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Michigan State Hosts 1998 Big Ten Men's Golf Championship

May 6, 1998


Michigan State hosts the Big Ten Mens Golf Championship for the fifth time in the events 79 years May 8-10 at Forest Akers West Course.

The 7,003-yard, par-72 course last welcomed the event in 1986. The 11 Big Ten teams converge on East Lansing for four rounds of action, beginning with two rounds Friday. Competition continues with 18 holes each on Saturday and Sunday.

Ohio State enters the 1998 Big Ten Mens Golf Championship in search of its fourth consecutive title, a streak which would rival the Buckeyes run of six straight championships in the 1980s. Ten schools are close on Ohio States heels, however, and will look to unseat the reigning champions.

Michigan State, which won its only Big Ten championship on home turf in 1969, expects to improve upon last seasons 11th-place finish. The Spartans are led by senior John Ehrgotts 74.3 stroke average, but their biggest strength heading into the weekend is their depth. Four different players have led Michigan State at each of its last four tournaments, and five players in that time have produced rounds of 72 or better.

"You only have the opportunity to host Big Tens once every 11 years," head coach Ken Horvath said. "Its really a blessing. That should be a big positive for us. No one should know the course as well as we will."

Last year in Columbus, Ohio, Ohio State held off a Saturday and Sunday surge by Northwestern after sharing the two-round lead with Michigan. Northwesterns Saturday and Sunday rounds of 293 and 290, respectively, pulled the Wildcats within two strokes of the title.

Ohio State once again looks to have the inside track in the run for the title, despite the loss of Chris Wollman, the 1997 Les Bolstad Award winner for the low season stroke average. Four Buckeyes ranked in the conferences top 11 in stroke average heading into the seasons stretch run, led by senior Ryan Armour. Armour, who finished in a tie for 18th at the championship last year, boasted a 72.4 stroke average through 21 rounds this season.

Despite Ohio States strength, several teams have strong shots at an upset based upon the mid-April conference leaders in stroke average. They include: Minnesota, which boasts three golfers in the top 10 in stroke average; Michigan, which lost last years medalist but returns the conferences No. 2 golfer this year in Michael Harris; and Indiana, which is led by last seasons Big Ten Player of the Year Randy Leen.


                       1st   2nd   3rd   4th   Total
   1. Ohio State       296   294   296   299   1185
   2. Northwestern     303   301   293   290   1187
   3. Michigan         300   290   302   301   1193
   4. Indiana          301   306   308   297   1212
   5. Minnesota        302   307   302   302   1213
   6. Iowa             315   310   296   293   1214
   7. Wisconsin        314   314   303   299   1230
   8. Purdue           307   305   303   316   1231
   9. Illinois         308   320   306   306   1240
   10. Penn State      312   315   307   308   1242
   11. Michigan State  306   313   307   317   1243




Friday, May 8 (36 holes)
8 a.m.       First round
12:30 p.m.   Second round

Saturday, May 9 (18 holes) 9 a.m. Third round

Sunday, May 10 (18 holes) 8 a.m. Final round Following Awards Ceremony competition

Quick facts
Host Michigan State Univ.
Dates May 8-9-10
Course Forest Akers West
Location East Lansing, Mich.
Par 36-36--72
Yardage 7,003
Defending Ohio State champion



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