Big Ten Match Play Bracket
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men's golf is back in action to open its spring season after a solid fall, kicking off with the Big Ten Match Play Championship on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11. The Spartans look to defend their first-ever Big Ten Match Play title. The Spartans are the No. 1 seed and earned a first-round bye. MSU will take on either Iowa or Indiana in the quarterfinal.
Last season, the Spartans earned a pair of dominating 5-1 wins to capture the title, stopping Penn State in the third round and Northwestern in the championship. Northwestern finished second, followed by third-place Purdue. Indiana took fourth place, followed by fifth-place Penn State. Minnesota finished in sixth place, seventh-place Michigan, Iowa in eighth place, ninth-place Nebraska and Rutgers rounded out the event in 10th place.
"This championship is incredibly important to us from an emotional and competitive standpoint, but really a glorified exhibition when we talk about national rankings and such. This gives Big Ten teams a chance to get our competitive legs under us and compete against some teams that are going to be big rivals come late April. There is not as much pressure due to match play format, if you hit a ball out of play you move on to the next hole. There is not a lot of pressure because it does not have huge implications on the rankings," MSU head coach Casey Lubahn said.
// BIG TEN MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Date: February 10-11
Course: Hammock Beach Resort - Conservatory Course
Location: Palm Coast, Fla.
Format: Match Play
Schedule of Play: Rounds 1-2 on Feb. 10; Round 3 & Championship on Feb. 11
Friday, Feb. 10 -- Round 1 begins at 8 a.m. Round 2 at 1:15 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11 -- Round 3 begins at 8 a.m., Championship Round begins at 1:15 p.m.
2016 - Michigan State
// THE COURSE
The Hammock Beach Resort Conservatory Course was designed by Tom Watson and is the longest and most-challenging course in the state of Florida. This breathtaking course is highlighted by waterfalls, babbling brooks and veneered field stone work. With a nod to his affinity for British links-style golf, Watson also added three sod-faced bunkers to the 140 sand and coquina bunkers. The Conservatory Course was ranked third on Golf Digest's elite list of America's Best New Public Courses in 2008. The Conservatory Course includes nearly 76 acres of man-made lakes and three waterfall features.
// CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
GOLFSTAT RANKINGS (AS OF FEBRUARY 7, 2016)
1. Michigan State University (30)
2. University of Michigan (36)
3. Northwestern University (39)
4. Purdue University (40)
5. Penn State University (57)
6. Ohio State University (65)
7. University of Minnesota (71)
8. University of Iowa (76)
9. Indiana University (93)
10. University of Nebraska (128)
11. Rutgers University (191)
// LIVE RESULTS
// LAST TIME OUT
For the second-straight season, the Michigan State men's golf team captured its second-straight Quail Valley Intercollegiate title in Vero Beach, Florida to wrap up fall action on Oct. 25. Against a very deep 15-team field, the Spartans finished with a 14-under 835 (277-284-274). MSU's third-round 274 is tied for second for the second-lowest 18-hole team score in school history.
No. 43 Michigan State was one of five teams in the tournament currently ranked in the Golfstat Top 50 rankings. MSU defeated No. 22 Liberty, No. 30 Kansas, No. 37 North Florida and No. 38 Arkansas. North Florida finished two strokes behind MSU with a 27-under 837 (280-284-273). Arkansas finished third, scoring a 19-under 845 (278-285-282).
// EXPECTED WEATHER CONDITIONS
Weather.com Forecast (as of February 9)
Friday - 66 degrees; Mostly Sunny; Winds NE at 10 mph; 0 percent chance of rain
Saturday - 78 degrees; Sunny; Winds S 5 mph; 10 percent chance of rain
// MICHIGAN STATE'S ROSTER
Charlie Netzel, Sr., Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township
Michael Sharp, Jr., Kendallville, Ind./East Noble
Kaleb Johnson, Fr., Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast
Andrew Walker, Fr., Belfast, Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Lakeview
Austin Jenner, Fr., West Branch, Mich./Skeels Christian
Charlie Green, R-Jr., Ann Arbor, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central
Glenn Piot, So., Canton, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central
Michigan State Statistics Link
// LUBAHN'S THOUGHTS
"I think overall as seeds go, 1-5 have had real good years. Along with us, Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue and Penn State are all having good years thus far. I think it is kind of wide open from that regard, it's match play, it's 18 holes. Ohio State has a good squad, Indiana and a lot of teams are going to compete, and we see that year after year," Lubahn added.
// UP NEXT
The Spartans will continue spring action on February 25 at the Challenge at Champions in Houston, Texas. The tournament in Houston is MSU's final tournament in the month of February.