Michigan Closes 15th at Puerto Rico Classic
Chris O'Neill

Feb. 19, 2013

Site: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Course: River Course at Rio Mar Country Club (par 72, 6,902 yards)
Tournament: Puerto Rico Classic
U-M Team Standing: 15th Place of 15 Teams (298-313-295/906)
Top U-M Individual: Brett McIntosh, tie-39th (75-74-72/221)
Next U-M Event: Wed-Thu., March 6-7 -- at Colleton River Collegiate (Hilton Head, S.C.)

RIO GRAND, Puerto Rico -- With even-par 72s from freshmen Brett McIntosh (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary School) and Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS), the University of Michigan men's golf team posted a 295 final-round tally today (Tuesday, Feb. 19) for a 906 three-day total and 15th-place finish at Purdue's Puerto Rico Classic played that the River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club.

Playing in his first stroke-play event since mid-October, O'Neill led U-M opening with a one-over 73, while senior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) had a two-over 74 as the Wolverines tallied a 298 Sunday (Feb. 17) first round total to put them in 12th. In the Monday's (Feb. 18) second round, McIntosh's two-over 74 and Alessi's 76 paced the Maize and Blue as the squad posted a 313 total, dropping them into 15th overall.

With even-par 72s from McIntosh and O'Neill and Alessi's second two-over 74 of the event in the final round, U-M closed with a tournament-best 295 total, giving the Wolverines a 906 event total and 15th-place finish.

For the second time this season, McIntosh led the Wolverines individually as he tied for 39th at 221 (75-74-72). Alessi followed tying for 51st at 224 (74-76-74), while O'Neill tied for 59th at 229 (73-84-72). Making his first stroke-play start for the Wolverines, freshman Andrew Yeager (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central HS) closed 74th at 239 (83-79-77), and senior Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School) rounded out the U-M scoring, closing 75th at 240 (76-85-79).

The Wolverines will travel to South Carolina's Hilton Head for their annual spring-break training trip, March 2-8. Following four days of playing and qualifying, U-M will close the trip playing in Michigan State's Colleton River Collegiate tournament, Wednesday and Thursday (March 6-7) at the Colleton River Plantation Club.

Final Standings

 1. Alabama                279-278-274 = 831 (-33)
 2. Oklahoma               280-277-281 = 838
 3. SMU                    287-278-283 = 848
 4. Georgia                290-280-282 = 852
 5. Georgia Tech           286-285-287 = 858
 6. Northwestern           297-281-285 = 863
 7. Virginia Tech          292-288-286 = 866
 8. Clemson                281-294-292 = 867
 9. N.C. State             303-291-281 = 875
10. Augusta State          292-294-290 = 876
11. East Tennessee State   296-297-290 = 883
12. North Carolina         291-296-300 = 887
13. Ohio State             304-294-290 = 888
14. Purdue                 308-292-297 = 897
15. MICHIGAN               298-313-295 = 906

Top Individuals

 1. Albin Choi, N.C. State              70-69-65 = 204 (-12)
 2. Will Kropp, Oklahoma                73-68-65 = 206
    Ollie Schniederjans, Georgia Tech   71-69-66 = 206
    Cory Whitsett, Alabama              70-70-66 = 206
 5. Eduardo Castiello, Oklahoma         68-69-72 = 209
    Mikey Moyers, Virginia Tech         70-67-72 = 209
    Scott Vincent, Virginia Tech        73-70-66 = 209
 8. Bryson Dechambeau. SMU              74-66-70 = 210
    Bobby Wyatt, Alabama                71-70-69 = 210

Michigan Individuals

T39. Brett McIntosh      75-74-72 = 221
T51. Matt Alessi         74-76-74 = 224
T59. Chris O'Neill       73-84-72 = 229
 74. Andrew Yeager       83-79-77 = 239
 75. Miguel Echavarria   76-85-79 = 240


Michigan Head Golf Coach Chris Witten
On transitioning from match play to stroke play competition ... "We need to get better for sure, we had some guys whose games were fairly consistent, who hit a lot of good shots, and might have struggled on the green a little bit, but gave themselves a lot of opportunities.Chris (O'Neill) and Matt Alessi were both fairly consistent, but Chris, his game got away from him a little bit in the second round. Every guy needs to play more efficiently and play with a little more confidence, but it was a good measuring stick to see where we need to go and we will know that going forward."

On having three freshmen in the lineup ... "They have seen it all now. After a semester of college golf, they kind of know what to expect and the strength of the competition shouldn't be a surprise to anybody at this point.This is the first time that those guys have seen this golf course before and that is an advantage for teams that come back every year, and it is playing golf in February as well. It is playing spring golf for the first time. They will learn from it and their practices at home will get better and prepare them more for what is coming up on spring break."

On the upcoming spring break trip ... "It will be good that we can actually have some qualifying rounds, we are going to have probably three days to get to work on our games and play before we have to play in competition and we will have the whole team there so it will be good for us to get some competition within the team and see who we need in that starting lineup."


• Michigan made its 11th straight appearance at the Puerto Rico Classic.

• After playing in two straight match-play events, Michigan competed in its first stroke-play event since mid-October at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational.

Matt Alessi, Miguel Echavarria, Chris O'Neill and Brett McIntosh have started all seven events this season.

Andrew Yeager made his first start in a stroke-play event. He has three total this season after starting both of U-M's match play events -- the Stanford Classic and the Big Ten Match Play Championship.

• Michigan faced former U-M golf coach Andrew Sapp for the fifth time since he left the program to coach his alma mater North Carolina in 2011.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423