Golf wins first Big East since 89’
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It’s been a long time coming, but the St. John’s men’s golf team came away with their 10th Big East Conference title on Tuesday, the program’s first since 1989. The Red Storm’s impressive play at Callawassie Island gave head coach Frank Darby his first Big East title in his 20 years at the helm of Red Storm golf. St. John’s dominated all three days of competition beating second place Marquette by ten strokes with a team score of 882 (+18).
“It was a great battle out there with Marquette,” head coach Frank Darby said. “I am proud of my guys. Sometimes it’s difficult being the front runner and playing with the lead. We love this course and Callawassie has been a great host.”
The Red Storm was led by senior Ryan McCormick who entered Tuesday with the lead after posting back-to-back 71’s to put him at two-under for the tournament. On Tuesday, McCormick was on cruise control, finishing his final round with a 69. The senior captain ended the tournament with a 211 (-5) and gave the Red Storm their first Big East Individual Championship since Andrew Svoboda did it in 2001.
“It’s the best feeling I have had as a collegiate golfer,” McCormick said. “I am so happy for Coach Darby, he deserves a Big East Championship by now.”
McCormick didn’t do it alone. Junior Ben Ludlam picked up his first Top 10 finish of the season, carding a 224 (+8) which was good for ninth place. Junior Dylan Crowley finished tied for 11th with a 226 (+10) and freshman Sean Byrne produced his best finish of his young collegiate career finishing 18th overall with a 230 (+14). Lastly Junior Obe Ayton ended the event tied for 26th with a 234 (+18).
The Red Storm broke a bit of a sweat when second place Marquette began to make a late run in the third round, closing the gap to two strokes heading to the back nine. Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, St. John’s has persevered all season long and Tuesday was no different. Despite Marquette’s best efforts, the Red Storm held the lead for all three days of the event.
As a true captain would, McCormick dedicated the victory to Red Storm golfers everywhere.
“For all of the players on his teams (Darby) that didn’t win a title, this one is for them too,” McCormick said.
Not only did St. John’s win their first Big East title in 25 years, the team earned an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Regional which will be announced on May 5, on the Golf Channel at 10 a.m.