May 15, 2012
Senior Matt Thompson will be the lone competitor for the University of Michigan men's golf team in the NCAA postseason as the Wolverines host the NCAA Central Regional this Thursday through Saturday (May 17-19) at the U-M Golf Course. There will be 13 teams and 10 individuals playing in the three-day, 54-hole event. From the Ann Arbor regional, five teams and one individual will advance to the NCAA Finals in Los Angeles, Calif. The U-M Golf Course will be set up for a par 71, 6,723 yards.
The Regional Field
The NCAA Central Regional features 13 teams and 10 individuals. Teams (in seeding order) include: 1. USC, 2. Oregon, 3. Kent State (Mid-American Conference champion), 4. Virginia, 5. Baylor, 6. Oklahoma State, 7. Kennesaw State, 8. TCU, 9. Purdue, 10. North Carolina State, 11. Notre Dame (Big East Conference), 12. Ohio State, 13. Navy (Patriot League).
The 10 individuals are: 1. Peter Williamson, Dartmouth; 2. Matt Thompson, Michigan; 3. Sebastian MacLean, Xavier; 4. Erik Van Rooyen, Minnesota; 5. Dan Ellis, Michigan State; 6. Tyler Merkel, Ball State; 7. Charlie Bull, Akron; 8. Chad Ebert, Green Bay; 9. William Park, Army; 10. Greg Matthias, Delaware.
The Regional Schedule
Wednesday, May 16 -- Practice Round (tee times from 8 to 9:20 a.m.) | Thompson, 9:10 a.m.
Thursday, May 17 -- First Round (18), 8 a.m. (tee times off No. 1 and 10) | Thompson, 10:10 a.m.
Friday, May 18 -- Second Round (18), 8 a.m. (tee times off No. 1 and 10) | Thompson, TBD (based upon score)
Saturday, May 19 -- Final Round (18), 7:30 a.m. (tee times off No. 1 and 10), Thompson, TBD (based upon score)
Regional Comes to Familiar Grounds
Michigan and U-M Golf Course have been selected as one of six regional host sites for the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships. 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 held in Ann Arbor.
Michigan at the NCAA Championships
Michigan has appeared in the NCAA Postseason 35 total times. There have been 22 NCAA Final appearances, six NCAA team regional and 10 individual invitations. U-M won back-to-back national titles in 1934 and 1935 under Tom Trueblood and four runner-up titles (1943, '45, '46 and '52). The Wolverines have had three individual champions in John Fischer (1932), Chuck Kocsis (1936) and Dave Barclay (1947) and three runner-up finishes in Kocsis (1934) and John Jenswold (1944, '45). Last year, U-M won its first regional title at the central regional, paced by Lion Kim's regional individual title.
Thompson Makes Trek to NCAA Postseason for Fourth Straight Year
Matt Thompson's invitation to the NCAA Central Regional marks his fourth straight NCAA postseason appearance after helping U-M to three team invitations his previous three years. In 2009, he tied for 23rd in stroke play, helping U-M advance to the team match play final, where U-M was eliminated in the semifinal by eventual national champion Texas A&M. In 2010, Thompson tied for sixth individually to lead U-M at the central regional as the Wolverines just missed advancing to the NCAA Finals, tying for sixth as a team. Last year, he tied for 11th as the Wolverines won the central regional before tying for 10th in stroke play at the NCAA Championships, just missing the top eight to advance to the match-play NCAA Finals.
Matt Thompson's current 72.18 per-round average ranks as the third best all-time and is close to breaking his own school record of 72.00 set during the 2009-10 season. In fact, Thompson currently holds the U-M career scoring record with a 72.84 average. He remains just ahead of U-M great Michael Harris, who finished his career with a 72.85 single-round average.
Thompson's Career at the U-M Golf Course
In two career events held on the U-M Golf Course, Matt Thompson has averaged 71.83 per round with a 215.5 54-hole average. In the 2008 Wolverine Intercollegiate, Thompson tied for 14th playing as an individual with a 212 (68-72-72) total. After holding U-M's home event at Radrick Farms in 2009 and not hosting an event in 2010, the Wolverines returned to the U-M Golf Course this season where Thompson tied for 27th at 219 (68-75-76) at the Wolverine Intercollegiate, held Sept. 12-13, 2011.
Accolades Rolling In
Matt Thompson was named to the All-Big Ten second team, marking the second time he has earned the conference accolade, as he also earned second-team honors in 2010. This season, the Wolverine senior was also U-M's Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree and named to the Big Ten Championships All-Tournament team.
Something about the Conference Tournament
Matt Thompson posted his second top-three finish of his career at the Big Ten Championships after he was third at the 2012 event with a one-over 289 total. In 2010, he was the medalist runner-up with a one-under 283 tally. Rounding out his career at the Big Ten Tournament he tied for 13th in 2011 (295) and was 42nd in 2009 (302). For his career, he averaged 73.06 per round at the Big Ten Tournament, posting a 72-hole average of 292.25. He twice earned All-Tournament honors (2010, '12)
Follow the Leader
Matt Thompson has finished as the top Wolverine in eight of U-M's 11 events this season. He has seven top-20 individual finishes, with five in the top 10 and four among the top five -- including his first career win at the 2011 Windon Memorial Classic, held Oct. 16-17. For his career, he has cracked the top 20 in 26 or 48 career events, including 13 in the top 10 and seven in the top five.
Make it Three Conference Accolades
Matt Thompson claimed or shared of the Big Ten Golfer of the Week three times this season. He picked up his first award on Oct. 19, following his first collegiate win -- at the Windon Memorial Classic -- where he tied a career best with his five-under 205. He was awarded his second on Nov. 3, after nearly winning the rain-shortened Bridgestone Intercollegiate and his third on March 21 after his runner-up performance at the Furman Intercollegiate with his 10-under 206, the sixth-best tournament total all-time at U-M. Overall, he is just the fourth Wolverine all-time to claim the Big Ten honor and holds the most with three in a career. The only other Wolverines to earn the honor include Michael Harris (2000), Brandon Duff (2006) and Lion Kim (2008).
The 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.
Tue-Sun., May 29-June 3 -- at NCAA Finals (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423