Feb. 7, 2017
Next on the Tee: Big Ten Match Play Championship
The University of Michigan men's golf team returns to competition following a three-and-a-half month hiatus as the Wolverines travel to Palm Coast, Florida, to compete in the 2017 Big Ten Match Play Championship, Friday and Saturday (Feb. 10-11). The two-day event will be held at the Hammock Beach Resort with all matches played on the Tom Watson-designed Conservatory Course. The event will be set up for a par 72 and 7,183 yards. Each team will have six members competing in each match.
The B1G Match Play Championship Field
Eleven of the 14 members of the Big Ten will be competing. Seeding for the event will be #1 Michigan State (29), #2 Michigan (35), #3 Northwestern (36), #4 Purdue (40), #5 Penn State (57), #6 Ohio State (64), #7 Minnesota (72), #8 Iowa (80), #9 Indiana (95), #10 Nebraska (129) and #11 Rutgers (191). Not playing this year will be Illinois, Maryland and Wisconsin. Seeding is based off the Nov. 9, 2016, final fall GolfStat rankings.
U-M's B1G Match Play Schedule
Wednesday, Feb. 8 -- Travel Day
Thursday, Feb. 9 -- Practice Round, 11:15 a.m. (tee times)
Friday, Feb. 10 -- First Round: Bye; on-course practice, 8 a.m. (shotgun)
Friday, Feb. 10 -- Quarterfinal: vs. winner of #7 Minnesota vs. #10 Nebraska, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
Saturday, Feb. 11 -- With QF win: Semifinal vs. #3 Northwestern, #6 Ohio State, #11 Rutgers, 8 a.m. (shotgun)
Saturday, Feb. 11 -- With QF win/SF win: Championship vs. TBD, 1:15 p.m. (tee times from No. 1)
Saturday, Feb. 11 -- With QF win/SF loss: 3rd Place vs. TBD, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
Saturday, Feb. 11 -- With QF loss: Losers Bracket vs. #3 Northwestern, #6 Ohio State, #11 Rutgers, 8 a.m. (shotgun)
Saturday, Feb. 11 -- With QF loss/CSF win: 5th Place vs. TBD, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
Saturday, Feb. 11 -- With QF loss/CSF loss: 7th Place vs. TBD, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
The B1G Match Play Breakdown
Friday, February 10, 8 a.m. (shotgun)
M1: #4 Purdue vs. #5 Penn State (Quarterfinal)
M2: #6 Ohio State vs. #11 Rutgers (First Round)
M3: #7 Minnesota vs. #10 Nebraska (First Round)
M4: #8 Iowa vs. #9 Indiana (First Round)
On-Course Practice (optional): #1 Michigan State, #2 Michigan, #3 Northwestern
Friday, February 10, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
M5: #1 Michigan State vs. M1 Winner (Quarterfinal)
M6: #2 Michigan vs. M3 Winner (Quarterfinal)
M7: #3 Northwestern vs. M2 Winner (Quarterfinal)
M8: Match 2 Loser vs. M3 Loser (Round Robin)
On-Course Practice (optional): #4 Purdue, #5 Penn State, M4 Loser
Saturday, February 11, 8 a.m. (shotgun)
Match 9: M5 Winner vs. M1 Winner (Semifinal)
Match 10: M6 Winner vs. M7 Winner (Semifinal)
M11: M6 Loser vs. M7 Loser (Consolation Semifinal)
M12: M5 Loser vs. M1 Loser (Consolation Semifinal)
M13: M3 Loser vs. M4 Loser (Round Robin)
Saturday, February 11, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
M14: M9 Winner vs. M10 Winner (Championship, tee times from No. 1)
M15: M9 Loser vs. M10 Loser (3rd/4th Place)
M16: M11 Winner vs. M12 Winner (5th/6th Place)
M17: M11 Loser vs. M12 Loser (7th/8th Place)
M18: M2 Loser vs. M4 Loser (Round Robin)
The Michigan Lineup
With six players competing in each match, Michigan will rotate its lineup throughout the event with seven Wolverines traveling to compete at the 2017 Big Ten Match Play Championship. Traveling for U-M will be seniors Tom Swanson, Reed Hrynewich and Bryce Evon, juniors Kyle Mueller and Ian Kim, sophomore Nick Carlson and freshman Taisei Negishi.
