Wolverines Open Spring with Big Ten Match Play Championship
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MGOBLUE Matt Thompson fired nine-of-14 rounds at or below par in the fall.
MGOBLUE
Matt Thompson fired nine-of-14 rounds at or below par in the fall.
MGOBLUE

Feb. 9, 2010

This Week
• Fri-Sat., Feb. 12-13 -- at Big Ten Match Play (Coral Springs, Fla.)
2010 Big Ten Match Play Championship Bracket

Next on the Tee
After nearly two months away from competition, the University of Michigan men's golf team will open up its spring season playing in the 2010 Big Ten Match Play Championship Friday and Saturday (Feb. 12-13) at the Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Fla. The event marks the second year the Big Ten Conference will emulate the NCAA Golf Championship format. Like last year, the NCAA Finals will begin with 54 holes of stroke play to narrow the field to eight teams. Those eight squads will then compete in match play to determine the national champion. Each Big Ten school will have a six-member team competing in match-play. The Heron Bay Golf Club will be set up for a par 72 and 7,288 yards.

The Tournament Field
All 11 Big Ten schools will participate in the Big Ten Match Play Championship: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.

The Tournament Schedule
Thursday, Feb. 11 -- Opening Ceremony and Practice Round - teams playing throughout the day
Friday, Feb. 12 -- Big Ten Match Play - First Round Matches, TBD
Saturday, Feb. 13 -- Big Ten Match Play - Second Round Matches, TBD

The Tournament Seeding
Seeding for the Big Ten Match Play Championship is based upon the fall ending Golf State rankings. The seeding for the event is as follows:
1. Illinois (11th)
2. Iowa (35th)
3. Michigan (36th)
4. Minnesota (56th)
5. Indiana (66th)
6. Northwestern (71st)
7. Ohio State (75th)
8. Penn State (80th)
9. Purdue (83rd)
10. Michigan State (88th)
11. Wisconsin (123rd)

The Tournament Matches
By virtue of its Golf Stat ranking, Michigan earned a first-round bye for the second straight year as the Wolverines are the third seed. U-M will face the winner of the No. 6 Northwestern/No. 11 Wisconsin match. Other first-round matches include: No. 1 Illinois vs. winner of No. 8 Penn State/No. 9 Purdue; No. 2 Iowa vs. winner of No. 7 Ohio State/No. 10 Michigan State and No. 4 Minnesota vs. No. 5 Indiana.

The Tournament Lineup
The Wolverines will bring a six-man lineup to the match-play event. Heading up the squad is sophomore Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview), junior Lion Kim (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary Prep School) and freshman Jack Schultz (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay). Rounding out the squad will be freshman Rahul Bakshi (Chandigarh, India/St. John's), sophomore Alex Frankel (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School) and junior Alexander Sitompul (Jakarta, Indonesia/Bradenton Prep Academy [Fla.]).

Last Year at the Big Ten Match Play Championship
After knocking off top-seeded Illinois in the semifinal, the fourth-seeded Wolverines dropped a dramatic back-and-forth championship match to second-seeded Indiana to finish as the runner-up at the inaugural 2009 Big Ten Match Play Championship at the TPC of Heron Bay in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Matt Thompson led the way for the Wolverines by winning all three of his matches. Former Wolverine Bill Rankin earned three halves in his matches, including a key comeback half point to defeat Illinois. Other records during the event included: Ross Millman (2-1), Alexander Sitompul (1-1-1), Lion Kim (1-2) and former Wolverine Nick Pumford (1-2)

What a Fall Season!
By virtue of its third-place finish at fall season finale, the Bridgestone Intercollegiate, Michigan closed the 2009 fall season with four top-five team finishes in the five events, with one team title at the Wolverine at Radrick Farms. U-M posted five team tallies under par with a season best of 11-under 277 twice -- first round of the Wolverine at Radrick Farms and the second round of the Bridgestone. U-M averaged 289.86 per team round in the fall.

