PALM COAST, Fla. - Michigan State men's golf completed action at the ninth-annual Big Ten Match Play Championship Saturday at Hammock Beach Resort - Conservatory Course (Par-72, 7,183-yards). In consolation play, the short-handed and top-seeded Spartans fell to fourth-seeded Purdue and second-seeded Michigan by matching 4-2 scores.
Final Match Play Bracket
MSU played the opening event of the spring without senior Sam Weatherhead and sophomore Dylan Deogun, who were both out with injuries.
"Charlie Netzel was really good again this year. He is undefeated over the last two years. Andrew Walker was really good today, and I thought that Michael Sharp and Kaleb Johnson both played well. They just ran into guys who were playing a little bit better," MSU head coach Casey Lubahn said. "All in all we were fine. We really struggled with some new guys in the lineup, but they played hard. They just couldn't get over the hump. It is a work in progress."
In the first match of the consolation round, the Spartans fell to Purdue 4-2. Senior Charlie Netzel picked up one of the MSU wins against Purdue (4&3) against Fernando Barco. Freshman Andrew Walker earned the Spartans' second win of the match (4&3) against Thomas Lewis.
In Michigan State's final match of the weekend, the Spartans took on in-state rival and second-seeded Michigan. MSU jumped out to an early lead before the Wolverines battled back to make the match all square. Late in the match, Michigan gained control for the 4-2 win. Once again, Netzel earned a win for the Spartans defeating UM's Reed Hrynewich. Walker also won his second match of the day with a thrilling 6&5 win over Ian Kim.
Netzel ended the championship going 2-0-1, while Walker was 2-1-0. Netzel ended the Match Play Championship with 35 pars to lead the Spartans. The senior is undefeated over the last two seasons in the Big Ten Match Play Championship.
Northwestern won the Big Ten Match Play Championship, defeating Penn State, 3.5-2.5, in Saturday’s championship match. The two-day event featured 11 Big Ten teams in a single-elimination format.
"This event gets you used to the pressure of competing. I thought a lot of the guys handled that well even the ones who weren't successful this week, that was a big step. We are a good stroke play team. I think we are pretty steady, so I don't think it will effect us long term," Lubahn said.
After this weekend, the Spartans will continue spring action on February 25 at the Challenge at Champions in Houston, Texas. The tournament in Houston is MSU's final tournament in the month of February.