March 27, 2012
Sat-Sun., March 31-April 1 -- at LSU National Invitational (Baton Rouge, La.)
Next on the Tee
The University of Michigan men's golf team will close its regular season with a trip to Baton Rouge, La., for the 2012 LSU National Invitational, Saturday and Sunday (March 31-April 1). Featuring a 12-team field, the 54-hole event will be played at LSU's University Club. Host LSU will have the University Club set up for a par 72 and 7,440 yards.
The Tournament Field
There will be a 12-team field in the LSU National Invitational, including Boston College, Furman, Iowa, Iowa State, LSU, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan, Minnesota, UNC Wilmington, Purdue and UT-Chattanooga.
The Tournament Schedule
Friday, March 30 -- Practice Round (7:30 a.m. CDT)
Saturday, March 31 -- First Round (8 a.m. CDT, tee times)
Saturday, March 31 -- Second Round (continuous play)
Sunday, April 1 -- Final Round (8:30 a.m. CDT, tee times)
The Tournament Lineup
Michigan will bring five-members for the LSU National Invitational. 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 freshman Andrew Wong (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Pompano Beach HS).
The Return to the Bayou
Michigan returns to the LSU National Invitational after finishing fourth last year with an 898 tally. Former Wolverine Alexander Sitompul (2008-11) tied for sixth individually to lead U-M, while Matt Thompson tied for 26th at 229 (75-77-77) and Miguel Echavarria tied for 49th at 239 (83-82-74) playing as an individual.
Back on Track
Following his 10-under 206 tally at the Furman Intercollegiate, Matt Thompson is back on track to break his U-M single-season scoring average record. Currently, he is averaging 71.90 per round, which is just ahead of his record of 72.00 set during the 2009-10 season. Additionally, Thompson is also holding on to a 72.83 career average, which is on pace to claim the top spot all-time for a career -- Michael Harris (72.92).
Make it Three Conference Accolades
Matt Thompson claimed a share of the Big Ten Golfer of the Week after his near win at the Furman Intercollegiate. The conference accolade is the third of the season for the senior. Overall, he is just the fourth Wolverine all-time to claim the Big Ten honor and holds the most with three total in a career. The only other Wolverines to earn the honor include Michael Harris (2000), Brandon Duff (2006) and Lion Kim (2008).
A Breakout Year
Miguel Echavarria continues to have a breakout year as he is averaging a career-best 74.71 per round -- nearly one and a half shots better than his prior best of 76.40 during his freshman year. He has started all nine events finishing as either the second- or third-best Wolverine in eight 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 fourth straight start of the spring season at the LSU National Invitational. 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 six of seven events and is averaging 75.94 per round.
A Near Miss for Thompson
Matt Thompson's 10-under 206 at the Furman Intercollegiate just missed his career best by a single shot. Earlier in the fall, Thompson tied his career best with a five-under 205 (69-71-65) at the 2011 Windon Memorial Classic. He set the personal best with an eight-under 205 (69-69-67) at the 2009 Wolf Run Intercollegiate. Overall, Thompson's tally was the sixth-lowest 54-hole tournament total all-time at U-M.
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.
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.
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 ]
Fri-Sun., April 27-29 -- at Big Ten Championships (French Lick, Ind.)
Thu-Sat., May 17-19 -- host NCAA Regional (U-M Golf Course)
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423