This Week in Michigan Men's Golf: Detroit Golf Club Invitational

April 11, 2013

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Friday, April 12 -- at Detroit Golf Club Invitational (Detroit, Mich.)

Next on the Tee
After the University of Michigan men's golf team had its final two rounds of the C&F Bank Intercollegiate cancelled due to weather, the Wolverines and the several local teams organized the 36-hole Detroit Golf Club Invitational for this Friday (April 12) to make up the two lost rounds. There will be six teams in the field playing the Detroit Golf Club's North and South courses in a 36-hole shootout. In addition, the teams will play in a 6-count-5 format. The North course will be set up for a par 72 and 6,936 yards, while the South course will be set up for a par 68 and 5,967 yards.

The Tournament Field
There will be six teams in the field for the Detroit Golf Club Invitational: Bowling Green, Dayton, Eastern Michigan, Michigan, Toledo, Xavier.

The Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, April 10 -- Practice Round, tee times throughout the day, 3:15 p.m.
Friday, April 12 -- First Round (18), North Course, tee times, 8:30 a.m.
Friday, April 13 -- Final Round (18), South Course, continuous play after first round

The Wolverine Lineup
Michigan will have six starters and one individual at the Detroit Golf Club Invitational. Senior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice), freshman Brett McIntosh (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary School), freshman Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS), senior Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School), sophomore Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]) and freshman Andrew Yeager (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central HS) will make up the starting group, while sophomore Andrew Wong (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Pompano Beach HS) will play as the individual.


• With the addition of the Detroit Golf Club Invitational, it will be a homecoming for Matt Alessi, who grew up in nearby Bloomfield Hills. The Detroit Golf Club was where he learned to start playing golf.

Chris O'Neill continues to lead Michigan with a 74.23 per-round average, while Brett McIntosh is second at 75.05 and Matt Alessi third at 75.41. With current men's golf history dating back to the early 1980s, a freshman has never led the team in scoring average.

Brett McIntosh's Hoosier Invitational five-under 66 was not only a career best, it also marks the lowest round by a Wolverine this season. He is the ninth Wolverine in history to post a 66, which is the third-lowest round total at U-M. The record is 64, which has been recorded on three occasions.

Matt Alessi's career-low, two-under 69 in the first round of the Hoosier Invitational bettered his previous best by a shot. He carded a one-under 70 in the third round of the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (Oct. 16).

• Michigan's one-over 285 in the first round of the Hoosier Invitational is its best round of the 2012-13 season. The Wolverines had a two-over 286 in the second round of the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (Oct. 15). Overall, U-M averages 298.23 per team round this season.

• In Michigan's eight stroke-play events, the Wolverines have had an individual finish among the top 15 seven times. Brett McIntosh tied for third at the Inverness Intercollegiate and tied for fourth at the NYX Hoosier Invitational; Chris O'Neill placed fifth at the Windon Memorial Classic, was seventh at the Colleton River Collegiate, tied for 11th at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate and tied for 14th at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational; and Noori Hyun finished eighth at the Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic.

• A Michigan freshman has led U-M in seven of the eight stroke-play events this season. Chris O'Neill (Windon Memorial, Alister MacKenzie Invitational, Colleton River Collegiate and C&F Bank Intercollegiate) leads U-M with four, while Brett McIntosh (Inverness Intercollegiate, Puerto Rico Classic and Hoosier Invitational) has three to his credit. In the only other stroke-play event, Michigan was led by second-year man Noori Hyun (Irish Gridiron Classic).

Matt Alessi, Chris O'Neill and Brett McIntosh are the only Wolverines to have started all 10 events this season. All three are expected to play at the Detroit Golf Club Invitational.

• Michigan has competed in 10 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 21st consecutive start over the last two seasons.

Brett McIntosh, who hails from London, Ontario, Canada, is the Wolverines' only left-handed 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 preceding Matt Thompson's individual appearance last spring.


Chris Whitten
Head Coach

On having two extra competition rounds ... "It all started when we were in Virginia and a couple of the coaches were talking about some extra days of competition and a couple of the coaches had connections at the Detroit Golf Club, so we aren't hosting it, but we are fortunate enough to go to it. It is just two classic Donald Ross golf courses, 36 holes and some of our guys have never played there before. It is good to get in competition, we are getting close to final exams so it would be hard to go on a long trip and get the guys out of school for very long, so this worked out perfectly."

On playing complete roster ... "We had the whole team on spring break and we have played a decent amount outside, but more competition is always better. There is no substitute for playing tournament golf. It will be good to see where everyone's game is at in live action, playing the same course with the same pin locations and course conditions."

On the play of freshmen Chris O'Neill and Brett McIntosh ... "Chris (O'Neill) and Brett (McIntosh) both have pretty big games. They both have speed and having been to French Lick once, I know that the guys who have big games I think are going to have the best chance to play well. I would say that both of them are playing the best that they have all season, so we are peaking at the right time. Matt (Alessi) and Miguel (Echavarria) are really looking solid also, so things are coming together at the right time for us and hopefully we can capitalize on that. "

On focus areas for the team ... "We will probably work on fewer technical things and making sure that the guys are confident. We should be prepared when we get there; we should be in a position where we don't have to do anything extra than we have done on a daily basis. If they just do what they are used to doing, then we should be able to perform really well.

On being a big basketball fan and of U-M's run in March Madness ... "They have so many young players, similar to what we have, and we know a lot of their support staff and see their players on a daily basis at the Player Development Center, so we were probably invested a little more than most people, but they are a super, super talented team and it was the right time for them. They deserve it, they are awesome."

Last Time Out
Michigan closed third at the 18-team NYX Hoosier Invitational after posting a season-low, one-over-par 285 in the opening round before adding back-to-back scores of 290 for an 865 total. Boosted by a team season-low 66 in the second round, Brett McIntosh logged his third top-10 finish of the season, tying for fourth place with a 210 total (72-66-72). Matt Alessi also posted a score in the 60s, shooting a career-best 69 in the opening round on his way to a 15th-place finish at 216 (69-73-74). [ Recap ]

Fri-Sun., April 26-28 -- at Big Ten Championships (French Lick, Ind.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423