EAST LANSING, Mich. – Leading the 13-team field after Saturday’s 36 holes at The Fossum Invitational, the 29th-ranked Michigan State men’s golf team extended their lead to take a 14 shot victory with a 54-hole total of 23-under-par 841 (279-284-278). Taking home individual medalist honors in a three-way tie was Matt Harmon and Jack Newman of Michigan State and Jason Kokrak of Xavier.
“It's a nice week to maximize our play and practice since we don't have to travel,” Michigan State head coach Mark Hankins said. “The Fossum/Spartan Invitational carries a lot of significance in the history of our Michigan State golf team and we were very pleased to be able to go out and win the team championship this year.”
The Spartans shot a final round 278 (-10), to increase their lead over second-place finisher Charlotte who posted a three round total of 9-under-par 855. Following Charlotte, Xavier came in third with a 6-under-par 858 and Wisconsin rounded out the top four teams with a 4-under-par 860 total.
This is the third consecutive tournament where a Spartan has captured individual medalist honors. Two weeks ago, Ryan Brehm won the Boilermaker Invitational and last weekend Matt Harmon topped the Kepler Intercollegiate at Ohio State. Both players earned Big Ten Men’s Golfer of the Week accolades for their efforts.
The Fossum Invitational team win is the first in 15 years for the Spartans with individual medalist honors reaching back to Spartan Brent Kish in 1990. The Green and White also broke the previous tournament scoring record with their (841) which was previously set by Northwestern (851) in 2001. Michigan State’s total also broke their all-time best 54 hole team score obliterating the previous 847 total set at the 2005 Big Ten Championships.
The win by Newman was his first collegiate title after being tied for sixth following day one. The freshman put together rounds of 67-72-67 for a 10-under 206 total, his lowest of the year.
“Jack (Newman) has been playing well all spring and just needed to avoid a few mistakes,” Hankins said. “He got off to a good start and never let anything rattle his focus. His hard work in preparation really paid off this week.”
Harmon earned his second consecutive tournament title and the third of his collegiate career, also with a 10-under-par 206 total. The 54-hole score was the lowest in his Spartan career and the current Big Ten Golfer of the Week is the only Spartan men’s golfer to win more than two tournaments since 1978.
“Matt (Harmon) really wanted to go out and win on his home course,” Hankins said. “He played within himself, stayed patient and took advantage of a couple of great birdie runs during the three rounds.”
Brehm moved up two spots in the final round to tie for 11th place. The junior fired rounds of 69, 73, and 71 to end the tournament with a 3-under-par 213.
Grant Tungate finished 1-over after a third round of 73. The sophomore combined three birdies and 11 pars on Sunday for a 217 and a tie for 21st place.
Steve Cuzzort ended the tournament with a 3-over-par 219. He carded a 73 in today’s final round with 72 and 74 from day one to tie for 28th place.
Playing as individuals, Nathan Gunthorpe and Jordan Ensrud were 4-over-par 220 after the three rounds, Mitch Pierce posted a 5-over 221 and Brandon Cigna was 8-over-par 224.
State travels to the Ohio State Golf Club, Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, for the Big Ten Championships on April 27-29.