Matt Thompson (L) and Chris Whitten
Oct. 17, 2011
Site: Skokie, Ill.
Course: The Evanston Golf Club (par 70, 6,793 yards)
Tournament: Windon Memorial Classic
U-M Standing: 8th Place of 17 Teams (286-283-297/866)
Top U-M Individual: Matt Thompson, 1st (69-71-65/205) (-5)
Next U-M Event: Sat-Sun., Oct. 29-30 -- at Bridgestone Intercollegiate (Greensboro, N.C.)
SKOKIE, Ill. -- Birdieing three of his last four holes, senior Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS) shot a five-under 65, a career best, in today's (Monday, Oct. 17) final round and tied a career best with a 205 to claim his first collegiate title by two shots at the 2011 Windon Memorial Classic, held at the Evanston Golf Club. The Wolverines closed the two-day event eighth overall with an 866 after team rounds of 286, 283 and 297.
Opening the event with a one-under 69, Thompson held ninth after Sunday's (Oct. 16) first 18 holes. Approaching darkness in the day's second 18, Thompson only got in 15 holes but was even when play was called. Coming back to the course this morning, he bogeyed his final hole of the day for a one-over 71, dropping him into a tie for 12th after 36 holes.
With the field continuing with its pairings for the final round, Thompson, who started on No. 4, birdied three of his first four holes to go two under heading into the back nine. After a birdie on the 13th was erased by a bogey on 16th, Thompson remained two under with six holes to go. He then tallied birdies on Nos. 18, 1 and 3 to tie a career best with the five-under 65 and five-under 205. The late-round surge vaulted him to the lead as he held off Northwestern's Eric Chun (65-72-70/207) to win his first collegiate title by two strokes.
Junior Jack Schultz (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay HS) highlighted his event in the second round, tying his career best with a four-under 66 as he tied for 38th at 218 (73-66-79). Junior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) made his fourth start of the season and tied for 63rd with a career-best 224 (72-73-79), while freshman Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]) made his second straight start and tied for 70th at 226 (75-77-74). Junior Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School) rounded out the Wolverine scoring as he tied for 77th at 228 (72-73-83).
Michigan will close out its fall season with a trip to Greensboro, N.C., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, for the 2011 Bridgestone Intercollegiate. The 54-hole event will be played at the Forest Oaks Country Club.
Final Team Standings
1. Arkansas 274-276-297 = 847 (+7)
2. UCLA 283-284-284 = 851
Indiana 283-278-290 = 851
4. Purdue 283-286-287 = 856
5. Northwestern 274-285-298 = 857
6. Charlotte 284-282-297 = 863
7. Eastern Michigan 275-295-295 = 865
8. MICHIGAN 286-283-297 = 866
9. Pepperdine 292-285-290 = 867
10. Coastal Carolina 291-288-293 = 872
11. Harvard 294-291-291 = 876
12. Marquette 290-291-301 = 882
13. Marshall 291-291-302 = 884
14. Idaho 289-297-302 = 888
15. Penn State 297-295-297 = 889
16. Loyola-Chicago 289-299-302 = 890
17. Florida Atlantic 296-297-300 = 893
1. MATT THOMPSON, U-M 69-71-65 = 205 (-5)
2. Eric Chun, Northwestern 65-72-70 = 207
3. Ethan Tracy, Arkansas 68-68-73 = 209
4. Alex Kim, UCLA 71-69-70 = 210
Chase Wright, Indiana 70-69-71 = 210
6. Paul Ferrier, Charlotte 70-67-74 = 211
Brant Peaper, Indiana 72-65-74 = 211
8. Brian Churchill-Smith, EMU 67-77-68 = 212
Josh Eure, Arkansas 70-69-73 = 212
David Mills, Indiana 71-69-72 = 212
Clint Wilhelm, Florida Atlantic 69-69-74 = 212
Other Michigan Individuals
T38. Jack Schultz 73-66-79 = 218
T63. Matt Alessi 72-73-79 = 224
T70. Noori Hyun 75-77-74 = 226
T77. Miguel Echavarria 72-73-83 = 228
N O T E S
• Matt Thompson earned U-M's 39th career medalist honor with his victory at the Windon Memorial Classic. It was the first in his collegiate career and he is first player under U-M coach Chris Whitten to win an event.
