Week #10: Wolverines to Play at LSU Invitational This Weekend

March 29, 2011

• Sat-Sun., April 2-3 -- at LSU Invitational (Baton Rouge, La.)
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Next on the Tee
After nearly a month away from competition, the University of Michigan men's golf team will head to Baton Rouge, La., Saturday and Sunday (April 2-3) for the 2011 LSU Invitational. The 54-hole tournament will have a 12-team field, with a third of it from the Big Ten Conference -- Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State. The LSU Invitational will be held at the University Club, which will be set up for a par 72 and 7,274 yards.

The Tournament Field
The LSU Invitational field will include 12 teams: Boston College, Centenary, No. 13 Iowa, Iowa State, No. 12 LSU, No. 43 Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Penn State, Louisiana-Lafayette, UT-Chattanooga and VCU.

The Tournament Schedule
Friday, April 1 -- Practice Round (12:30 p.m. CDT, shotgun)
Saturday, April 2 -- First & Second Rounds (8:30 a.m. CDT, shotgun)
Sunday, April 3 -- Final Round (8 a.m. CDT, tee times off No. 1 & No. 10)

The Tournament Lineup
Michigan will travel six individuals to the LSU Invitational with the five-man starting line-up decided following the practice round. Heading to Baton Rouge, La., will be 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), sophomore Rahul Bakshi (Chandigarh, India/St. John's HS), sophomore Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School) and freshman Joey Garber (Petoskey, Mich./Petoskey).

The Streak Comes to an End, but There is a Good Reason
Lion Kim will not be able to compete in the LSU Invitational, snapping his consecutive tournament streak at 49. The reason? He will be competing at The Masters at Augusta National, April 7-11. After surviving a seven-plus hour weather delay, Kim used a 6-and-5 championship match-play win over David McDaniel to win the 85th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, earning him an invitation to compete the PGA major event.

Not Shying Away from Competition
In the spring season's five events, Michigan has played against a total of 57 teams, with 35 of those being ranked among the countries top 50. So far this season, U-M has a record of 66-45-1 for a 59.5 winning percentage. Currently, Michigan is ranks 43rd in the country by the Golfweek/Sagarin rating system.

Playing in the Red
So far this season, Lion Kim has shot 14 of his 24 rounds at par or better. He leads U-M with a 71.83 per-round average, which is on pace to break the U-M single-season record set last year by teammate Matt Thompson (72.00). Joey Garber continues his stellar first-year campaign as he is on pace to break Thompson's freshman single-season scoring record of 73.54, as Garber is at 72.42 per round.

Lower it Again and Again
Michigan averages 290.88 per team round, which is just behind of the U-M record set last season (290.45). Over the last three seasons, the Wolverines have reset the team single season scoring record -- 294.42 (2007-08) to 292.05 (2008-09) to 290.45 (2009-10).

Finding that Fifth-Man
Lion Kim, Joey Garber, Matt Thompson and Jack Schultz have started all nine events this season. The fifth-man spot has rotated between Alexander Sitompul (four starts in four events), Rahul Bakshi (four starts in six events) and Miguel Echavarria (three starts in five events).

A Wolverine Also 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.

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-Sun., April 4-11 -- Lion Kim at the Masters (Augusta, Ga.)
Sat-Sun., April 16-17 -- at Illini Spring Classic (Urbana, Ill.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423