May 24, 2011
Next on the Tee: The NCAA Finals
After rallying to win the NCAA Central Regional with an 11-under 841, two strokes ahead of runner-up Illinois, the University of Michigan men's golf team extended its season and earned a berth into the NCAA Championships, to be held May 31-June 5 at Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla.
The top five teams and highest finishing individual from a non-qualifying team from regional play moved onto the NCAA Championships. All 30 teams, along with sixth individuals of non-qualifying teams, will play 54 holes from Tuesday to Thursday (May 31-June 2) to determine the individual champion. Following the stroke play, the top eight teams in the field will move on to play for the team championship, to be held Friday through Sunday, June 3-5, in match-play format. Karsten Creek will be set up for a par 72, 7,403 yards.
The NCAA Finals Schedule
Sunday, May 29 -- Registration
Monday, May 30 -- Practice Round, 9 a.m. CDT (shotgun)/Coaches Meeting, 4 p.m. CDT/Banquet, 7 p.m. CDT
Tuesday, May 31 -- First Round, 2 p.m. CDT (10th tee -- paired with Iowa & Duke)
Wednesday, June 1 -- Second Round, 8:40 a.m. CDT (1st tee -- paired with Iowa & Duke)
Thursday, June 2 -- Final Round, 7 a.m. CDT (tee and time based on team position)
Friday, June 3 -- Match Play Quarterfinal, 10 a.m. CDT (if finish in top-eight as team)
Saturday, June 4 -- Match Play Semifinal, 10 a.m. CDT (if advance)
Sunday, June 5 -- Match Play, Championship, Noon CDT (if advance)
The NCAA Finals Field
Michigan has played against 22 of the 30 teams in the NCAA Championships field. The full listing for the regional includes (with U-M record): Alabama (1-1), Arizona State (0-1), Arizona, Arkansas, California (2-0), Augusta State, Colorado State, Duke (1-1), Florida, Georgia (0-1), Georgia Tech (0-1), Illinois (1-3), Iowa (2-3), Kennesaw State, Kent State (1-1), LSU (0-1), Michigan, N.C. State (0-2), Northwestern (3-4), Ohio State (1-3), Oklahoma (0-1), Oklahoma State (0-1), Pepperdine (2-0), San Diego (1-0), San Diego State (0-2), Southern California (1-0), Tennessee (2-0-1), Texas (0-1), Texas A&M and UCLA (0-1). The six individuals will be: Jason Millard (Middle Tennessee State), Jace Long (Missouri), Lee Bedford (Wake Forest), Geoff Gonzalez (Cal Poly), Sebastian Soderberg (Coastal Carolina) and Matt Hansen (UC Davis).
The First 36-Hole Pairings
(1-2-3) Oklahoma State, UCLA, Alabama
(4-5-6) Georgia Tech, Florida, Augusta State
(7-8-9) San Diego State, Texas A&M, Illinois
(10-11-12) LSU, Texas, Georgia
(13-14-15) Iowa, Duke, Michigan
(16-17-18) Southern California, Arkansas, California
(19-20-21) San Diego, N.C. State, Oklahoma
(22-23-24) Arizona State, Ohio State, Tennessee
(25-26-27) Kent State, Kennesaw State, Pepperdine
(28-29-30) Northwestern, Arizona, Colorado State
(Indy's 1-2-3) Millard (Middle Tennessee State), Long (Missouri), Bedford (Wake Forest)
(Indy's 4-5-6) Gonzalez (Cal Poly), Soderberg (Coastal Carolina), Hansen (UC Davis)
The NCAA Finals Lineup
Michigan will travel a five-player team to the NCAA Finals. 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 sophomore Rahul Bakshi (Chandigarh, India/St. John's HS) will all be making the trip to Stillwater.
Make it Two in the Last Three
By virtue of the NCAA Central Regional title, Michigan advances to the NCAA Championships for the second time in three years. It marks the 22nd time in 34 total NCAA postseason appearances the Wolverines advanced to the national tournament. U-M won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1934 and 1935.
Remembering the 2009 NCAA Postseason Run
In the 2008-09 season, U-M earned its second straight NCAA Regional bid. Finishing fifth in the NCAA Southwest Regional, U-M advanced to the NCAA Finals for the first time in 12 years. U-M's postseason momentum continued at the championship event as the Wolverines moved on to the NCAA Match Play Finals after closing sixth as a team. After a first-round win over USC, U-M closed with a third-place finish following a loss to eventual champion Texas A&M in the semifinal.
