Feb. 18, 2011
Sun-Tue., Feb. 20-22 -- at Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, P.R.)
Next on the Tee
After a solid start to its spring season at the Big Ten Match Play Championships, the University of Michigan men's golf team gets back to stroke-play tournaments as the Wolverines will head to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Sunday through Tuesday (Feb. 20-22) for the challenging field at the 2011 Puerto Rico Classic. The 54-hole tournament, featuring 12 of the top 50 ranked programs -- including No. 1 Oklahoma State and three other top-10 teams -- will be played at the River Course at the Rio Mar Country Club, set up for a par of 72 and 6,902 yards.
The Tournament Field
The Puerto Rico Classic field will include 15 teams, 12 of which are ranked in the top 50 by Golfweek/Sagarin ratings: No. 4 Alabama, No. 43 Clemson, East Tennessee State, No. 14 Georgia, No. 5 Georgia Tech, No. 31 Michigan, No. 17 N.C. State, No. 32 Northwestern, No. 22 Ohio State, No. 42 Oklahoma, No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 30 Purdue, No. 6 Texas, UNC Greensboro and Virginia Tech.
The Tournament Schedule
Saturday, Feb. 19 -- Practice Round & College Am (Tee times throughout the day)
Sunday, Feb. 20 -- First Round (8:00 a.m. AST, shotgun)
Monday, Feb. 21 -- Second Round (7:45 a.m. AST, shotgun)
Tuesday, Feb. 22 -- Final Round (7:30 a.m. AST, shotgun)
The Tournament Scoring Format
Scoring for the Puerto Rico Classic will be five players; count the low four scores each round. Selected teams will be allowed an individual competitor, including the Maize and Blue
The Match Play Lineup
Michigan will travel five Wolverines for the Puerto Rico Classic as senior Lion Kim (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary Prep School), senior Alexander Sitompul (Jakarta, Indonesia/Bradenton Prep Academy [Fla.]), junior Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS), sophomore Jack Schultz (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay HS) and freshman Joey Garber (Petoskey, Mich./Petoskey) will all compete for the Maize and Blue.
The Annual Trek
Michigan will be making its ninth straight appearance at the Puerto Rico Classic, hosted by Purdue. U-M coach Andrew Sapp helped start the event down in Rio Grande when he was the associate head coach with the Boilermakers, and he has been an annual invitee since he took over the Wolverine program. In one of the early spring seasons toughest tests, the Wolverines have continued to move up the leaderboard at the event with each passing year. U-M recorded its best team finish with a sixth-place showing in 2008. Lion Kim has posted the top individual performance, tying for 10th in 2008 (76-68-69/213). In fact, Kim has posted three top-25 finishes in his three appearances in Puerto Rico.
U-M at the Puerto Rico Classic
2003 -- 18th (328-319-313/960)
2004 -- 18th (319-302-301/922)
2005 -- 18th (300-307-320/927)
2006 -- 18th (305-297-304/906)
2007 -- 17th (304-303-297/904)
2008 -- 6th (291-287-292/870)
2009 -- t-9th (287-294-296/877)
2010 -- t-13th (293-288-295/876)
Garber Goes Perfect
Joey Garber went a perfect 3-0 at the 2011 Big Ten Match Play. In three years of the conference event, U-M has had a freshman go undefeated in three consecutive events. Matt Thompson went 3-0 in the inaugural event in 2009, while Jack Schultz went 2-0-1 at last year's event.
The Fall Season
After opening the fall season with a ninth-place finish at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate, the Wolverines closed the fall season with four straight top-five finishes, including winning the title at the Windon Memorial Classic following Lion Kim's first collegiate medalist honor. Kim, who had three top-10 finishes, closed the fall season averaging a U-M-record pace of 71.27 strokes per round, while newcomer Joey Garber was second at 72.87. As a team, U-M averaged 288.13 per round.
Finding the Golden Ticket
After surviving a seven-plus hour weather delay, Lion Kim used a 6-and-5 championship match-play win over David McDaniel to win the 85th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship on July 17 at Bryan Park's Champions Course. By winning the USAPL, Kim earned an invitation to compete in April in The Masters at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club.
Practice Facility on its Way
In July 2010, the U-M Board of Regents approved the schematic design of the new practice facility for the men's and women's golf programs. The $2.5 million, 10,000 gross-square-foot facility designed by Ann Arbor Architects Collaborative will be funded by athletic resources and gifts. The new building, set off South Main Street on the west side of the driving range of the U-M Golf Course, will provide space for functional training, meeting and practice for golf teams.
Can They Make It Four Straight?
Michigan will be looking to get a bid to its fourth straight NCAA Regional. Last season, the Wolverines received their third straight NCAA Regional berth with an invitation to the central regional at the Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind. That selection marked the 33rd NCAA postseason appearance for the Wolverines and is the program's fifth regional, with previous action at the 1997, 2000 and 2008 Central Regionals and the 2009 Southwest Regional, since the format changed to regional play. In his coaching career, U-M head coach Andrew Sapp had made 12 trips to the NCAA Finals, taking three different schools to the championship event.
Maize and Blue Jewel Selected for Regional
Michigan and U-M Golf Course have been selected as one of six regional host sites for the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships. The three-day, 54-hole event will run Thursday through Saturday, May 17-19, 2012. The U-M Golf Course, which has hosted a total of 11 conference championships, last hosted an NCAA event when the women's program hosted the 2007 NCAA Central Regional. The men's program has hosted NCAA events in 1996 with the NCAA Central Regional and in 1947, when the NCAA Finals were played at the U-M Golf Course.
Mon-Tue., Feb. 28-March 1 -- at USC Collegiate Invitational (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Mon-Tue., March 7-8 -- at Fresno State Lexus Classic (Fresno, Calif.)
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423