Week #1: Regional Host U-M to Open Season on Home Course
MGOBLUE Matt Thompson
MGOBLUE
Matt Thompson
MGOBLUE

Sept. 7, 2011

THIS WEEK
Mon-Tue., Sept. 12-13 -- host Wolverine Intercollegiate (U-M Golf Course)
Live Results | Tournament Packet

Next on the Tee
The University of Michigan men's golf team will host the 2011 Wolverine Intercollegiate on Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 12-13) at the U-M Golf Course. There will be 11 teams in the field, playing 54 holes in the two-day tournament. Scoring for the Wolverine Intercollegiate will be five players; count the low four scores each round. Selected teams will be allowed an individual, including the Wolverines. The U-M Golf Course will be set up for a par 71 and 6,687 yards.

The Tournament Field
There will be 11 schools participating in the Wolverine Intercollegiate: Baylor, California, Detroit, Iowa State, IUPUI, Marquette, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina and Oakland.

The Tournament Schedule
Sunday, Sept. 11 -- Practice Round, tee times beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 12 -- First Round (18), tee times at 8 a.m. off No. 1 and 10
Monday, Sept. 12 -- Second Round (18), tee times at 1 p.m. off No. 1 and 10
Tuesday, Sept. 13 -- Final Round (18), tee times at 8 a.m. off No. 1 and 10

The Tournament Pairings
Starting On Hole 1 -- Group 1 (8 a.m.): Michigan, California, Baylor
Starting On Hole 1 -- Group 2 (8:45 a.m.): North Carolina, Missouri, Iowa State
Starting On Hole 10 -- Group 3 (8 a.m.): IUPUI, Marquette, Michigan State
Starting On Hole 10 -- Group 4 (8:45 a.m.): Oakland, Detroit, Individuals

The Tournament Lineup
With qualifying leading up to the tournament, the Wolverines starting five, and individuals, has yet to be determined. All eight Wolverines will play in the home event. Vying for spots will be: senior Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS), junior Rahul Bakshi (Chandigarh, India/St. John's HS), junior Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School), junior Jack Schultz (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay HS), junior Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice), sophomore Matt Felsenfeld (West Bloomfield, Mich./ Leadbetter Golf Academy [Fla.]), freshman Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]) and freshman Andrew Wong (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Pompano Beach HS).

New Head Man in Charge
After spending five years as an assistant coach, Chris Whitten takes the reins of the Wolverines in 2011-12. He replaces Andrew Sapp, who left to become the head coach at his alma mater, North Carolina. Whitten, who is just the ninth head coach in U-M history, was a finalist for the Jan Strickland Award, given to the top assistant coach in all NCAA divisions over the last two seasons. Throughout Whitten's tenure at U-M, the Wolverines have posted eight tournament wins and five individuals have won eight medalist honors. Michigan posted four straight NCAA regional bids and won the program's first team regional title at the 2011 NCAA Central Regional. Advancing to the NCAA Finals twice in the last three years, the Wolverines placed sixth to advance to team match play, closing with a semifinalist finish in 2009 while tying for 10th in 2011, missing match play by just three shots.

The Return of the Belt Buckle
After U-M head coach Chris Whitten was named head coach, he turned to former Wolverine captain Nick Pumford, who throughout his four-year career was known for his belt buckles during tournament play, to fill the assistant coaching position. While at Michigan, Pumford earned a general studies degree and was a four-year letterwinner. During his collegiate playing career, Pumford started 29 of 33 events and recorded five top-10 individual finishes, including winning the 2007 Wolf Run Intercollegiate. He helped U-M return to the NCAA postseason after an eight-year absence with back-to-back regional selections in 2008 and 2009. Following a brief professional playing career, Pumford began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Georgia State under head coach Joe Inman during the 2010-11 season.

The Return of the Tar Heel
When Michigan hosts the Wolverine Intercollegiate, the Wolverines will have a reunion with former head coach Andrew Sapp, now the head coach at his alma mater North Carolina. Sapp served nine years (2002-11) as head coach of the Wolverines. Under Sapp, Michigan earned four straight NCAA regional bids (2008-11), including winning the program's first regional title in 2011. U-M advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2009 and 2011, posting top-10 finishes, including a match play semifinal appearance in 2009.

Home Course Cooking
In 32 events hosted since 1942 at the U-M Golf Course, the Wolverines have claimed 10 team titles. For the first time in three years, the Wolverines will host an event on their home course. The last time U-M held a tournament at the U-M Golf Course was in 2008, when the Maize and Blue won. In 2005 at the Wolverine Intercollegiate, U-M set the all-time team record for 54-hole tournament tally with an 839 total.

Ready for Senior Season
In three years, Matt Thompson has helped U-M to two top-10 NCAA finishes, three of U-M's four straight NCAA regional bids, including the program's first regional title in 2011. He also set the program mark for the best freshman and sophomore single-season scoring average. In his career, he has started 34 of 37 events and carries a career scoring average of 73.02, which ranks second all-time at U-M. A 2011 All-Big Ten selection, Thompson also earned two straight PING All-Midwest Region selections.

Regional Bids Keep Coming
Michigan has been selected to four straight NCAA regional appearances. U-M's 2010 selection marked its 34th NCAA postseason appearance and the program's sixth regional since the format changed to regional play in 1991. Overall, the Wolverines have participated in five central regionals (1997, 2000, '08, '10, '11) and one southwest regional (2009).

A Historical Rally for First Title
Michigan won its first NCAA regional title in school history with an 11-under 841 performance at the 2011 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.

Michigan and the NCAA Regional
1997 -- Central (8th)
2000 -- Central (t-11th)
2008 -- Central (t-12th)
2009 -- Southwest (5th), advanced to NCAA Finals (match play semifinalist)
2010 -- Central (t-6th)
2011 -- Central (1st), advanced to NCAA Finals (tied for 10th)

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.

Practice Facility Almost Completed
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. After starting construction last September, the building is near completion. Both teams are scheduled to move into the building in mid-to-late October. 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.

UPCOMING EVENTS
Mon-Tue., Sept. 26-27 -- at Inverness Intercollegiate (Toledo, Ohio)
Sat-Sun., Oct. 1-2 -- at Rod Myers Invitational (Durham, N.C.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423