April 27, 2012
Site: French Lick, Ind.
Course: Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort (par 72, 7,152 yards)
Tournament: Big Ten Championships (Day 1 of 3)
U-M Team Standing: Tie-10th Place of 12 Teams (312-309/621) after Day 1
Top U-M Individual: Matt Thompson, tie-5th (74-73/147)
Next U-M Event: Sat-Sun., April 28-29 -- at Big Ten Championships (French Lick, Ind.), 9 a.m.
FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- With a 147 total putting senior Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS) among the top five individually, the University of Michigan men's golf team closed today (Friday, April 27) with a 621 team first-day total at the Big Ten Championships, putting the Wolverines in a tie for 10th place with 36 holes remaining at the French Lick Resort's Pete Dye Course.
Beginning his fourth conference tournament on the back nine, Thompson got off to a strong start in both rounds today, making the turn one under in the first round and two under in the second. He got as low as two under in both rounds, however, he was unable to maintain his momentum, closing his final five holes four over in the first round, to close with a two-over 74, and three over in the second, to close with a one-over 73.
Despite both round's finishes, Thompson remains in contention for the individual title as he is tied for fifth at 147, just four shots back for first-day leader Luke Guthrie (72-71/143) of Illinois.
Junior Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School) opened his first Big Ten tournament with rounds of 78 and 79 to post a 157 total and put himself in a tie for 40th. Freshman Andrew Wong (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Pompano Beach HS) opened with an 81 but closed the day with a 79 to give him a 159 total, putting him 46th.
Fellow freshman Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]) is 56th after the first day at 163 (84-79), while junior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) is tied for 58th at 167 (79-88).
Michigan will start the second round of the Big Ten Championships at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) off the No. 10 tee. The Wolverines will be paired with Wisconsin.
Team Standings (After Day 1)
1. Illinois 301-291 = 592
2. Michigan State 292-303 = 595
3. Indiana 293-304 = 597
4. Purdue 306-297 = 603
5. Minnesota 308-297 = 605
6. Northwestern 311-296 = 607
7. Penn State 308-301 = 609
8. Iowa 305-309 = 614
9. Ohio State 299-316 = 615
10. MICHIGAN 312-309 = 621
Nebraska 308-313 = 621
12. Wisconsin 317-326 = 643
1. Luke Guthrie, Illinois 72-71 = 143 (-1)
2. Sam Chien, Northwestern 72-73 = 145
3. Adam Schenk, Purdue 75-71 = 146
Chase Wright, Indiana 72-74 = 146
5. Matt Thompson, U-M 74-73 = 147
Dan Ellis, Michigan State 74-73 = 147
Matthew Moseley, Michigan State 70-77 = 147
8. Thomas Pieters, Illinois 74-74 = 148
Erik Van Rooyen, Minnesota 75-73 = 148
Jens Talbert, Penn State 74-74 = 148
Other Michigan Individuals
T40. Miguel Echavarria 78-79 = 157
46. Andrew Wong 81-78 = 159
56. Noori Hyun 84-79 = 163
T58. Matt Alessi 79-88 = 167
N O T E S
Michigan began the Big Ten Championships teeing off the back nine while paired with Penn State.
Miguel Echavarria, Noori Hyun, Andrew Wong, Matt Alessi are all competing in their first Big Ten Championships.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Chris Whitten
On the first day of Big Tens ... "It is a golf course that is going to take a couple of times playing to really feel comfortable. Visually, there is a lot to see and a lot of elevation changes -- low to high and high to low. Add the wind today and things were a little bit tricky out there. It's a course where you can hit good shots, or what you think are good shots, and it ends up in bad places. Matt (Thompson) is just keeping himself in play and keeping things simple and doing really well, but even he lost a ball today.
"For the other guys, the key is we have to have five guys coming down to the end of the round all with solid rounds going. We need to all be in it. The guys are swinging well enough to shoot good scores; however, we just need to make better decisions with our clubs and when we are being aggressive versus conservative. We definitely have an opportunity to move up and I think we can do that."
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423