This Week in Michigan Men's Golf: Puerto Rico Classic
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Feb. 21, 2014

In the Spotlight: Chris O'Neill

THIS WEEK
Sun-Tue., Feb. 23-25 -- at Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)
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Next on the Tee: The Puerto Rico Classic
The University of Michigan men's golf team travels to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Sunday through Tuesday (Feb. 23-25) to compete in the 16th annual Puerto Rico Classic. The three-day, 54-hole tournament will be played at the Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa's River Course. The course will be set up to play a par of 72 and 6,945 yards. The tournament will be a shotgun start beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 23).

The Tournament Field
There will be 15 teams competing in the Classic including Alabama, Clemson, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Purdue, SMU and Virginia Tech.

The Tournament Schedule
Sunday, Feb. 23 -- First Round (18), begins at 8 a.m. AST (shotgun)
Monday, Feb. 24 -- Second Round (18), begins at 8 a.m. AST (shotgun)
Tuesday, Feb. 25 -- Final Round (18), begins at 8 a.m. AST (shotgun)

The Michigan Lineup
Michigan will have five players participating in the tournament. Starting for U-M will be sophomore Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS), sophomore Brett McIntosh (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary School), junior Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]), freshman Reed Hrynewich (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores HS) and freshman Bryce Evon (Windsor, Ontario, Canada/Vincent Massey Secondary School).

WOLVERINE BITES

• After competing in five events during the fall season, the Wolverines will play in their second of five regular-season spring events on the schedule when they head to Puerto Rico this weekend.

• Michigan earned its first-ever win in the Big Ten Match Play Championship last weekend with a perfect 4-0 weekend record, improving to 12-7 all-time in the event.

• Each of U-M's six participating players won at least once. Chris O'Neill finished 3-1, Brett McIntosh, 2-1-1, Noori Hyun, 2-1, Bryce Evon, 2-1, Reed Hrynewich, 1-1-1 and Tom Swanson, 1-2.

• Michigan will be making its 12th straight appearance at the Puerto Rico Classic, hosted by Purdue. U-M recorded its best team finish with a sixth-place showing in 2008. Lion Kim has the top individual performance, tying for 10th in 2008 (76-68-69/213).

• Michigan History 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)
2011 -- 12th (300-302-286/888)
2012 -- t-13th (306-309-300/915)
2013 -- 15th (298-313-295/906)

Chris O'Neill and Brett McIntosh have not missed a start in their careers, playing in 18 consecutive events. The two were the only players to start all four matches for U-M last weekend in match play.

Chris O'Neill has shot seven of his 15 total rounds under par. He is averaging 72.07 per round and 216.21 per 54-hole tournament. Brett McIntosh is not far from his classmate, averaging 72.87 per round and 218.61 per 54 holes.

Chris O'Neill led the Wolverines during the fall season in scoring average, best single round, top-five finishes, top-20 finishes, rounds under par and winning percentage.

Chris O'Neill has finished as the top Wolverine in 11 of his 18 events, while Brett McIntosh has led five times. The duo has finished 1-2 among U-M golfers at an event eight times, including at four of the five fall events this season and five of the last six events overall.

Chris O'Neill was honored as the Big Ten Men's Golfer of the Week for the third time in his career. O'Neill began the season with a second-place finish at the Wolverine Intercollegiate and followed by winning his first collegiate title at the Windon Memorial Classic, helping him to his first two conference accolades. O'Neill picked up the honor for the third time after leading Michigan with a 3-1 record in match play to help the team win its first-ever Big Ten Match Play Championship title.

Bryce Evon gives the Wolverines three players to have started all six events this season. In his first year, he is averaging 75.80 per round. He posted a career-best 54-hole total of 222 in his first collegiate event -- the Wolverine Intercollegiate. He has a career-best round of 72, which he has recorded twice so far.

Reed Hrynewich has started each of the last four events in his first season. In the AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic, he set new career bests with a 225 54-hole total and final-round 73.

Tom Swanson made his collegiate debut at the AutoTrader.com Classic as an individual after missing the first three events due to injury. He closed his first college event shooting a career-best, one-under 71 in the final round.

• Michigan's roster features two left-handed golfers -- sophomore Brett McIntosh and freshman Reed Hrynewich. U-M's last lefty was Kevin Dore (2004-07).

Chris Whitten is in his eighth season with the U-M men's golf program. He spent five years (2006-11) as an assistant coach before serving as the head coach over the last three seasons.

Nick Pumford is in his third season as assistant coach at his alma mater. He was a four-year varsity letterwinner (2006-09), starting 29 of 33 career events. He helped U-M to a semifinal appearance at the 2009 NCAA Championship.

LAST TIME OUT
Michigan won its first-ever Big Ten Match Play Championship title at the Concession Golf Club (Feb. 14-15) in Bradenton, Fla. 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 led Michigan with a 3-1 record, while Brett McIntosh posted a 2-1-1 record and Noori Hyun had a team-best six birdies in 16 holes. [ Recap ]

UP NEXT
Mon-Tue., March 10-11 -- at San Diego Intercollegiate Classic (San Diego, Calif.)
Sat-Sun., April 5-6 -- at Aggie Invitational (Bryant, Texas)

Contact: Chad Shepard (shepchad@umich.edu), Tom Wywrot (twywrot@umich.edu)