Atop the Leaderboard
For the second time this season, Michigan had three individuals finish among the top 10 in an event. At the Bridgestone Intercollegiate, Lion Kim tied for sixth, while Jack Schultz and Matt Thompson each shared the 10th position. The same trio also finished among the top 10 at the Wolverines at Radrick Farms with Thompson and Kim sharing the runner-up spot and Schultz tying for seventh. The Maize and Blue trio closed as the top three Wolverines in all but one fall event.

Call Him Mr. Red Numbers
After starting the season with six rounds of 70 or better, Matt Thompson opened the first round of the Windon Memorial Classic with an even-par 72, giving him seven straight rounds of par or better, before he officially snapped the streak with two 75s to close the event. Overall, he has shot nine of his 14 rounds at or below par. He leads U-M with a 71.21 per-round average.

Flip, Flop
In all five events this fall, either Lion Kim or Matt Thompson has finished as the top Wolverine. Both are tied with three top finishes apiece. The duo tied for the top U-M individual finish at the Wolverine at Radrick Farms (Sept. 26-27).

Rookie Goes Deep, Way Deep
Jack Schultz's first-round, six-under 66 at the Bridgestone Intercollegiate was not only a career best for the freshman, but it marked the lowest round tallied by a Wolverine this season. Schultz followed with a three-under 69 in the second round, helping him to his fourth and fifth sub-par tallies of the season.

A Little Home Cooking Never Hurts
With the team title at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms, U-M head coach Andrew Sapp garnered his sixth trophy with the Wolverines and the 32nd of his coaching career. Of the half dozen wins for Sapp, four have come while hosting an event. Sapp's other five titles include: 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate, 2008 Wolf Run Intercollegiate, 2007 Wolverine at Mission Inn, 2007 Purdue Midwest Shootout and 2005 Wolverine Intercollegiate.

Wolverines Take Home Event Title
Michigan's team win at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms gives the Maize and Blue its 39th team win in the history of the program. It also marked the third consecutive season the Wolverines have won at least one team tournament title. In addition to this weekend's title, U-M won two team titles during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

The Near Miss
Michigan's 24-under 840 tally at the Wolverine at Radrick Farms just missed the U-M 54-hole record by a single stroke. The Wolverines closed as the only team to post all three rounds under par -- 11-under 277, 10-under 278 and three-under 285. The Maize and Blue 54-hole record is 839 (277-275-287), which was totaled at the 2005 Wolverine Intercollegiate. U-M's 839 was played on a par 71 course and equals a 13-under performance, so U-M's 24-under performance at Radrick Farms sets a new U-M record for under-par team tournament score.

Yet, Another Near Miss
Matt Thompson's career-best eight-under 205 (69-69-67) performance at the 2009 Wolf Run Intercollegiate tied the second best 54-hole tournament total in U-M history. Thompson equaled Christian Vozza's 205 (67-69-69) performance that he tallied at the 2005 Wolverine Intercollegiate (Sept. 24-25). Overall, Bill Rankin holds the U-M record with an eight-under 202 (67-66-69) at the 2008 Maxwell (May 10-11).

No Jitters Here
In his first collegiate start, Alex Frankel's first-round, two-under 70 set a new career best for single round. The tally topped his previous best of 74, which he posted in the second and third rounds of the 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate at the U-M Golf Course. Frankel has started four events in his second season and is averaging 75.36 per round.

Can They Make It Three Straight?
Last season, U-M had two team titles, eight top-five finishes in 14 events and shattered the team scoring record by two strokes, closing with a 292.05 per-round. Those numbers helped the Wolverines earn their second straight NCAA regional bid. Finishing fifth in the NCAA Southwest Regional, U-M advanced to the NCAA Finals for the first time in 12 years. U-M's postseason momentum continued at the championship event as the Wolverines moved on to the NCAA Match Play Finals, where they closed third, one hole away from competing for a national title. In his coaching career, U-M coach Andrew Sapp has 11 trips to the NCAA Finals, taking three different schools to the championship event.

