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Men's Golf Starts Spring Slate at the Big Ten Match Play Championship

Feb. 8, 2018

The Michigan State men's golf team resumes its 2017-18 schedule with the Big Ten Match Play Championship this Friday and Saturday at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida. All 14 Big Ten teams have been drawn into a single-elimination bracket, with the seeds determined using the Nov. 21, 2017, final fall GolfStat rankings. Each team match will consist of six individual matches.

Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast, Florida Schedule of Play: Rounds 1-2 on Friday, Feb. 9 (8 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.); Round 3 and Championship on Saturday, Feb. 10 (8 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.)

The Big Ten Match Play will begin with three matches versus other institutions primarily within the team's own division (East and West). Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin, will represent the West, while Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers will make up the East. At the conclusion of the three matches, teams will be ranked 1 through 7, within their division. Teams will then play a final match against the team that has the same ranking in the opposite division. Teams are limited to eight players on their tournament roster, with six individual players competing in each match to determine the result.

B1G Match Play Bracket Get Acrobat Reader

The Spartans are the No. 2 seed in the East and will take on No. 7 seed Rutgers in round one and No. 6 seed Indiana in round two, both on Friday at the Conservatory Course. On Saturday, MSU will meet the East's top-seeded team, Penn State, on the Ocean Course at 8 a.m. The final matches will then take place at 1:30 p.m.

Championship Match: Team 1 East vs. Team 1 West (Ocean Course)
3rd and 4th place match: Team 2 East vs. Team 2 West (Ocean Course)
5th and 6th place match: Team 3 East vs. Team 3 West (Ocean Course)
7th and 8th place match: Team 4 East vs. Team 4 West (Conservatory Course)
9th and 10th place match: Team 5 East vs. Team 5 West (Conservatory Course)
11th and 12th place match: Team 6 East vs. Team 6 West (Conservatory Course)
13th and 14th place match: Team 7 East vs. Team 7 West (Conservatory Course)

The Big Ten Match Play Championship will take place at two award-winning courses - the Ocean and Conservatory Courses at Hammock Beach Resort . The par-72 Ocean Course received a ranking as one of Florida's Top 5 courses, while the Tom Watson Signature designed par-72 Conservatory Course is Florida's longest course.

THE FIELD (Golfstat ranking)
1. University of Illinois (12)
2. Penn State University (39)
3. Northwestern University (44)
4. Michigan State University (48)
5. Purdue University (52)
6. University of Minnesota (59)
7. University of Iowa (63)
8. University of Michigan (69)
9. University of Maryland (77)
10. Ohio State University (84)
11. University of Wisconsin (92)
12. Indiana University (103)
13. Rutgers University (130)
14. University of Nebraska (161)


Michigan State won the Big Ten Match Play championship in 2016.

The Spartans finished in the top five in three of their six fall tournaments. MSU finished second at both the Inverness Intercollegiate (Sept. 18) and the fall-ending Quail Valley Intercollegiate (Oct. 23-24). The Spartans ended the fall with a 288 team average over their 17 rounds.

Sophomore Kaleb Johnson led the Spartans with a 71.12 scoring average in the fall and was MSU's top placer in four of six tournaments, including tying for first at the Inverness Intercollegiate. Senior Michael Sharp ranked second in the fall with a 72.29 average, while freshman James Piot was third at 72.94. Johnson, Sharp and Piot were the three Spartans that played in all 17 rounds in the fall.

No. 1 - Kaleb Johnson (So., Naples, Fla.)
No. 2 - Michael Sharp (Sr., Kendallville, Ind.)
No. 3 - Andrew Walker (So., Battle Creek)
No. 4 - James Piot (Fr., Canton)
No. 5 - Charlie Green (Sr., Ann Arbor)
No. 6 - Austin Jenner (So., West Branch)

"We're ready to get going again. It's such a long break, but we ended on a good vibe and I think we're carrying some of that confidence. This is one of our favorite events of the year; the guys love it. Match play is whole different animal. I'm excited all the teams in the league are participating and it's going to be a full event.

"It will be up to our players that have taken part in this event before to let the younger guys know what this tournament is all about. Match play is personal and emotional so we'll have to manage that."

Friday -- Cloudy, high of 70, low 58, 20% chance of rain
Saturday -- Chance of isolated storms, high of 75, low 63, 30% chance of rain



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