May 4, 2014
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - The season came to an end for the Michigan State men's golf team on Sunday, as the Spartans finished seventh at the 2014 Big Ten Championship. MSU shot an 11-over par 299 today at the French Lick Resort's Pete Dye Course, to finished the weekend at 60-over par 1212 (303-307-303-299).
Sophomore Mitch Rutledge was the top Spartan, tying for seventh with a score of 11-over par 299 (76-72-75-76). Freshman Gareth Lappin shot a season-low 1-under par 71 today to continue his climb up the leaderboard, finishing in a tie for 12th at 12-over par 300 (76-79-74-71).
It was the first time since 2008 that two Spartans placed in the top-15 at the Big Ten Championship.
"Today's result will leave a bad tease in our mouth over the next couple months," said Spartan head coach Casey Lubahn. "We played good golf for the first 10-12 holes, and put us in a position to shoot up the leaderboard, but we just lost it down the stretch. Unfortunately we need to live with it, as I thought we were well prepared, but we just didn't finish it off.
"I like our team that will be coming back next season, with a huge, huge summer ahead of us to take that next step. It is also bittersweet to say goodbye to Carson Castellani and Gareth Blease; guys that mean so much to this program and myself. We will miss them dearly."
Rutledge led the Spartans with 45 pars, which was ninth in the field, and also paced the team in par-3 (4-over) and par-4 (6-over) scoring. It was his team-best third top-10 finish of the season. He showed improvements from last year's Big Ten debut where he placed 42nd, improving his score by nine shots.
Lappin had the best finish by a Spartan freshman since Jack Newman, also tied for 12th in 2007. Lappin led MSU with 11 birdies for the tournament, and also was tops on the team in par-5 scoring at 2-under par. It was his second top-15 placement in four events this season.
In his final collegiate event, senior Carson Castellani tied for 31st at 18-over par 306 (73-82-76-75). He had nine birdies for the tournament. Freshman Charlie Netzel finished his first Big Ten Championship in a tie for 49th with a score of 25-over par 313 (78-78-78-79). Also finishing his Spartan career, senior Gareth Blease placed 51st at 26-over par 314 (80-78-79-77).
Minnesota held on to win the Big Ten title, holding off six-time defending champion No. 9 Illinois by four shots. The Gophers posted a score of 34-over par 1186. Minnesota's Jose Mendez and Illinois' Charlie Danielson tied for medalist honors at 1-over par 289.