May 3, 2014
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Battling high winds and a tough golf course, the Michigan State men's golf team shot the second-best round of the day to move up into seventh place at the 2014 Big Ten Championship. The Spartans fired a 15-over par 303 on Saturday at the French Lick Resort's Pete Dye Course, to bring their 54-hole total to 49-over par 913 (303-307-303).
Sophomore Mitch Rutledge is alone in fifth place, shooting a 3-over par 75, for a total of 7-over par 223 (76-72-75).
"It was a good day today, but could have been a great day, but we struggled over the last five holes, playing 10-over," said Spartan head coach Casey Lubahn. "I felt like we fought hard and stayed positive throughout the day, accepting what little the golf course gave us.
"Mitch and Gareth Lappin were great. It will take something like that tomorrow to keep moving up. It will be important to stay consistent and button it up. I hope it is a better weather day and we can go get it."
Rutledge is tied for third in the field with 36 pars, and is second in par-3 scoring at 1-over par. He also leads the team in par-4 scoring at 6-over par.
Freshman Gareth Lappin had the low round of the day for the Spartans, carding a 2-over par 74, which was also the fourth-lowest round overall in the field today. He moved up 23 spots into a tie for 20th at 13-over par 229 (76-79-74). Lappin has played the par-5s at 2-under over the first 54 holes.
Senior Carson Castellani also had a significant jump up the leaderboard, currently tied for 29th. He shot a 4-over par 76 today and is now 15-over par 231 (73-82-76). Like Lappin, Castellani is 2-under par on the par-5s.
Freshman Charlie Netzel has been consistent all tournament with three rounds of 78, putting him in a tie for 46th at 18-over par 234. Netzel is second on the team and eighth in the field with 34 pars. Rounding out the Spartans, senior Gareth Blease is tied for 51st at 21-over par 237 (80-78-79). Blease has a team-high seven birdies.
Minnesota had the low round of the day at 13-over par 301 to move into first place by seven shots over No. 9 Illinois and No. 43 Purdue. The Gophers' 54 total is 32-over par 896. Minnesota's Jose Mendez remains atop the individual leaderboard at even par 216, pacing the field by three shots.
The final round begins tomorrow at 8 a.m. ET, with the Spartans' first tee time at 9:20 a.m. off the 10th hole.