BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Mark Goetz is no stranger to success at Pete Dye Golf Club.
West Virginia’s fifth-year senior shot 12-under par to win last season’s Mountaineer Invitational going away.
On Tuesday, Goetz awoke trailing Penn State’s Patrick Sheehan by one shot through two rounds in the 2021-2022 season edition of the event at PDGC.
After making birdies on holes 3-8 in the third and final round, Goetz went on to win by four shots at 14-under. His final round 63, which also included birdies on 11, 12, 14 and 15, was three strokes better than the second-best round among the 12-team field of 71 golfers.
“When he’s putting it well, he’s going to be hard to beat,” WVU golf coach Sean Covich said. “He’s such a consistent ball striker and he can control his trajectory and how far it goes. When he was a freshman, he tried to hit everything as high and hard as he could. Now he can control the flight and how far it goes, and when you’re doing that, it’s a different level. A lot of other people are guessing how far their 7 iron is going to go and he has it down to about a 3-yard window.”
In April, Goetz shot a final round 65 to pull away in what was then a 13-team field at the Mountaineer Invitational.
“I thought last year’s final round was pretty impressive until I saw the one today,” Covich said. “He shot a 63 maybe two weeks ago when we were just out there playing, but when they play, it’s pretty serious. I think the course record is 62. When that happened a few weeks ago, he was like, ‘Man, I almost got the course record.’ I told him I’d rather him do it in our home match.
“He bogeyed 17 and missed a short birdie putt on 18, otherwise it could have been a 62 or even better.”
While West Virginia tied Marshall for the best round 3 score with a 275, it narrowly missed out on a fourth consecutive Mountaineer Invitational title. The Mountaineers finished 8-under, second to North Carolina State’s 9-under.
Olivier Menard shot even par for the tournament with a final round 70 to finish with the second best score on the Mountaineers.
Penn State, which matched the Wolfpack with a 285 on Tuesday, was third in the team finish at 7-under.
The Thundering Herd finished fifth at 18-over par. Former Cabell Midland standout Noah Mullens fired a third round 68 and was Marshall’s top finisher at 1-over, while Ryan Bilby, a freshman from Brooke High, shot a final round 67 to finish 6-over.
Sheehan carded a final round 68 and finished solo second at 10-under.
Tim Bunten was the low finisher for the Wolfpack at 5-under. Teammates Ethan Choi (-4), Maximilian Steinlechner (-3) and Easton Paxton (-1) also placed in the top 11 individually.
The Mountaineer Invitational marked West Virginia’s only home match of the season. WVU is back in action October 11-13 at the Big 12 Match Play Championship in Hockley, Texas, and wraps up the fall portion of its schedule October 17-19 at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational in Windermere, Florida.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t win, but winning in golf is really hard,” Covich said. “Less than 10 percent of the field wins. We got some momentum from the second round and today, and we’re going to learn a lot and be ready to get after it the last two events of the fall.”