May 2, 2014
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - The first day of the 2014 Big Ten Men's Golf Championship wrapped up on Friday with Michigan State in ninth place at 34-over par 610 (303-307) through two rounds. Sophomore Mitch Rutledge is pacing the Spartans, sitting in a tie for eighth at 4-over par 148 (76-72). For the third-straight year, the event is being held at the French Lick Resort's Pete Dye Course.
"We got off to good starts in both rounds, but we let some simple things get in our way," said Spartan head coach Casey Lubahn. "On a very demanding golf course, you can't afford to do that. The guys are swinging the club well for the most part. We just need to eliminate three-putts, two-chips and penalty shots. I felt like we were pretty close all day, just didn't get over the hump.
"A really good afternoon round for Mitch; he put himself in contention. We expect to see more of it this weekend as he is rounding into form."
Rutledge's second round even par 72, which tied for the fourth lowest score of the second round and the sixth-best round of the entire day, moved him up 22 spots after the first round. He led MSU in par-3 scoring at 1-over and par-4 scoring at 3-over, while also second on the team with five birdies.
Senior Carson Castellani and freshman Gareth Lappin are tied for 43rd with scores of 11-over par 155. Castellani (73-82) led the Spartans in par-5 scoring at 2-under par and also was second with five birdies. Freshman Charlie Netzel is 49th at 12-over par 156 (78-78), including a team-high 24 pars. Senior Gareth Blease led the team with six birdies but is 53rd at 14-over par 158 (80-78).
No. 43 Purdue holds the first-day lead by one shot over No. 9 Illinois and Minnesota, after posting an 18-over par 594. Minnesota's Jose Mendez is the only individual under par, shooting a 1-under par 143.
The third round tees off tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET., with the first Spartan beginning at 9:40 a.m. ET.