Philipp Matlari

WVU senior Philipp Matlari admires a shot.

With the ruling by the NCAA to award college spring sport athletes another year of eligibility due to COVID-19, West Virginia head golf coach Sean Covich has an interesting situation on his hands. 

On Tuesday, in his address to the media, Covich brought up the names of two seniors that were playing in their final season of eligibility at WVU: Etienne Papineau and Philipp Matlari. 

Following the ruling passed by the NCAA, Covich isn’t sure what the two seniors will decide to do. 

“I would love for those two guys to come back,” Covich said. “Philipp Matlari is easily playing the best golf of his life and Etienne Papineau has started nearly every tournament of his career with WVU.”

Matlari, a senior from Leiman, Germany, was third on the team with a 72.14 average in 22 rounds of golf before the season was cut short. Papineau, a senior from Quebec, Canada, was right behind in fourth place with a 72.33 average. 

Covich explained that it’s not easy right now figuring out what his two seniors might do as their original plans were to graduate in May and move on.

“They made life plans on graduating in May and then trying to turn professional,” Covich said. “It’s not as easy as it sounds with a lot of decisions to be made, but we do want those guys to come back.”

In the final tournament of the spring season for WVU golf, the Mountaineers finished in a tie for seventh place in the Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee, Florida. Matlari finished third individually after scoring a 69 in the final round to finish three-under par. 

Papineau was a little farther down the leaderboard in a tie for 30th place after finishing seven-over par for the tournament. 

Going into the offseason, Covich has four scholarships to recruit with. Covich does not have the issue that many coaches have as he only has eight members on the team if both seniors decide to return.