The Rutgers men’s golf team put together the program’s best ever finish at the Big Ten Championships this past weekend at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Flourtown, Pennsylvania. They posted the second best team score in the final round, as Rutgers climbed all the way up to sixth place and finished just two strokes out from fourth place. The Scarlet Knights had never finished better than eleventh place before this weekend’s performance.
Sophomore Chris Gotterup led the way, finishing tied for fourth place in the individual leaderboard with a total score of 214 (69-74-71). He finished two strokes behind the winning total of 212 and even led the tournament for a time during the final round. He earned a spot on the All-Big Ten Championship team with his performance, which was another first for the program. Gotterup now has three consecutive top five finishes in his last three events and should enter NCAA Regional competition playing his best golf of the season. On Tuesday afternoon, Gotterup was named Second Team All-Big Ten for the season.
Dance tied for ninth place with a overall score of 219 (75-78-66) after posting the best round of his collegiate career in the final round with a four-under-par 66. He tied for the lowest score of the final round on Sunday and finished with a tournament best nine birdies at the Big Ten Championships.
Aside from Illinois, who won their fifth straight Big Ten title, and Purdue, who finished first second, Rutgers was the only other school to have two individual finishers in the top ten of the Big Ten Championships.
Head coach Rob Shutte praised his team after the performance, saying “Today capped a huge week for the program. Every year we just keep getting better and keep closing that gap between us and some of the best teams in the conference. With our core of young guys playing well along with the talent we have coming in, the building blocks for this program to succeed at the highest level are evident.”
Sophomore Oliver Whatley finished the tournament strong with a one-under-par 69 on Sunday, giving him a total score of 227 (79-79-69), which resulted in tying for 42nd place. It was a big part of the comeback from Rutgers in the final round and here is Whatley and coach Shutte discussing his effort after it was over.
Rounding out the team scorecard for Rutgers was junior Tony Jiang, who finished 52nd with a overall score of 231 (71-86-74), and sophomore Bobby Weise, who finished 65th with a score of 239 (76-85-78).