PLAYER-BY-PLAYER NOTABLES

Senior Billy McKay
• Season Stoke Average: 77.00
• Played the three events, all as an individual
• Played in 16 career tournaments, with nine starts
• Career Stroke Average: 76.38
• Helped U-M to back-to-back NCAA regional appearances
• Shot a career-best one-under 69 in the third round of the 2006 Nike Purdue Kiahuna Collegiate Invitational
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament total - 77 at the 2007 Purdue Midwest Shootout ... 36-hole tournament total - 153 (76-77) at 2007 Robert Kepler Intercollegiate ... 54-hole tournament total - even-par 216 (72-71-73) at the 2006 Pinehurst Intercollegiate... 72-hole tournament total - 314 (74-82-79-79) at the 2007 Big Ten Championships

Senior Ross Millman
• Selected team captain for 2009-10 season by teammates and coaches
• Season Stroke Average: 77.00
• Played in U-M's home event -- 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms -- as an individual
• Played in 11 career tournaments, with eight starts
• Career Stroke Average: 76.10
• Helped U-M to back-to-back NCAA regional appearances
• Enrolled in the U-M's prestigious Stephen M. Ross School of Business
• After playing in just two events his first two seasons, started eight events in 2008-09
• Helped U-M to a runner-up finish at Big Ten Match Play, posting 2-1 record
• Shot a career-best 69 in the second round of the 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - none ... 36-hole tournament - none ... 54-hole tournament total - 213 (74-69-70) at the 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate ... 72-hole tournament - none

Senior Michael Slovitt
• Season Stroke Average: 75.67
• Played in U-M's home event -- 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms -- as an individual
• Played in six career tournaments, with one start
• Career Stroke Average: 76.28
• Helped U-M to back-to-back NCAA regional appearances
• Shot a career-best three-under 68 in the third round of the 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - none ... 36-hole tournament - none ... 54-hole tournament total - 212 (75-69-68) at the 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate ... 72-hole tournament - none

Junior Lion Kim
• Season Stroke Average: 72.14
• Played in 32 career tournaments, with 31 starts
• Started his last 26 straight events
• Posted a career-best finish (t-2nd), career-best 207 54-hole total and equaled career-best single round tally (67) at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms
• Career Stroke Average: 73.92
• 2009 PING All-America Honorable Mention
• 2009 Golf World Preseason Top 50 returning players in nation
• Helped U-M to back-to-back NCAA regional appearances
• In 2009, helped U-M to first NCAA Finals in 12 years, advancing to NCAA Match Play Finals and finishing third
• As a sophomore became just the second Wolverines to average under 73 strokes in a season (72.89)
• Given name is Jun Min Kim, but goes by "Lion" which is a nickname given to him by his parents
• Shot a career-best 67, twice -- second round (-5) at 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms, third round (-4) of the 2009 FAU Spring Break Championship
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament of 74 at 2007 Purdue Midwest Shootout ... 36-hole tournament - 145 (75-70) at 2009 Brickyard Collegiate ... 54-hole tournament total of nine-under 207 (69-67-71) at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms ... 72-hole tournament total of 293 (72-73-74-74) at the 2009 Big Ten Championships

Junior Alexander Sitompul
• Season Stroke Average: 76.67
• After missing first event due to injury, opened season as individual at 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms
• Played in 24 career tournaments, with 22 starts
• Career Stroke Average: 73.83
• 2009 PING All-America Honorable Mention
• Helped U-M to back-to-back NCAA regional appearances
• In 2009, helped U-M to first NCAA Finals in 12 years, advancing to NCAA Match Play Finals and finishing third
• Shot a career-best four-under 67 in the first round of the 2007 Windon Memorial Classic
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - 80 at 2007 Purdue Midwest Shootout ... 36-hole tournament - none ... 54-hole tournament total - 211 (70-71-70) at the 2009 River Landing Intercollegiate ... 72-hole tournament total - 295 (69-79-74-73) at the 2008 Big Ten Championships