History at the B1G Match Play Championship
Michigan is 17-10 all-time at the Big Ten Match Play Championships. The Wolverines won the event in 2014 and had runner-up finishes in the inaugural event in 2009 as well as 2015.
2009: 2-1 (runner-up)
2010: 1-2 (sixth place)
2011: 2-1 (fifth place)
2012: 1-1 (no team place, as time did not permit conclusion of full match play event)
2013: 2-2 (seventh place)
2014: 4-0 (champions)
2015: 3-1 (runner-up)
2016: 2-2 (seventh place)
The 2014 B1G Match Play Championship Run
Michigan won its first-ever Big Ten Match Play Championship title at the Concession Golf Club (Feb. 14-15, 2014) in Bradenton, Florida. The Maize and Blue won all four of its weekend matchups during the two-day event and defeated the seventh-seeded Purdue Boilermakers in a sudden-death playoff to capture the Big Ten Match Play Championship trophy. Chris O'Neill (2013-16) led Michigan with a 3-1 record, while Brett McIntosh (2013-16) posted a 2-1-1 record and Noori Hyun (2012-15) had a team-best six birdies in 16 holes. [ Recap ]
Why Big Ten Match Play?
In conjunction with the NCAA's postseason format shift to determine the team national champion via the match play format, the Big Ten was the first conference to emulate that format to open each of the last nine spring seasons. The NCAA Finals begin with 54 holes of stroke play to determine the individual champion and to narrow the field to eight teams. Those eight advance and compete in match play to determine the team national champion.
Michigan completed its five-event fall season, posting four top-three finishes, with one team title (Dayton Flyer Invitational) and three individual medalists. The Wolverines are averaging a U-M record pace 287.29 per team round with Nick Carlson (70.64) and Kyle Mueller (70.79) in a battle for the individual scoring record.
U-M had at least two individuals finish among the top 15 in all five events. In fact, twice the Wolverines had two among the top 10 and three among the top 5 at the Dayton Flyer Invitational -- including co-medalists Ian Kim (playoff winner) and Nick Carlson. Overall, U-M has 12 individual finishes among the top 15 this season.
U-M's individual battle for the top two spots is heating up. Nick Carlson is holding the lead with a 70.64 per round average with seven sub-par rounds. Kyle Mueller has a team-best eight rounds under par and is second at 70.79. During the fall, a total of seven Wolverines shot a sub-par round as U-M has 21 total as a team. Overall as a team, the Wolverines average 73.60 per individual round.
So far, the final round has been U-M's go-to round. The Wolverines average 287.20 in the first round and 291.60 in the second, but drop nine shots in the final round, carrying a 282.00 closing average. Overall, U-M is averaging 287.29 as a team, which is below last season's program record of 290.21.
With his expected start at the Big Ten Match Play Championships, Kyle Mueller has started all 29 tournaments of his career. He played in 13 events as a freshman after earning an individual invite to the NCAA Finals after nearly winning the 2014 NCAA Washington Regional (t-2nd). Last season, he started all 11 events. In addition to Mueller, Nick Carlson has started all 16 of his events in his young career.
After transferring from Idaho, Ian Kim made his Michigan debut at the Dayton Flyer Invitational (Oct. 17-18). All he did was tie with teammate Nick Carlson for medalist honors with an even-par 142 (70-72) and then parred the first playoff hole to be the outright medalist. For his efforts, he was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week -- U-M's third honor of the fall. Kim has made two starts and is averaging 75.20 per round.
Using four individual sub-par rounds, Michigan posted a 270 (-14) final round at the Inverness Intercollegiate to lower the program single-round record by two shots. Last fall, U-M posted a 272 (-12) in the first round of the MacKenzie (Oct. 12-13, 2015) to set a new program mark. Overall, it is just the seventh double-digit under par team total in U-M history. In addition, the record round shattered the event's single-round record by seven, which was posted by Duke (277) in the tournament's first round.
