancing are dimming, it’s important to remember that Marquette is playing to seed expectation right now. They came in as the #8 seed in the field, and they’re currently in eighth place. Considering that MU has never finished better than 11th in an NCAA regional event, merely being in eighth place is actually a little bit of history for the program. Even if the guys don’t advance to the national championships, they can still finish strong and lock up the best regionals finish in program history, and that’s still worth celebrating.
Here’s the tee times for Wednesday, the third and final day of competition in Texas. They’re in Central time, by the way.
8:25am — Tyler Leach (T66, +16)
8:36am — Matt Murlick (T62, +14)
8:47am — Austin Kendziorski (T24, +3)
8:58am — Hunter Eichhorn (T24, +3)
9:09am — Oliver Farrell (T24, +3)