Sophomore Alex Frankel
• Season Stroke Average: 75.36
• Started last four events for the Wolverines
• Made first collegiate start at 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms
• Shot a career-best two-under 70 in the first round of the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms
• Played in five career tournaments, with three starts
• Career Stoke Average: 75.53
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - none ... 36-hole tournament - 156 (81-75) at 2009 Brickyard Collegiate ... 54-hole tournament total - 223 (75-74-74) at the 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate ... 72-hole tournament total - none

Sophomore Matt Thompson
• Season Scoring Average: 71.21
• Posted nine rounds of 14 rounds at par or better, with six sub-70 rounds
• Played in 16 career tournaments, with 13 starts
• Started his last 11 straight events
• Finished third in opening event -- Wolf Run Intercollegiate -- with career-best eight-under 205 (69-69-67)
• Finished tied for second in second event -- Wolverine at Radrick Farms -- with nine-under 207 (69-70-68)
• Shot a career-best four-under 67 in the third round of the 2009 Wolf Run Intercollegiate
• Career Stoke Average: 72.76
• Helped U-M to back-to-back NCAA regional appearances
• In 2009, helped U-M to first NCAA Finals in 12 years, advancing to NCAA Match Play Finals and finishing third
• Known as "Mr. Match Play" after going 4-0-1 during 2008-09
• Earned All-Tournament Team honors at 2009 Big Ten Match Play Championships (3-0 in match play)
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - none ... 36-hole tournament - 151 (79-72) at 2009 Brickyard Collegiate ... 54-hole tournament total - eight-under 205 (69-69-67) at the 2009 Wolf Run Intercollegiate ... 72-hole tournament total - 302 (73-74-79-76) at 2009 Big Ten Championships

Freshman Rahul Bakshi
• One of three newcomers to the Wolverines
• Started all five events this season
• Season Stroke Average: 75.14
• Shot a career-best even-par 71 in the third round of the 2009 Wolf Run Intercollegiate
• Started first collegiate event at the 2009 Wolf Run Intercollegiate, tying for 47th
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - none ... 36-hole tournament - 152 (77-72) at 2009 Brickyard Collegiate ... 54-hole tournament total - two times -- 222 (76-72-74) at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms and 222 (74-72-76) at 2009 Bridgestone Intercollegiate ... 72-hole tournament total - none
• Born in Akron, Ohio, but grew up primarily in India
• Began playing golf in 2001, in first junior event was medalist runner-up using set of rental clubs
• Only Indian player to ever win the National Junior and National Amateur Golf Championship of India in the same year, youngest player to win the National Amateur Golf Championship of India, age 17

Freshman Miguel Echavarria
• One of three newcomers to the Wolverines
• Joined the Wolverines after walk-on tryout period in September
• Played in two events, both as individuals
• Played in first collegiate event at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms, tying for 61st
• Shot a career-best even-par 72 in the second round of the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - none ... 36-hole tournament - 154 (74-80) at 2009 Brickyard Collegiate ... 54-hole tournament total - 228 (76-72-80) at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms... 72-hole tournament total - none
• Brother, Andres, is a junior golfer at Florida

Freshman Jack Schultz
• One of three newcomers to the Wolverines
• Started all five events this season
• Season Stroke Average: 73.36
• Posted two top-10 finishes in five events
• Shot a career-best six-under 66 in the first round of the 2009 Bridgestone Intercollegiate
• Tallied a career-best six-under 210 54-hole tournament total at 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms, tying for seventh
• Career Tournament Bests: 18-hole tournament - none ... 36-hole tournament - 156 (82-74) at 2009 Brickyard Collegiate ... 54-hole tournament total - six-under 210 (69-69-72) at 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms ... 72-hole tournament total - none
• 2007 Wisconsin Player of the Year and three-time Conference Player of the Year (2007, '08, '09)

Upcoming Schedule
• Mon-Tue., Feb. 21-23 -- at Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)
• Monday, March 1 -- Match vs. Stanford (Palo Alto, Calif.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

   

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