Michigan at the NCAA Finals
1934 -- Match Play: Cleveland, Ohio (National Champions)
1935 -- Match Play: Bethesda, Md. (National Champions)
1939 -- Finals: Des Moines, Iowa (8th)
1940 -- Finals: Manchester, Vt. (13th)
1942 -- Finals: South Bend, Ind. (9th)
1943 -- Finals: Olympia Fields, Ill. (Runner-up)
1944 -- Finals: Toledo, Ohio (3rd)
1945 -- Finals: Columbus, Ohio (NCAA Runner-up, tied)
1946 -- Finals: Princeton, N.J. (NCAA Runner-up)
1947 -- Finals: Ann Arbor, Mich. (t-5th)
1948 -- Finals: Palo Alto, Calif. (6th)
1949 -- Finals: Ames, Iowa (4th)
1952 -- Finals: West Lafayette, Ind. (NCAA Runner-up)
1956 -- Finals: Columbus, Ohio (16th)
1964 -- Finals: Colorado Springs, Colo. (t-11th)
1965 -- Finals: Knoxville, Tenn. (22nd)
1966 -- Finals: Palo Alto, Calif. (16th)
1967 -- Finals: Shawnee, Pa. (t-13th)
1968 -- Finals: Las Cruces, N.M. (t-14th)
1997 -- Finals: Lake Forest, Ill, (25th)
2009 -- Finals: Toledo, Ohio (6th) / Match Play: semifinalist (t-3rd)
Regional Bids Keep Coming
Michigan has been selected to four straight NCAA Regionals. The selection marks U-M's 34th NCAA postseason appearance and the program's sixth regional since the format changed to regional play. The Wolverines have participated in four previous central regionals (1997, 2000, '08, '10) and one southwest regional (2009). In his coaching career, U-M head coach Andrew Sapp had made 13 trips to the NCAAs, taking three different schools to the championship event.
Michigan and the NCAA Regional
1997 -- Central (8th)
2000 -- Central (t-11th)
2008 -- Central (t-12th)
2009 -- Southwest (5th), advanced to NCAA Finals
2010 -- Central (t-6th)
2011 -- Central (1st), advance to NCAA Finals
A Historical Rally for First Title
Michigan won its first NCAA Regional title in school history with an 11-under 841 performance at the NCAA Central Regional at the Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Ind. The Wolverines previous-best finish at a regional was fifth at the 2009 Southwest Regional. The NCAA went to the regional format in 1991. U-M has made six total regional appearances since then.
Adding Another Trophy to the Showcase
Michigan's win at the NCAA Central Regional is the second title for the Wolverines this season and the 41st in U-M history. Earlier in the fall, the Wolverines won the 2010 Windon Memorial Classic, held Sept. 26-27. Lion Kim took medalist honors that weekend as well -- the first individual title of his career. Kim's win gives U-M 38 medalist honors in school history.
A Gutty Performance
Despite battling Achilles tendonitis for the past few weeks and almost pulling out of the NCAA Central Regional, Lion Kim won his second event of the season, tying medalist honors with Illinois' Luke Guthrie. Kim's eight-under 205 (71-69-65) regional total was not only a career best, but it was the second-best tally in U-M history. In addition, Kim's final-round, six-under 65 tied his career-best single-round score. He also shot a seven-under 65 in the first round of the 2010 Bridgestone Intercollegiate, played Oct. 23-24. Both rounds were just a stroke away from the U-M record of 64.
Closing in on a U-M Milestone
Michigan's team title at the NCAA Central Regional is the eighth in the U-M career of head coach Andrew Sapp. He is now tied for the all-time lead for wins by a head coach at Michigan with Jim Carras (1982-2002) and Bert Katzenmeyer (1947-68).
Setting a NCAA Postseason Trend
In his coaching career, Andrew Sapp has helped 16 teams reach an NCAA Regional. With the Wolverines' team title, he now has three regional titles -- U-M (2011), Purdue (2001, '02). He also has nine total top-five regional finishes.
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 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.
Prepping with Match Play
Since 2009, Michigan has been able to test itself for match play early on, competing in the Big Ten Match Play Championships to start the fall season. Overall, U-M has a 5-4 record in three match-play events, closing as the runner-up in 2009, sixth in 2010 and fifth in 2011.
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.
Playing in the Red
Lion Kim has shot 17 of his 31 rounds at par or better. He leads U-M with a 72.13 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 74.00, continues his stellar first-year campaign, shooting 15 of his 36 rounds at par or better.
The Core of the Maize and Blue
Matt Thompson, Jack Schultz and Joey Garber are the only Wolverines to start all 13 events this season. Thompson has seven top-20 finishes and averages 73.53 per round. Schultz, who has 25 straight starts, has compiled four top-20 finishes and is averaging 74.19 per round, while in his first season, Garber has six top-20 performances, including four top 10 and two top five while averaging 74.00 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 for an even-par 72 in the second round but missed the cut by three strokes. Kim was one of six amateurs, three collegians, invited to the 2011 Masters. In addition Kim, additional amateur invitees include: Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State & U.S. Amateur Champion); David Chung (Stanford & U.S. Amateur runner-up); Jin Jeong (British Amateur Champion); Hideki Matsuyama (Asian Amateur Champion) and Nathan Smith (U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion). [ Masters Central ]
A Master's Reunion at the Regional
Michigan's Lion Kim and Stanford's David Chung both competed as amateurs at the 2011 Masters and met up with each other at the NCAA Central Regional. Kim tied for medalist honors and help U-M win the team regional title, while Chung tied for 11th at even-par 213 (69-71-73) as Stanford was sixth, just missing the cut.
A Master's Reunion Part 2
After seeing 2011 Masters amateur competitor David Chung (Stanford) at the NCAA Central Regional, Lion Kim will see now see another 2011 Masters amateur competitor in Oklahoma State's Peter Uihelin at the NCAA Finals. Kim tied for 64th at 148 (76-72), missing the cut by three shots, while Uihelin was a shot back as he tied for 75th at 149 (72-77). Chung tied for 64th at 148 (72-76).
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.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423