This Week in Michigan Men's Golf: Colleton River Collegiate

March 4, 2013

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This Week
Wed-Thu., March 6-7 -- at Colleton River Collegiate (Hilton Head, S.C.)
No Live Scoring

Next on the Tee
On its annual spring break training trip the University of Michigan men's golf team will participate in Michigan State's Colleton River Collegiate event, Wednesday and Thursday (March 6-7) at Colleton River Plantation Club. The 54-hole event will only feature four teams as scheduling did not allow the field to participate in a larger event at the conclusion of the break. Colleton River's Pete Dye Course will be set up for a par of 72 and 7,212 yards.

The Tournament Field
There will be four teams in the field for the 2013 Colleton River Collegiate: Detroit, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State.

The Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, March 6 -- First Round (18) begins with tee times at 8 a.m.
Wednesday, March 6 -- Second Round (18) following conclusion of first round
Thursday, March 7 -- Final Round (18) begins with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m.

The Wolverine Lineup
Michigan will determine its lineup following its practice round during the spring break trip. The five starters will be chosen from senior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice), freshman Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS), freshman Brett McIntosh (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary School), senior Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School), freshman Andrew Yeager (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central HS), sophomore Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]) and sophomore Andrew Wong (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Pompano Beach HS).


• During U-M's spring break training trip in South Carolina, the Wolverines have played at Belfair Plantation and Berkeley Hall Club. They will compete at Colleton River's Pete Dye Course for the tournament. After the conclusion of the event, U-M will have an additional day of practice before heading back to Ann Arbor on Saturday.

• In Michigan's five stroke-play events the Wolverines have had an individual finish among the top 15 four times. Brett McIntosh tied for third at the Inverness Intercollegiate, Chris O'Neill placed fifth at the Windon Memorial Classic and tied for 14th at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, and Noori Hyun finished eighth at the Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic.

Chris O'Neill leads Michigan with a 74.27 per round average, while Brett McIntosh and Matt Alessi are tied for second at 75.80.

• A Michigan freshman has led U-M in four of the five stroke-play events this season. Both Brett McIntosh (Inverness Intercollegiate and Puerto Rico Classic) and Chris O'Neill (Windon Memorial and Alister MacKenzie Invitational) have led the Wolverines twice. In its only other stroke-play event Michigan was led by second-year man Noori Hyun (Irish Gridiron Classic).

Matt Alessi, Miguel Echavarria, Chris O'Neill and Brett McIntosh have started all seven events this season.

• Michigan has competed in seven tournaments this season, with two of those events in a match play format -- the Stanford Classic at Cypress Point and the Big Ten Match Play Championship.

• After joining the team as a walk-on last season, Matt Alessi will make his 19th consecutive start for Michigan. Captain Miguel Echavarria will also start his 19th straight (23rd career). Both players have yet to miss a start over the last two seasons.

Brett McIntosh, who hails from London, Ontario, Canada, is the Wolverines' only lefthanded golfer on the team. He is the first lefty to play for U-M since Kevin Dore (2004-07), who was from Dundas, Ontario.

• Michigan has been selected for NCAA regional play the last five seasons, with four team selections precedingMatt Thompson'sindividual appearance last spring.


Miguel Echavarria
Medellin, Colombia

On the importance of the spring break trip ... "It is very important for us. It gives us a chance to play some really nice and difficult courses. It gets us prepared for many of our future events because we play some pretty tough courses throughout the year and especially down the stretch of our spring season. This trip really gives us a chance to bond a little more."

On his thoughts of his final season to date ... "It has not been exactly the way I would have wanted it to go so far. I played okay in my first tournament and after that I just have not played the way I know that I can. I have not been as consistent as I would like to be. I wanted to be able to finish in the top 20 or top 30 in each event I play. However, there are still four or five events left and I really want to play the best golf I can."

On the youth of this team ... "There is a lot of talent there. They have come in here and really fit in well and really are willing to do whatever it takes to get better. They really practice hard. They play hard. They have gained some valuable experiences, and you can see different aspects of their games getting better from early on in the year. With the recruits we have coming in next year, there is a lot of potential with this team."

On who the comedian of the team is ... "Chris O'Neill for sure. He is just so, so funny."

On if he could play another sport at Michigan what would it be ... "It wouldn't be basketball, that is for sure. If there was a college ping pong team I would definitely be part of that. But I really like running, so I think it would be some sort of distance running."

On something about him people don't know ... "When I was eight I was in a spaghetti TV commercial. The thing was, I hate spaghetti, so they had to make fake noodles out of cheese just so I would eat it."

On if there is footage or photos of this commercial ... "No, that was a long time ago ... a very long time ago. If there were, I know I would keep them in a safe place. Ha!"

Last Time Out
Michigan played in its first stroke-play event since mid-October and finished 15th at the Puerto Rico Classic with a 906 tally Feb. 17-19 in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. After opening with a 298, U-M had a 313 in poor weather conditions in the second round but recovered in the final round with a 295. Brett McIntosh led U-M, tying for 39th at 221 (75-74-72), while Matt Alessi tied for 51st at 224 (74-76-74) and Chris O'Neill tied for 59th at 229 (73-84-72). [ Recap ]

Up Next
Sun-Tue., March 24-26 -- at C&F Bank Intercollegiate (Williamsburg, Va.)
Sat-Sun., April 6-7 -- at Hoosier Invitational (Bloomington, Ind.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423