While most Michiganders are only dreaming about getting on the golf course, the Spartan golf team is already starting stroke play tournaments this weekend in Bluffton, South Carolina. Clearly, we all should have practiced more golf as a kid. This Sunday and Monday the Boy’s golf team will be playing the Colleton River Collegiate Tournament.
Michigan State is coming off of a successful outing at the Big Ten Match Play Championships in Bradenton, Florida. The tournament was held at the Concession Golf Club (par-72, 7,177-yards). The first morning of matches the Spartans faced their rival, Michigan. Michigan came out on top winning the top 3 matches. However, the Spartans won the fourth and fifth spot matches, making Michigan victorious by a score of 3-2. Winning for Michigan State was senior Gareth Blease 4 & 3, and freshman Gareth Lappin 5 & 4. The Spartans found themselves in the consolation bracket by the first day of afternoon matches. They faced Penn State and won 4-1. The Spartans were able to win in the first, third, fourth, and fifth player matches. Sophomore Mitch Rutledge led the way in the one spot, winning 5 & 4. Freshman Charlie Netzel was able to win in the third match with a score of 5 & 4 as well. Gareth Blease was victorious again in the four spot with a score of 4 & 3, and Gareth Lappin won his second straight match with a score of 4 & 2.
Michigan State finished the tournament defeating Wisconsin Saturday morning. Michigan State didn’t lose a single match against Wisconsin. They won the first, third, and fifth match and halved the second and fourth match. Mitch Rutledge dominated his match in the first match, winning his first four holes and eight of the 13 he played to win 6 & 5. Gareth Lappin won a 1 up nail biter in the three spot. Junior Jon Finley was making his Big Ten Match Play debut in the fifth match, and he came in with quite the bang. Finley won five of his last seven holes to clinch the win with a final score of 5 & 3. Charlie Netzel and Gareth Blease both halved their matches, which felt like victory because they both won the 18th to split the point.
Spartan coach Casey Lubahn was pleased with the results and thinks it’s a sign of good things to come for the Spartans this season. After the tournament he said, “We had a couple posititve spring debuts from Gareth and Gareth. Mitch, Charlie and Jon were also great today. It bodes well for the rest of our spring, as we enter stroke play…” Rutledge finished the tournament 2-1, playing the one all weekend for the Spartans. Lappin was strong all weekend; he went undefeated at 3-0. Blease also was undefeated with a record of 2-0-1. Finley won the only match he played, and Netzel was 1-1-1. Castellani had a disappointing 0-2 weekend for the Spartans.