April 29, 2012
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - The Michigan State men's golf team exceed expectations this weekend at the 2012 Big Ten Championships, finishing fourth after shooting 40-over par 1192 (292-303-296-301) at the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort. Junior Dan Ellis earned all-championship honors after tying for fifth at 5-over par 293 (74-73-71-75).
"It was a good week for the program, as we made strides on and off the course," said first-year Spartan head coach Casey Lubahn. "This weekend was a great lesson that will be part of the program for years to come. It was tremendous to have four guys in the top-20, led by Dan continuing a great season by making the all-championship team."
Entering the championship, the Spartans were ranked seventh among Big Ten schools, with the top-6 ranking among the top-70 programs in the nation according to Golfstat. It was MSU's best finish since winning the title in 2008. The last three seasons, the Spartans finished 11th (2009), seventh (2010) and 10th (2011).
No. 38 Illinois held off No. 31 Indiana in the final round to win their fourth-straight Big Ten Championship. The Illini shot 23-over par 1175, while the Hoosiers were three shots back. Northwestern was third at 34-over par 1186.
Ellis is the second-straight Spartan to finish in the top-5 and earn all-championship honors, as Chris Mory matched his accomplishments last season. It was Ellis' fourth top-5 finish this season.
Ellis tied for third in the field this weekend with a team-best 15 birdies, while also ranking fourth in par-3 scoring at 1-over par.
Freshman McCormick Clouser had the best round of the day for Michigan State, carding an even par 72 to move up into a tie for 18th for the championship at 12-over par 300 (76-78-74-72). Clouser was second on the team and fifth among Big Ten golfers with 14 birdies. His impressive Big Ten debut was his fourth top-20 placement this season.
Junior Matthew Moseley also tied for 18th at 12-over par 300 (70-77-76-77). It was Moseley's sixth top-20 finish in the 11 events this season, tying for the second most on the team.
Junior Dave Ellis made it four Spartans in the top-20, placing 20th a shot behind Clouser and Moseley at 13-over par 31 (72-77-75-77). Ellis had a team high 48 pars, which ranked fourth in the field. He was especially effective on the par-5s this weekend, playing them at 4-under par, which was third among all golfers. Ellis' finish was his second-best showing this season, and just his fourth top-20 in his career.
The top four Spartan finishers all posted career-best showings at the Big Tens.
Senior Chris Mory tied for 49th with a 27-over par 315 (82-76-78-79).
"I don't know what our NCAA fate will be, but it is bittersweet to graduate a great player and person in Chris Mory," added Lubahn. "Chris is a perfect representative of Michigan State, and it was an honor for us to coach him."
The NCAA Regional selection show is scheduled for Monday, May 7.