Marquette's hold on individual honors at the Big East Conference men's golf championship continued this year and isn't beyond the realm of possibility that Hunter Eichhorn could single-handedly extend the Golden Eagles' reign over the next three years.
Eichhorn became the second straight Marquette freshman to win a Big East title, following teammate Matthew Bachmann, who won it in 2017. It ranks as the No. 9 story in the Wisconsin.Golf staff-selected top 18 of 2018.
However, unlike Bachmann, whose 4-foot par putt on the final hole capped an epic comeback from 17 shots down the last day and gave the Golden Eagles their third title, Marquette finished three shots behind Georgetown this time. In fact, in becoming the fourth Golden Eagles golfer to win a conference title, Eichhorn was the first not to enjoy a team championship with it.
It made for an awkward celebration for Eichhorn, but — as one of two Big East champions still on the roster — profound motivation for the 2018-19 season.
"I was excited, but still was disappointed that we weren’t able capture the team title also; it’s a tough balance," Eichhorn said after shooting 69-73-72 and, with a 54-hole total of 214, holding off teammate Matt Murlick (70-78-68) by two shots for the individual title. "I was proud of the fight we put up though; everybody battled, but it just wasn’t meant to be."
Marquette coach Steve Bailey added: ""This loss will certainly sting, but this team is resilient and we will bounce back."
Hunter Eichhorn wanted so badly to celebrate Tuesday, but the Marquette freshman understood that the right thing to do was commiserate.
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