O'Neill Ties for 14th, U-M Closes 14th at Alister MacKenzie Invite
Matt Alessi

Oct. 16, 2012

Site: Fairfax, Calif.
Course: The Meadow Club (par 71, 6,759 yards)
Tournament: Alister MacKenzie Invitational
U-M Team Standing: 14th Place of 16 Teams (294-286-288/868)
Top U-M Individual: Chris O'Neill, tie-14th (69-70-71/210, -3)
Next U-M Event: Mon-Tue., Oct. 29-30 -- at Stanford Classic (Pebble Beach, Calif.)

FAIRFAX, Calif. -- Freshman Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS) shot a career-best three-under 210 and earned a top-15 finish, as the University of Michigan men's golf team tallied a final-round 288 today (Tuesday, Oct 16) to finish 14th with a season-best 868 team total at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational.

With O'Neill carding a career-best two-under 69 in the first round at the Meadow Club, the Wolverines opened Monday's (Oct. 16) first day of play with a 294 total. Moving to the second 18 of the day, senior captain Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School) used five birdies to tie a career best with a three-under 68. Adding in another sub-par round of one-under 70 from O'Neill and a two-over 73 from sophomore Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]), U-M tallied a season-best 286 team total to hold 14th after 36 holes.

Senior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) led U-M on the final day with his career-best one-under 70, while O'Neill had an even-par 71 and Echavarria had a two-over 73 to give the Maize and Blue a closing 288.

Individually, O'Neill led the Wolverines with his second top-20 finish of the season, tying for 14th with a career-best three-under 210 (69-70-71) -- eight shots better than his previous best. He finished the event with 13 birdies, 10 bogeys and 31 pars to finish as the top Wolverine for the second time this season.

Echavarria followed with a season-best 216 (75-68-73) and tied for 41st, while Alessi had a career-best 218 (73-75-70) to tie for 48th. Freshman Brett McIntosh (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary School) finished 77th at 230 (77-79-74), while Hyun closed 80th. Hyun's first round score was disqualified after his putter was bent and he fixed it and used it. He was allowed to finish the event and fired rounds of 73 and 89.

The Wolverines will conclude their fall season heading to the prestigious Stanford Classic at Cypress Point Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 29-30) in Pebble Beach, Calif. The event will feature Washington, USC, UCLA, Duke, Georgia, Michigan, Texas and host Stanford playing a rare match-play event. The first round will be four-ball play, followed by foursomes and finally singles matches.

Final Team Standings

 1. California        265-268-273 = 806 (-46)
 2. San Francisco     270-272-284 = 826
 3. Colorado State    279-280-280 = 839
 4. Brigham Young     275-284-285 = 844
 5. San Diego State   284-275-291 = 850
 6. Oregon State      285-277-289 = 851
    Wichita State     278-281-292 = 851
 8. Fresno State      289-272-292 = 853
 9. San Jose State    284-284-288 = 856
    UC Davis          285-278-293 = 856
11. Oregon            286-285-287 = 858
12. Colorado          279-285-295 = 859
13. Arizona State     281-290-294 = 865
14. MICHIGAN          294-286-288 = 868
15. Nevada            293-290-294 = 877
16. Hawaii            294-291-302 = 887

Top Individuals

 1. Brandon Hagy, California             64-62-72 = 198 (-15)
 2. Taylor Travis, San Francisco         66-65-70 = 201
 3. Zachary Blair, Brigham Young         69-66-68 = 203
    Joel Stalter, California             70-65-68 = 203
 5. Michael Kim, California              64-71-69 = 204
    Xander Schauffele, San Diego State   68-65-71 = 204
 7. Seb Crookall-Nixon, San Francisco    63-73-69 = 205
    Max Homa, California                 67-70-68 = 205

Michigan Individuals

T14. Chris O'Neill       69-70-71 = 210 (-3)
T41. Miguel Echavarria   75-68-73 = 216
T48. Matt Alessi         73-75-70 = 218
 77. Brett McIntosh      77-79-74 = 230
 80. Noori Hyun          DQ-73-89


Michigan Head Coach Chris Whitten
On the Alister MacKenzie Invitational ... "It was another learning week for us. We knew the scores would be low based upon the past results in previous years that Michigan has played in this event. We did feel good on the course. It really was a great setup. I was really glad to see Chris (O'Neill) play another solid event. He just keeps getting more and more comfortable in his freshman year. We just didn't save par enough when we got out of position. We didn't hit our short irons close enough to have real makeable opportunities. We had a couple guys out of sync in the first round that carried over that. They really had to fight their way through it on the golf course, which can be a difficult thing. We keep learning. We will use this as good experience going forward. We know even more what we have to work on going forward."

On looking ahead to Stanford's match-play event at Cypress Point ... "Our next event is truly a team event, where you play with a partner in two of the matches. Since the event is all match play, we will prepare a little differently with a little more partner practice rather than individual qualifying. We know the scores will be low at Cypress. So, we have to hit our short irons close. It is a special trip, one the guys will remember forever. However, we are going to treat it like all business. We have to go in and play well against some strong competition to give us some momentum going into the offseason."

U-M Freshman Chris O'Neill
On the Alister MacKenzie Invitational ... "This was an awesome event. The course was in great shape. It was a good test of golf with plenty of birdie holes, which I tried to take advantage of. Personally for me, it was a great test and I played well, but I just couldn't stop notching a few bogeys here and there. As a team we need to work on being more consistent. We cannot take scores in the high 70s. We need to take some scores closer to even par to be more competitive in some of these tournaments. Hopefully, we can work on that before we head off to Cypress next week, which should be a lot of fun."


Chris O'Neill lowered his career-best 54-hole tournament total by eight shots with his three-under 210. He topped the 218 he posted earlier this season at the Windon Memorial Classic.

Chris O'Neill shot a career-best two-under 69 in the first round. He followed with a one-under 70 in the second and an even-par 71 in the third. All three rounds topped his previous career-best round total of 72 shot in the first and second rounds of the Windon Memorial Classic.

Chris O'Neill's three-under 210 is the lowest 54-hole event total by a freshman since Joey Garber posted a four-under 209 in the 2011 NCAA Central Regional (May 19-21) -- a span of 16 tournaments.

Miguel Echavarria's three-under 68 in the second round equaled his career-best single round. He had a 68 on two other occasions -- second round of the 2011 Wolverine Intercollegiate and the second round of the 2010 Rod Myers Invitational.

Miguel Echavarria's three-under 68 in the second round equals the lowest round by a Wolverine this season. He tied Noori Hyun's three-under 68 fired in the second round of the Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic.

Miguel Echavarria posted a season-best 54-hole tournament total of 216, lowering his prior best -- 221 at the Inverness Intercollegiate.

Matt Alessi shot a career-best one-under 70 in the third round, topping the 72 he posted on two occasions last season -- second round of the 2012 Furman Intercollegiate and the first round of the 2011 Windon Memorial Classic.

• Paced with his career-best final-round 70, Matt Alessi set a new career best for a 54-hole event with a 218. He topped his previous best of 224 at the 2011 Windon Memorial Classic.

Noori Hyun was disqualified from the first round for using an altered piece of equipment after his putter was bent and he used it after he fixed it. He was able to continue play, with his scores for the second and third rounds being allowed to count towards the Wolverines' team total.

• Michigan set a season best for a 54-hole event with its 868 tally. The tally topped U-M's previous best by 24 shots -- 892 at the Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic.

• Michigan posted a season-best team total with a 286 in the second round. Prior to the event, U-M's best team total was a 291 in the second round of the Inverness Intercollegiate.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423