Week #9: Wolverines to Take Jaunt South for Furman Intercollegiate

March 13, 2012

Fri-Sun., March 16-18 -- at Furman Intercollegiate (Greenville, S.C.)
Live Scoring

Next on the Tee
After practicing and fine tuning its games at the Weisfeld Family Golf Center, the University of Michigan men's golf team heads back out on the road as the Wolverines will visit Greenville, S.C., Friday through Sunday (March 16-18) for the 2012 Furman Intercollegiate. The three-day, 54-hole tournament will be played at the Furman University Golf Club. The Paladins will have the Furman course set up for a par 72 and 6,994 yards.

The Tournament Field
There will be a 21-team field in the Furman Intercollegiate, including Clemson, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Elon, Francis Marion, Furman, Gardner-Webb, Georgia, Georgia State, Marshall, Michigan, Presbyterian College, Purdue, Samford, Temple, Troy, Virginia Tech, Western Carolina, Winthrop and Wofford.

The Tournament Schedule
Thursday, March 15 -- Practice Round (9 a.m.)
Friday, March 16 -- First Round (8 a.m. tee times off No. 1 and 10)
Saturday, March 17 -- Second Round (8 a.m. tee times off No. 1 and 10)
Sunday, March 18 -- Final Round (8 a.m. tee times off No. 1 and 10)

The Tournament Lineup
Michigan will bring five-members for the Furman Intercollegiate. Playing for the Wolverines will be senior Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS), junior Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School), freshman Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]), junior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) and sophomore Matt Felsenfeld (West Bloomfield, Mich./Leadbetter Golf Academy [Fla.]).

The Most Since ...
Michigan will be among a 21-team field this weekend at the Furman Intercollegiate. It is the most teams the Maize and Blue has faced since the 2009 and 2011 NCAA Finals where 30 teams competed for the national championship. It is the most in a regular-season event for the Wolverines since the 2001 Tillinghast Invitational, which had a field of 24 teams.

Returning to Greenville
Michigan will make its third appearance at the Furman Intercollegiate and its first since the 2005 season. The Wolverines were third in their first appearance in 2004, closing at 894 (295-299-300) and tying for 11th in 2005 again at 894 (292-296-306).

What a Closing Season ... So Far
Matt Thompson, who has twice been named the Big Ten's Golfer of the Week, continues to lead Michigan during his final season. So far, he has been the top-finishing Wolverine in five events, having posted three top-10 finishes and picking up his first collegiate win at the 2011 Windon Memorial Classic with a five-under 205. In his final season, he is averaging 72.83 strokes per round, which is just over his single-season personal record of 72.00 during his sophomore season.

A Breakout Year
Miguel Echavarria continues to have a breakout year as he is averaging a career-best 74.67 per round -- nearly two shots better than his prior best of 76.40 during his freshman year. He has started all eight events finishing as either the second or third best Wolverine in seven events. He led U-M with a perfect 2-0 record at the Big Ten Match Play Championships. This season, Echavarria has set new career bests for single round (68), 36-hole event (148) and 54-hole event (214).

Coming on During the Spring
Noori Hyun will make his third straight start of the spring season at the Furman Intercollegiate. After going 1-1 at the Big Ten Match Play Championship, he started the Puerto Rico Classic, where shot 228 -- including a career-best 71 in the final round. Those totals did not last long, a Hyun led U-M for the first time in his career tallying a career-best 224 at the North Ranch Collegiate, including a new career-best single-round total with a one-under 69 in the final round. For the season, he has started five of six events and is averaging 76.00 per round.

Getting the Nod Again
Matt Felsenfeld will start his second event of the season, marking the first time he will get the nod in a regular-season tournament. The only other start of his career was at the Big Ten Match Play Championship a few weeks ago. After redshirting last season, Felsenfeld will be playing in just his third career event.

Big Ten's Are Coming
The Big Ten Championships are just around the corner and this season the conference event will introduce a new twist -- a neutral site. For the first time the Big Ten's men's and women's programs will compete during the same weekend -- Friday through Sunday (April 27-29) -- as well as play at the same resort -- the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind. In fact, conference event will be held in French Lick for the next three years. The men's championships will be played on the Pete Dye course, and the women's event will be held on the Donald Ross Course.

The New Home of the Wolverines
Following the fall season, both Michigan men's and women's golf teams moved into its new practice facility -- the Weisfeld Family Golf Center. After starting construction last September, the $2.5 million, 10,000 gross-square-foot building was dedicated and open for both programs. The new facility, set off South Main Street on the west side of the driving range of the U-M Golf Course, provides indoor/outdoor hitting bays, chipping and putting area, a golf simulator area, meeting areas, team room, coaches offices and new locker rooms. [ Photo Tour ]

Regional Coming to Ann Arbor
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 played host to 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.

Regional Bids Keep Coming
Michigan has been selected to four straight NCAA regional appearances. U-M's 2010 selection marked its 34th NCAA postseason appearance and the program's sixth regional since the format changed to regional play in 1991. Overall, the Wolverines have participated in five central regionals (1997, 2000, '08, '10, '11) and one southwest regional (2009).

Michigan and the NCAA Regional
1997 -- Central (8th)
2000 -- Central (t-11th)
2008 -- Central (t-12th)
2009 -- Southwest (5th), advanced to NCAA Finals (match play semifinalist)
2010 -- Central (t-6th)
2011 -- Central (1st), advanced to NCAA Finals (tied for 10th)

Sat-Sun., March 31-April 1 -- at LSU Intercollegiate (Baton Rouge, La.)
Fri-Sun., April 27-29 -- at Big Ten Championships (French Lick, Ind.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423