Josh Heinze Finishes Tied for First at Robert Kepler IntercollegiateCOLUMBUS, Ohio
- For the second-straight week, the No. 49 Michigan State men’s golf team finished in the top five of their competition, ending the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate tied for second. The Spartans and UAB ended the tournament tied for second, which is where the two teams ended action after the first day of play on Saturday.
Due to inclement weather, the 16-team tournament was shortened from 54 holes to 36 in a decision made by tournament officials earlier in the week. Sunday’s early morning weather pushed tee times back to around noon after initially slated to start at 10:30 a.m.
The Spartans and the No. 37 Blazers both ended with a two-round score of 23-over 591 (293-298). No. 31 UNLV captured the title, leading wire-to-wire with an 18-over 586 (289-297). MSU was the top finishing among the six Big Ten teams that took part in the tournament.
Michigan State has finished in the top five its last six tournaments.
Junior Josh Heinze, Maryland’s Tom Harris and UNLV’s Shintaro Ban finished the second round tied for first with a 2-over 144, leading to a three-player playoff. Heinze shot matching rounds of 72 in the first and second round. The junior moved from tied for fourth after the first round to tied for first after the second. Ban earned individual medalist honors after a four-hole playoff.
“We are just really happy for Josh, coming off of probably his worst performance as a Spartan last week. I think he figured out some things and put his mind in a better spot and got out of there tying for first,” MSU head coach Casey Lubhan said. “Unfortunately, falling in a playoff, but it was a great week for him, we are really proud of him.”
Heinze joins senior Mitch Rutledge and junior Sam Weatherhead as tournament winners this season. Rutledge captured medalist honors at the Inverness Intercollegiate (Sept. 22), while Weatherhead won the Fossum Memorial (Oct. 6).
Junior Gareth Lappin had a solid second round, ending the tournament tied for 18th with a 7-over 149 (74-75). Rutledge moved up 12 spots to tie for 28th with a score of 8-over 150 (76-74) Junior Charlie Netzel also finished tied for 28th with an 8-over 150 (73-77).
Weatherhead completed the Spartan quintet, finishing the second round tied for 51st with a 12-over 154 (74-80).
“We really did a good job as a team. We got some great advice from an alum, who played at a high level. He talked about staying in our little bubble in our little world. In the bad conditions, we did that extraordinarily well. I thought that we were solid. We were really good for 36 holes in some of the tougher conditions that I have seen in my career,” Lubahn said.
Michigan State concludes regular season action at the Boilermaker Invitational April 16-17. The two-day tournament will be played on the Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Indiana.