Feb. 15, 2014
Site: Bradenton, Fla. (The Concession Golf Club)
Course: The Concession Golf Club (par 72, 7,145 yards)
Tournament: Big Ten Match Play Championship (Day 2 of 2)
Scores: Michigan 3.5, Iowa 1.5; Michigan 2.5, Purdue 2.5 (U-M wins in playoff)
Next U-M Match: Sun-Tue., Feb. 23-25 -- at Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The University of Michigan men's golf team took home its first-ever Big Ten Match Play Championship trophy today (Saturday, Feb. 15) after defeating Purdue in a sudden-death playoff at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.
In the team's first matchup of the day, a semifinal bout against fourth-seeded Iowa, U-M came away with a 3.5-1.5 victory.
Junior Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]) avenged his disappointing first day with a 3-and-2 win, during which he never trailed.
Freshman Bryce Evon (Windsor, Ontario, Canada/Vincent Massey Secondary School) was victorious for the second straight match, taking a 2-and-1 win. After falling behind early, Evon rallied back and won three of the last five holes and finished with a birdie to seal it on 17.
Sophomore Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS) won for the second time on the weekend in relatively easy fashion, using four birdies to defeat his opponent after 14 holes.
Despite trailing by two strokes for a good part of the match, sophomore Brett McIntosh (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary School) fought back to finish even with Iowa's Steven Ihm.
The last quarterfinal match saw freshman Tom Swanson (Missoula, Mont./Loyola Sacred Heart HS) fall by just one stroke to Brian Bullington, despite his birdie on 17 to draw level.
In the final round, during which ordinary tiebreaker rules were no longer in effect, the Wolverines' number one player O'Neill won his second match of the day, making it three of his last four. He came away with a 3-and-2 win, fueled by wins in four straight holes in the middle of the round.
Hyun won again in his match, securing a 4-and-2 victory behind a team-best six birdies in the 16 holes he played.
Just as it was on the first day of the competition, freshman Reed Hrynewich (Muskegon, Mich. Mona/Shores HS) found himself involved in the match's most pivotal situation. He entered the final hole squared up with Purdue's Sam Fu. After hitting his tee shot wide to the left, he recovered to make par, sinking his four-foot put to keep the match even and force a playoff against the seventh-seeded Boilermakers.
The other final-round scores included McIntosh falling 4-and-3 to Austin Eoff and Evon losing 7-and-6 at the hands of Philippe Schweizer.
In the one-hole playoff, during which all players competed on the 10th hole, the Wolverines came away with a 4-1 win, including victories from Evon, Hyun and Hrynewich. O'Neill and McIntosh each earned halves.
Michigan claimed its first-ever Big Ten Match Play Championship title after winning all four of its matches on the weekend. O'Neill led U-M with a 3-1 record, while McIntosh followed with a 2-1-1 mark. All six Wolverines who made the trip won at least one match during the two-day event.
Next up, the Wolverines will head to Puerto Rico to compete in the three-day Puerto Rico Classic, which begins next Sunday (Feb. 23) in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
Following are match-by-match results:
Semifinal Round -- No. 8 seed Michigan def. No. 4 seed Iowa, 3.5-1.5
Saturday, Feb. 15
No. 1 -- Chris O'Neill (U-M) def. Ian Vandersee (IOWA), 5-and-4
No. 2 -- Brett McIntosh (U-M) vs. Steven Ihm (IOWA), Halved
No. 3 -- Brian Bullington (IOWA) def. Tom Swanson (U-M), 1-up
No. 4 -- Bryce Evon (U-M) def. Ryan Marks (IOWA), 2-and-1
No. 5 -- Noori Hyun (U-M) def. Raymond Knoll (IOWA), 3-and-2
Final Round -- No. 8 seed Michigan def. No. 7 seed Purdue, 2-2-1 (Michigan by playoff)
Saturday, Feb. 15
No. 1 -- Chris O'Neill (U-m) def. Adam Schenk (PUR), 3-and-2
No. 2 -- Austin Eoff (PUR) def. Brett McIntosh (U-M), 4-and-3
No. 3 -- Philippe Schweizer (PUR) def. Bryce Evon (U-M), 7-and-6
No. 4 -- Noori Hyun (U-M) def. Enzo Perez (PUR), 4-and-2
No. 5 -- Reed Hrynewich (U-M) vs. Sam Fu (PUR), Halved
Day 1 Results
N O T E S
With a 4-0 record during the 2014 Big Ten Match Play Championship, Michigan now holds a 12-7 all-time record in the event.
Each of the six U-M players in attendance won at least once. Chris O'Neill finished 3-1, Brett McIntosh 2-1-1, Noori Hyun 2-1, Bryce Evon 2-1, Reed Hrynewich 1-1-1 and Tom Swanson 1-2.
For the second consecutive year at this event, Michigan did not have at least one Wolverine go undefeated. Matt Thompson was undefeated in the inaugural event in 2009 and in 2012, while Jack Schultz was 2-0-1 in 2010, and former Wolverine Joey Garber was 3-0 in 2011.
Chris O'Neill and Brett McIntosh have each played in 18 consecutive events, starting every match during their careers. The two were also the only players to start each of the weekend's four matches.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Chris Whitten
On what the tournament victory means to the program ... "It's definitely a confidence booster and a great first step for our spring season. It's good for the guys to get rewarded for all of the hard work they put in over the winter."
On how important this win was for such a young team ... "Match play is a really unique format. I love our team for match play. I think we have a lot to prove still for the rest of the spring season. We've got a great schedule coming up. It's encouraging to see this result, but we've got a long way to go."
On the experience as a whole ... "The tournament itself keeps getting better and better. The best thing about it is that every single player in the field plays with pressure on every shot. To have to make a put with your team watching on for your team to win or tie the match is a feeling that's hard to replicate. It's a great experience that we'll all take with us for a long time."
On what the team still needs to work on with the Puerto Rico Classic looming next weekend ... "We had flashes of good all-around play, but it comes down to consistency. Every guy hit enough good shots, but it's always going to be about the mistakes and match play is a format where if you make a mistake, it only costs one hole. It's not multiple shots like a stroke-play event would be, so we just have to work on becoming more consistent."