Week #12: Postseason Has Arrived! U-M Preps for Big Ten Championships

April 26, 2011

Fri-Sun., April 29-May 1 -- at Big Ten Championships (West Lafayette, Ind.)
Live Scoring | Big Ten Championships Central

Next on the Tee
It's championship time! The University of Michigan men's golf team will shift its focus towards the second season as the Wolverines travel to West Lafayette, Ind., Friday through Sunday (April 29-May 1) for the 72-hole Big Ten Championships. The conference event hosted by Purdue will be played on the Kampen Course at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. The course will be set up for a par 71, 7,465 yards and the event will be stroke play.

The Championship Schedule
Thursday, April 28 -- Registration and Practice Round
Friday, April 29 -- First & Second Round (36) -- 8 a.m. & 1 p.m. tee times
Saturday, April 30 -- Third Round (18) -- 9 a.m., tee times
Sunday, May 1 -- Final Round (18) -- 8 a.m., tee times

The Championship Field
All 11 conference schools will participate in the 2011 Big Ten Championships. In fact, nine of the 11 schools are rated among the top 100 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index -- Illinois (No. 13), Indiana (No. 36), Iowa (No. 17), Michigan (No. 52), Michigan State (No. 148), Minnesota (No. 78), Northwestern (No. 57), Ohio State (No. 28), Penn State (No. 72), Purdue (No. 53) and Wisconsin (No. 181).

The Championship First Day Pairings
The teams will be seeded in the opening round based on the Golfstat ranking. Updated Golfstat rankings will be available Wednesday (April 27). Below is a listing of possible pairings.
• Tee #1
No. 5 seed Michigan, No. 6 seed Purdue, 8 a.m.
No. 3 seed Ohio State, No. 4 seed Indiana, 8:40 a.m.
No. 1 seed Illinois, No. 2 seed Iowa, 9:20 a.m.
• Tee #10
No. 9 seed Minnesota, No. 10 seed Michigan State, No. 11 seed Wisconsin, 8 a.m.
No. 7 seed Northwestern, No. 8 seed Penn State, 9:04 a.m.

The Championship Lineup
Michigan will travel a five-player team to the 2011 Big Ten Championships. Heading up the starters are senior Lion Kim (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary Prep School), junior Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview), sophomore Jack Schultz (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay), freshman Joey Garber (Petoskey, Mich./Petoskey) and senior Alexander Sitompul (Jakarta, Indonesia/Bradenton Prep Academy [Fla.]).

Championship Experience
Lion Kim -- fourth: 2010 (29th, 299); 2009 (14th, 293); 2008 (t-26th, 303)
Alexander Sitompul -- fourth: 2010 (t-48th, 310); 2009 (t-17th, 295); 2008 (t-38th, 308)
Matt Thompson -- third: 2010 (2nd, 283); 2009 (42nd, 302)
Jack Schultz -- second: 2010 (5th, 287)
Joey Garber -- first Big Ten Championships

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 has made 12 trips to the NCAA Finals, taking three different schools to the championship event.

Not Shying Away from Competition
In the spring season's six events, Michigan has played against a total of 76 teams, with 41 of those being ranked among the countries top 50. So far this season, U-M has a record of 77-57-3 for a 56.2 winning percentage. Currently, Michigan ranks 52nd in the country by the Golfweek/Sagarin rating system.

The Return
Lion Kim makes his way back to the lineup after missing two events after he competed in the 2011 Masters at Augusta National. Kim snapped his 49 straight tournament streak to play in the PGA event but still leads U-M with a 71.83 per-round average in nine events.

The Rookie
In his first season, Joey Garber has started all 11 events and stands third with a 73.90 scoring average, which currently ranks as the third best all-time for a U-M freshman. He has five top-20 finishes, including three in the top 10, with a career-best medalist runner-up finish at the Ridges, played Oct. 15-17. He has 12 rounds of par or better with nine rounds in the red and a career-best five-under 67 in the second round at the Ridges and at the Bridgestone Intercollegiate, played Oct. 23-24.

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.

Lower it Again and Again
Michigan averages 292.83 per team round, which is not that far 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 each season -- 294.42 (2007-08) to 292.05 (2008-09) to 290.45 (2009-10).

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, who is averaging 73.90, continues his stellar first-year campaign, shooting 12 of his 29 rounds at par or better as he is on pace to break Thompson's freshman single-season scoring record of 73.54.

Emerging from the Shadows
After playing in just two events in the spring, Alexander Sitompul posted a season-best tie for sixth place with a season-best 219 54-hole total at the LSU Intercollegiate, played April 2-3. He opened the event in Baton Rouge with a season-best two-under 70 and followed with a one-under 71. For the season, he has played in five total events and is averaging 74.08 per round.

The Tradition Like No Other
Lion Kim competed in the 2011 Masters after earning invitation following his win at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. After opening with a 76, Kim rallied posting an even-par 72 in the second round but missed the cut by three strokes. To find out more about Kim's incredible week, please visit his Masters Central page.

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.

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.

Thu-Sat., May 19-21 -- at NCAA Regional (TBD, six total sites)
Tue-Sun., May 31-June 6 -- at NCAA Championships (Stillwater, Okla.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423