• Matt Thompson's medalist honor at the Windon Memorial Classic gives the Wolverines back-to-back individual winners at Northwestern's fall event. Last year, former Wolverine Lion Kim (2008-11) took medalist honors with a six-under 206 (69-71-67) at the North Shore Country Club.
• In four Windon Memorial Classics, Matt Thompson has not finished outside the top 20 individually. He tied for 19th in 2010, tied 20th in 2009 and closed 18th as an individual in 2008.
• Matt Thompson's five-under 205 (69-71-65) equals his career-best 54-hole tournament tally. In 2009, Thompson shot an eight-under 205 (69-69-67) at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate.
• Matt Thompson's 205 is the second-lowest 54-hole event total in U-M history. Three Wolverines have shot a 205 -- Thompson (2011 Windon Memorial Classic & 2009 Wolf Run Intercollegiate), Lion Kim (2011 NCAA Central Regional) and Christian Vozza (2005 Wolverine Intercollegiate). Bill Rankin holds the U-M record with a 202 at the 2008 Maxwell.
• Matt Thompson's five-under 65 in the final round equaled his career-best single-round total. He shot a five-under 65 in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Central Regional at Notre Dame's Warren Golf Course.
• Matt Thompson's 65 is the second-lowest individual round in U-M history. Three players shot 65 -- Thompson (2010 & 2011), Lion Kim (2010 & 2011) and Ed Humenik (1982). Three Wolverines have shot a U-M-record 64 -- Bill Rankin (2008), Christian Vozza (2005) and Michael Harris (1998).
• Jack Schultz tied his career best with his four-under 66 in the second round. Schultz set the career mark with a six-under 66 in the first round at the 2009 Bridgestone Intercollegiate.
• Michigan's 866 is a season-best 54-hole tournament score. The Wolverines also equaled their lowest team round of 283 in the second round.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Chris Whitten
On the team finish and Matt Thompson's win at the Windon Memorial ... "We were encouraged after yesterday even though we did not finish the second round, we closed out the holes at the end of our day really well. With the way we were playing we were expecting a good final round today. We were hanging in there for a long time; however, we did not have the finish that we wanted. Today I walked the final round with Matt (Thompson). I am just really happy and proud of him. He has continued to get better ever since he has come to Michigan and I know just getting that first win was a big thing for him. He deserved it today. He just played so great."
On if he saw improvement in the team's performance ... "We worked on our games a lot prior to coming into the Windon, especially focusing on our short games. We definitely saw some improvements there but not as much as we need. We will continue to work on that area. We are getting some guys back healthy, so that will make some really good competition among the team, which will make for some good qualifying heading into the Bridgestone."
On if the team is where he thought it would four events into the season ... "It is hard to say. We have so many new faces on the team that we had to give those guys a chance to get settled. Now that we are four events in, we are getting a better idea of where we are and where we could be. We are not near our potential, but we just keep looking ahead to the next event to help us get better."
U-M Senior Matt Thompson
On getting that first win ... "It feels great to get that proverbial monkey off my back. It just feels good. I was hoping one of these days everything would fall into place for me and finally it did."
On his thoughts of the final round ... "I knew I was in reach at the start of the day, but then I bogeyed that last hole of the second round to start the day after the delay. So it was not the best of starts. However to start the final round, I knew I was starting on the easier part of the course and got some birdies early and then hung on for a while. When I got that birdie on No. 18 to move to three under, I asked coach jokingly, if I birdie out I can win. I almost did that and it was good enough to pull out the win."
On the confidence he gained with his win ... "It definitely helps knowing all the work I am putting in back home is really paying off. I am just confident knowing I am on the right track. You know, I just want to get a few more before my career is over. That would be great."
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423