Oct. 12, 2012
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter
Mon-Tue., Oct. 15-16 -- at Alister MacKenzie Invitational (Fairfax, Calif.)
Next on the Tee
The University of Michigan men's golf team heads to the West Coast for its fourth fall event as the Wolverines will stop in Fairfax, Calif., Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 15-16) for Cal's 2012 Alister MacKenzie Invitational. There will be 16 teams in the field playing 54 holes over the two-day event held at the Meadow Club. Scoring for the MacKenzie Invitational will be five players; count the low four scores each round playing in threesomes. The Meadow Club will be set up for a par 71 at 6,718 yards.
The Tournament Field
There will be 16 teams in the field for the 2012 Alister MacKenzie Invitational, including: Arizona State, BYU, Cal, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, San Francisco, San Jose State, UC Davis and Wichita State.
The Tournament Schedule
Sunday, Oct. 14 -- Practice Round, tee times throughout the day
Monday, Oct. 15 - -- First Round (18) begins with a shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. PT
Monday, Oct. 15 -- Second Round (18) will be continuous play following first round
Tuesday, Oct. 16 -- Final Round (18) begins with tee times tee times at 7:45 a.m. PT
The Wolverine Lineup
Michigan will bring five starters to the Alister MacKenzie Invitational. Sophomore Noori Hyun (Seoul, Korea/Centreville HS [Va.]) will head up U-M's travel squad with freshmen Chris O'Neill (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run HS) and Brett McIntosh (London, Ontario, Canada/Saunders Secondary School) rounding out the top half of the starting group. Seniors Matt Alessi (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) and Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School) fill the rest of the Maize and Blue starting five.
Michigan will close its fall season playing the final two events in the state of California -- Alister MacKenzie Invitational (Oct. 15-16) and the Stanford Classic (Oct. 29-30).
Alister MacKenzie is a familiar name to the Wolverines as he is the designer of the U-M Golf Course. In U-M's upcoming event, they will play at the Meadow Club, the first MacKenzie-designed course in America. The Meadow Club was restored in 1999 by Mike DeVries [ hole-by-hole ].
Michigan will play a tournament in California for the sixth consecutive season.
U-M returns to the Alister MacKenzie Invitational for the first time since 2005. The Wolverines tied for fourth in their last appearance, posting a 850 team total (275-280-295) as former Wolverine Brian Ottenweller nearly won the individual title, tying for third at 207 (66-68-73).
The Wolverines have posted a top-10 individual finisher in each of the first three events -- Brett McIntosh (tie-3rd, Inverness Intercollegiate), Chris O'Neill (tie-5th, Windon Memorial Classic) and Noori Hyun (eighth, Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic).
In his last outing (Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic), Noori Hyun posted a career-best weekend, setting new highs for finish (eighth), single-round tally (68, -3 second) and 54-hole event total (217). It marked the first time he finished among the top 20 at an event. His previous best finish was tying for 23rd at the 2012 North Ranch Collegiate.
Noori Hyun's second-round three-under 68 in the second round for the Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic was a career best and is the lowest tally for a Wolverine this season.
After walking on to the team last year, Matt Alessi will make his 15th consecutive start for Michigan. Captain Miguel Echavarria will also start his 15th straight (19th career). Both players have yet to miss a start over the last two seasons.
Freshmen Chris O'Neill and Brett McIntosh have started all four events this season. In fact, U-M has used the same starting five in all four fall events -- O'Neill, McIntosh, Matt Alessi, Miguel Echavarria and Noori Hyun.
In his last outing (Windon Memorial), Chris O'Neill recorded back-to-back career-best single-round tallies of 72.
Brett McIntosh is the Wolverines' only left-handed golfer on the team. He currently has the lowest round total of the season with a one-under 70 in the second round of the Inverness Intercollegiate.
Michigan's roster is comprised of players from three countries (Columbia, Canada, South Korea) and three U.S. states (Florida, Michigan and Virginia).
The Wolverines have been selected for NCAA Regional play the last five seasons.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
On playing in the first few tournaments ... "It has been great here; the coaches have been great. All of the guys. I cannot ask for better teammates. Right off the start, I struggled qualifying and had a good first tournament and figured some things out. And then, just really trying to adjust to how much wind we had in Chicago and Notre Dame. Coming from summer golf, you're kind of used to some calmer conditions. We're starting to hit the Michigan fall and it gets a little tougher. It is just working on timing, and with classes being a little bit busier, it can get a little tougher. But that is why we have all the great support here, so that we can focus on our golf. It's coming around and I'm looking forward to this weekend."
On adjusting to life at Michigan ... "It's definitely more than I thought. It is so surreal to be playing college golf at Michigan and being an athlete here is such a cool experience. Getting to see some guys like Denard (Robinson) and the Mitch McGarys, guys like that around, is pretty cool, especially as a kid from Canada. It is a little bit different experience, but that's what makes it special here and why we're leaders and best."
On how he ended up being a lefty ... "We're standing on the right side of the ball and just naturally, I've always been left-handed. It was never anything that I ever had to think about. But I just grabbed it and started swinging lefty. As a Canadian, I grew up playing hockey and a lot of us are lefties. It was just something to go from hockey to golf. It was just natural."
On deciding between basketball and golf ... "I played some AAU and some Ontario provincial team stuff, with the BDP. I played up until the eighth grade and then had to choose between the two (golf and basketball). I wasn't quite fast enough for basketball, so golf was the way to go for me and I'm glad I chose that."
On something not everyone knows about him ... "I get pretty superstitious on the golf course. I get into a certain routine and I'm not going to get out of it. If it's working, I'm sticking with it. Whether it is the way I put my glove on my bag in between shots, how I put my head covers on my bag, what side of the ballmarker to use, what number to use, I never use number twos in tournaments. I never liked looking down at a two. I play threes mainly -- threes and ones."
LAST TIME OUT
Highlighted with a career-best eighth-place individual finish from sophomore Noori Hyun, Michigan finished the Fightin' Irish Gridiron Classic with an 11th-place team finish following posting an 892 event total. During the event, U-M posted team rounds of 297, 296 and 299 at the Warren Golf Course. [ Recap ]
Mon-Tue., Oct. 29-30 -- at the Stanford Classic (Pebble Beach, Calif.)
Fri-Sat., Feb. 8-9 -- at the Big Ten Match Play Championships (Bradenton, Fla.)
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423