Mueller Leads U-M to Best Big Ten Championships Finish in Six Years

April 24, 2016

Kyle Mueller
Kyle Mueller

What You Need to Know
» Using an even-par 288 in the final round, Michigan posted an 867 total and tied for fourth at the B1G Championships -- the program's best finish is six years.
» Sophomore Kyle Mueller earned All-Big Ten Tournament honors after finishing third with a 209 (-7) and set the U-M 54-hole record at the conference tournament by five shots.
» Senior Chris O'Neill earned his third career top-20 B1G Tournament finish as he tied for 12th with a 215 (-1).
» Michigan will now wait to see if it is selected for an NCAA Regional, which will be announced live on Thursday (May 5) on the Golf Channel at 9:30 a.m.

Photo Gallery  | Championships Central

Site: Newburgh, Ind.
Course: Victoria National (par 72, 7,083 yards)
Tournament: B1G Championships
U-M Team Standing: Tie-4th Place of 14 Teams (292-287-288/867)
Top U-M Individual: Kyle Mueller, 3rd (69-73-67/209, -7)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, May 5 -- NCAA Regional Selection Show (Golf Channel), 9:30 a.m.

NEWBURGH, Ind. -- Using a third-place individual finish from sophomore Kyle Mueller as well as a tie for 12th from senior Chris O'Neill, the University of Michigan men's golf team posted its best B1G Championships finish in six years as the Wolverines tied for fourth today (Sunday, April 24) with an 867 (+3) team total at Victoria National.

Mueller paced the Wolverines starting in Friday's (April 22) opening round as he carded a 69 (-3) to position himself just a shot out of the individual lead. He helped U-M to an opening 292 and sixth-place leaderboard standing.

O'Neill mirrored Mueller's first-round effort with a 69 (-3) of his own in Saturday's (April 23) second round. An additional 70 (-2) by freshman Nick Carlson, which included six birdies and three straight to close the round, moved U-M up two spots into fourth as the Maize and Blue tallied a 287 (-1) team total.

After posting a 73 in the second round, Mueller caught fire early and often in today's final round as his five-birdie, 13-par day gave him a closing 67 (-5) score to place him third individually, producing a new U-M 54-hole conference championship total of 209 (-7). With U-M playing just the third 54-hole conference championship, he lowered the previous record of Kevin Dore (214 total at the 2004 B1G Tournament) by five shots.

With Mueller's 67 and even-par 72s from O'Neill and junior Tom Swanson, the Wolverines closed with a 288 (E) team total today, giving the Maize and Blue an 867 score, tying for fourth with rival Michigan State. Overall, it is the best finish at the B1G Tournament since a fourth-place showing in 2010 -- six years ago.

"I really liked the guys' attitudes heading into today," said U-M head coach Chris Whitten. "We had four or five bad holes in the first six, mostly from tee shots, and that put us behind from the very beginning. Illinois got off to such a great start; it was going to be incredibly hard to catch them."

"The guys fought back along the way," added Whitten. "Especially in the last four holes, which is a huge confidence boost for us. To know that we can close out rounds on the toughest stretch will be so important for us going forward. This was a great course that will have us ready for what we hope to see in the postseason."

In addition to Mueller's best finish by a Wolverine since Matt Thompson's third-place showing in 2012, O'Neill (74-69-72) posted his third career top-20 finish at the conference championships as recorded his career best, tying for 12th with a 215 (-1) performance.

"Overall a very solid weekend for the team," said Mueller. "We are excited about our strong finish over the weekend. We know we could have all played better, but all things considered we took a lot of confidence out of this tournament."

"This is big for the program also as this is our best finish in some time," added Mueller. "We are starting to play as a team, and it couldn't be a better time to. This weekend gives us some momentum going into regionals. We know we have a lot of potential, it's just a matter of putting three solid rounds together."

"Kyle (Mueller) struggled with his swing yesterday, but today he was able to put the ball in play and give himself scoring chances," said Whitten. "When he is swinging well he really makes the game look easy. I wish he could have gotten the win, but he has a lot in his game to feel good about right now. He keeps getting better in every way."

Swanson gave U-M three Wolverines in the top 30 as he tied for 28th at 221 (74-75-72), while Carlson (75-70-79) was 35th in his first B1G Tournament as he posted a 224 total. Junior Reed Hrynewich rounded out U-M's starting five, tying for 55th at 232 (76-79-77).

"Overall it was a solid week for our team," said O'Neill. "We had the best performance in all of my four years at school. Kyle (Mueller) did a great job as usual carrying the team with a big round. I think this gives us some great momentum moving into regionals."

Michigan will now wait to see if it is selected for an NCAA Regional, which will be announced live on Thursday, May 5, on the Golf Channel at 9:30 a.m.

Final Team Standings

 1. Illinois         279-295-264 = 838 (-26)
 2. Iowa             285-281-285 = 851
 3. Maryland         282-291-293 = 866
 4. MICHIGAN         292-287-288 = 867
    Michigan State   291-288-288 = 867
 6. Purdue           291-291-291 = 873
    Northwestern     292-297-284 = 873
 8. Ohio State       298-296-283 = 877
 9. Penn State       294-293-296 = 883
10. Indiana          300-302-304 = 906
11. Minnesota        303-307-300 = 910
    Rutgers          309-305-296 = 910
13. Nebraska         299-313-306 = 918
14. Wisconsin        304-314-303 = 921

Top Individuals

 1. Thomas Detry, Illinois        70-72-64 = 206 (-10)
 2. Charlie Danielson, Illinois   68-74-65 = 207
 3. KYLE MUELLER, U-M             69-73-67 = 209
 4. Carson Schaake, Iowa          70-67-73 = 210
 5. Raymond Knoll, Iowa           71-74-67 = 212
 6. Dylan Wu, Northwestern        72-72-69 = 213
    Matthew Walker, Iowa          71-71-71 = 213
    David Kocher, Maryland        72-69-72 = 213

Other Michigan Individuals

T12. Chris O'Neill    74-69-72 = 215
T28. Tom Swanson      74-75-72 = 221
 35. Nick Carlson     75-70-79 = 224
T55. Reed Hrynewich   76-79-77 = 232

Previous Results: Day 2 | Day 1

Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot