VERONA, Wis. -- For the first time in 31 years, the No. 21 Michigan State men's golf will be bringing the Big Ten title back to East Lansing. The Spartans used a consistent third round from all five golfers to finish the 2005 Big Ten Championships with a 17-under 847 (282-276-289), including a final round 289 on Sunday, May 8 to claim top honors. Today's victory marked just the second-ever Big Ten men's golf title in school history as the 1969 squad won the first-ever championship.
'It was a good day and we ended up coming out on top,' said MSU head coach Mark Hankins. 'I didn't let myself imagine this and I believe my players did the same. We controlled our emotions and played very focused today. We had five very good scores and played consistent.
'The biggest thing today was coming out to play. This is our third tournament win of the season, but it is probably the biggest one yet.'
State finished with a five-stroke advantage over second-place Indiana (852) and a six-stroke lead over third-place Northwestern (853). Minnesota (854) and Purdue (861) rounded out the top-five squads. This year's championship was played at the par-72, 6,888-yard University Ridge Golf Course in Verona, Wis. Sunday's weather was marked by temperatures in the mid-70's with wind gusts around 20 mph.
MSU was paced by freshman Ryan Brehm (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.) and sophomore Matt Harmon (Grand Rapids, Mich.), who finished second and tied for third, respectively. For his efforts, Brehm was selected as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year en route to becoming the first player in school history to win the prestigious award. In addition, both Brehm and Harmon were named to the All-Championship team.
All told, Brehm finished the tournament with a career-best 203 (68-65-70), including a third-round 70. His final round included four birdies (holes two, three, 16 and 18) and a pair of bogeys. His second-round 65 on Saturday tied the University Ridge Golf Course record and also tied the MSU 18-hole record, a mark he shares with J.J. Beckstrom (2002 Northern Invitational) and Heath Fell (1994 Big Ten Championship).
Sophomore Matt Harmon tied for third at the 2005 Big Ten Championship en route to All-Big Ten First-Team honors.
Meanwhile, Harmon finished with a three-round total of 209 (68-67-74) and tied for third with Northwestern's Kyle Moore. For Harmon, it marked his team-best fifth top-five showing of the season and set a new career-best for 54-hole tournament.
Indiana's Jeff Overton took medalist honors after finishing with a 199 (65-65-69) en route to Big Ten Player of the Year honors.