En route to U-M's record-breaking 270 (-14) team total, Tom Swanson and Nick Carlson each carded career-best rounds of 67 (-4). Swanson, who broke 70 for the first time in his U-M career, played the opening nine holes at six under with two eagles and three birdies to help record his top round. With five birdies and an eagle of his own, Carlson lowered his previous best by a shot.
U-M coach Chris Whitten had three early signings in the fall -- Connor Prassas (Winnetka, Ill.), Charlie Pilon (Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia) and Henry Spring (Whakatane, New Zealand). [ Release ]
THREE TITLES IN FOUR EVENTS
Ian Kim walked away with the individual title at the Dayton Individual (Oct. 17-18), winning a playoff against teammate Nick Carlson and helping U-M to its first team title of the season. Kim opened with a U-M career-best 70 (-1) and battled gusty winds to shoot 72 in the second round, finding himself tied with Carlson after regulation. Kim then got up and down for par on the first playoff hole to claim the individual trophy. [ Recap ]
Kyle Mueller won his second career title after he was the only individual to shoot three sub-par rounds at the Windon Memorial Classic (Sept. 25-26). Using his length to his advantage, he played the par 5s at six under while recording 12 total birdies and an eagle. After back-to-back rounds of one-under 71, he was tied for seventh. Battling the gusty winds in the final round, he posted at 67 (-5) for the 78-player field's only sub-70 round to cap his second career title by three shots at 209 (-7). [ Recap ]
Winning the first hole of a playoff, Nick Carlson won U-M's season-opening event -- the Inverness Intercollegiate (Sept. 19-20) played at the famed Inverness Club. With a final-round career-best 67, Carlson finished regulation with a career-best 209 (69-73-67, -4) and tied with Duke's Jake Shuman (70-71-68). With a playoff needed to determine the overall medalist, Carlson stuck his approach to 15 feet for birdie and then tapped in for par on the opening hole, while Shuman missed right and bogeyed from 30 feet. [ Recap ]
CHIPS & PUTTS
Michigan has a record of 50-13 overall and 11-0 against the Big Ten this season.
U-M is averaging a school-record-pace 287.29 per team round. The all-time mark was set last season (290.21; 2015-16).
The Wolverines tallied a U-M record 270 (-14) in the final round of the Inverness Intercollegiate (Sept. 19-20). It topped the 272 (-12) set last season set in the first round of The MacKenzie in 2015.
A Wolverine has won three of their five events -- Nick Carlson at the Inverness Intercollegiate, Kyle Mueller at the Windon Memorial Classic and Ian Kim at the Dayton Flyer Invitational.
With three individual titles, Carlson, Mueller (co) and Kim (co), the Wolverines have garnered three Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors.
Through five events, Carlson (70.64) and Mueller (70.79) and are well below U-M's all-time mark for scoring average, set by Mueller (71.72, 2015-16) last season.
THE MAIZE & BLUE RUN AT THE U.S. AMATEUR
Michigan had three players -- Nick Carlson, Kyle Mueller and Tom Swanson -- qualify and compete at the 2016 U.S. Amateur played at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. Carlson, who earned the 41st seed for match play, was the lone Wolverine to advance out of match play and had a magical run to the Final Four.
After a 2-and-1 win over Zach Foshee (Oregon), Carlson faced No. 9 Scott Gregory (England). With the first of two 19-hole wins on the day, he took down Gregory and followed with a second extra-hole win over No. 8 K.K. Lambhaust (Cal) to reach the Elite Eight.
Trailing by two after nine holes to No. 33 seed Dylan Meyer (Illinois), a weather delay midway through the match helped Carlson refocus as he rallied to win five of the first six backside holes which led to an eventual 3-and-1 victory. Facing Curtis Luck in the semifinal, Carlson held a 1-up lead through 17 holes before dropping the 18th hole sending the match to extra holes. In a dramatic three extra holes, Carlson came up just short, losing 1-up to the eventual U.S. Amateur champ Luck. [ Reliving the U.S. Amateur | U-M at U.S. Amateur ]
Mon-Tue., Feb. 27-28 -- at Southwestern Jones Invitational (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Sat-Sun., March 4-5 -- host, Desert Mountain Intercollegiate (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Communications Contact: Tom Wywrot