Medalist Runner-Up Mueller Advances to NCAA Finals

May 16, 2015

Kyle Mueller
Kyle Mueller

Washington Regional | NCAA Men's Golf | Notes & Quotes | Photo Gallery 

Site: Bremerton, Wash.
Course: Gold Mountain Golf Club (par 72, 7,115 yards)
Tournament: NCAA Washington Regional
U-M Team Standing: 7th Place of 14 Teams (292-288-283/863, -1)
Top U-M Individual: Kyle Mueller, 2nd (72-66-69/207, -9)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Mon., May 29-June 1 -- at NCAA Finals (Bradenton, Fla.)

BREMERTON, Wash. -- With a nine-under 207 total, University of Michigan men's golf freshman Kyle Mueller finished as the NCAA Washington Regional medalist runner-up today (Saturday, May 16) at Gold Mountain Golf Club. He now advances to the NCAA Finals, while, despite posting a regional-best five-under 283 in today's final round, U-M did not qualify as a team, finishing seventh with a one-under 863, nine shots away from a top-five finish.

Mueller is the first individual Wolverine to play at the NCAA Finals since 1985 and is the 10th U-M individual to reach the finals overall. Mueller will play for the individual title Friday through Monday, May 29-June 1, at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.

U-M's All-Big Ten second team selection, Mueller opened regional play carding an even-par 72 Thursday (May 14), before an eight-birdie second round gave him a career-best six-under 66, placing him in contention for medalist honors -- just two shots out of the lead.

Playing alongside regional leader Cheng-Tsung Pan of Washington in the final round, Mueller and Pan went back and forth during the final 18, and Mueller closed with a three-under 69, giving him a nine-under 207 total, while Pan carded a five-under 67 to finish at 13-under 203 (67-69-67).

Washington closed with an 11-under 277 to claim the fifth spot as a team, allowing Mueller to advance as the individual on a non-qualifying team to the NCAA Finals. UAB claimed the regional title at 843 (280-285-278), while South Carolina (288-283-274) was the runner-up at 845. USC was third at 847 (281-288-278), and TCU (281-283-290) tied for fourth, with Washington (287-290-277) at 854.

As for the Wolverines, they were one of seven teams to close the regional under par. After opening the regional with a 292 Thursday, the Wolverines were tied for eighth, five shots away from the top five. Using Mueller's career-best 66, U-M improved in the second round Friday (May 15) with a 288 to remain in the eighth position, seven shots away from advancing.

Using three-under 69s from Mueller and junior Chris O'Neill and a one-under 71 from sophomore Bryce Evon in the final round, the Maize and Blue closed with a five-under 283 to move up one slot and finish seventh at 863 -- nine shots away from moving on to Concession.

Behind Mueller, O'Neill recovered from a second-round 76 to close with his three-under 69 and tied for 30th at 218 (73-76-69). Evon used his final-round 71 to tie for 33rd at 219 (75-73-71), while sophomore Reed Hrynewich tied for 39th at 221 (72-73-76). Sophomore Tom Swanson rounded out U-M's regional five, tying for 62nd at 226 (75-77-74).

Final Team Standings

 1. UAB                 280-285-278 = 843 (-21)
 2. South Carolina      288-283-274 = 845
 3. USC                 281-288-278 = 847
 4. TCU                 281-283-290 = 854
    Washington          287-290-277 = 854
 6. Baylor              293-280-289 = 862
 7. MICHIGAN            292-288-283 = 863
 8. Iowa State          287-287-295 = 869
 9. VCU                 304-288-278 = 870
    UC Davis            289-295-286 = 870
11. Pepperdine          292-295-293 = 880
12. Sam Houston State   300-295-288 = 883
13. Cleveland State     305-291-295 = 891
14. South Dakota        298-304-296 = 898

Top Individuals

 1. Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington       67-69-67 = 203 (-13)
 2. KYLE MUELLER, U-M                 72-66-69 = 207
    Martin Rohwer, UAB                68-75-64 = 207
 4. Rico Hoey, USC                    69-69-70 = 208
 5. Giulio Castagnara, TCU            70-68-71 = 209
    Byron Meth, Pacific               74-67-68 = 209*
 7. Matthew NeSmith, South Carolina   71-72-67 = 210
    Paul Dunne, UAB                   67-71-72 = 210
 9. Sean Crocker, USC                 66-72-73 = 211

Other Michigan Individuals

T30. Chris O'Neill    73-76-69 = 218
T33. Bryce Evon       75-73-71 = 219
T39. Reed Hrynewich   72-73-76 = 221
T62. Tom Swanson      75-77-74 = 226
* played as invited individual


Kyle Mueller is the 10th Wolverine to advance to the NCAA Finals as an individual. He is the first since Dan Roberts tied for 102nd in 1985 at the Grenelefe Golf Course in Haines City, Florida.

• Mueller's second-round six-under 66 marks a career-best round for the freshman. It topped the 67 (-4) he fired in his first collegiate round and tournament -- the Wolverine Intercollegiate (Sept. 6-7), an event he went on to win.

• Michigan recorded three eagles during the regional, including Reed Hrynewich's hole-in-one in the opening round. He recorded the second ace of his career on the 16th hole -- par 3, 185 yards. He used a six iron to record the second ace of his career.

Tom Swanson recorded an eagle on the sixth hole -- par 5, 563 yards -- during the first round. After a 318-yard opening tee shot, he used his hybrid from 245 out to land on the green about 50 feet away. After surveying the green, he drained the long putt for an eagle.

Chris O'Neill carded U-M's third eagle during the final round on the par-5 sixth hole. After bombing his opening drive more than 350 yards, he used his six iron from 186 away to knock it a foot away. He knocked in the putt for the eagle.

• Mueller led U-M with 15 total birdies during the regional. During the three days, he played the par 3s at one under, the par 4s at four under and the par 5s at four under.

Kyle Mueller led U-M in eight of the 12 events this season.

Reed Hrynewich, Tom Swanson, Bryce Evon and Kyle Mueller each competed in his first NCAA postseason event. Chris O'Neill played as an individual at the 2014 NCAA Sugar Grove Regional. Michigan has had at least one representative in the NCAA postseason three of the last four years.


Michigan Head Coach Chris Whitten
On U-M's NCAA Regional and Kyle Mueller advancing ... "Although we are disappointed not to advance to the finals, I saw a lot of positives for our program this week. As a team we improved each round and I love our grit. These guys already have a lot of motivation for next season. To have our youngest player qualify for the finals as an individual also means a lot. Kyle (Mueller) was so impressive this week and I'm thrilled for everything he will get to experience. He'll be a great Michigan representative and compete for a win. Although we wanted to move on this week, we're learning and improving each step of the way."

U-M Freshman Kyle Mueller
On moving on to the NCAA Finals ... " I'm really excited to get to go to NCAA Finals, but I'd much rather be going with the team. I know we are all disappointed because we feel like we left some shots out there and could have been in contention. We know we have the talent and we are looking forward for another opportunity next year."

• Previous Results: Day 2 | Day 1

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