Week #5: Fall Slate Closes with Trip to Bridgestone Intercollegiate

Oct. 20, 2010

• Sat-Sun., Oct. 23-24 -- at Bridgestone Intercollegiate (Greensboro, N.C.)
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Next on the Tee
After posting its third straight top-five finish last week at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate (Oct. 15-17), the University of Michigan men's golf team will close its fall season Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 23-24) at the 2010 Bridgestone Intercollegiate in Greensboro, N.C. The 54-hole event will be played at the Forest Oaks Country Club. Scoring for the event will be five players; count the low four scores each round. Forest Oaks will be set up for a par 72 and 7,197 yards.

The Tournament Field
There will be 14 schools participating in the Bridgestone Intercollegiate: Auburn, Charlotte, Kentucky, Michigan State, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Pepperdine, Toledo, UNC Greensboro, VCU and Virginia Tech.

The Tournament Schedule
Friday, Oct. 22 -- Practice Round, shotgun start at 1 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23 -- First Round (18), shotgun at 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23 -- Second Round (18), continuous play following first round
Sunday, Oct. 24 -- Third Round (18), tee times at 8:30 a.m. off No. 1 and 10

The Tournament Lineup
With qualifying leading up to the tournament, the Wolverine starting five, and individual, has yet to be determined. Vying for spots will be: senior Lion Kim (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary Prep School), senior Alexander Sitompul (Jakarta, Indonesia/Bradenton Prep Academy [Fla.]), junior Alex Frankel (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett School), junior Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS), sophomore Rahul Bakshi (Chandigarh, India/St. John's HS), sophomore Miguel Echavarria (Medellin, Colombia/The Columbus School), sophomore Jack Schultz (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay HS), freshman Matt Felsenfeld (West Bloomfield, Mich./David Leadbetter Golf Academy [Bradenton, Fla.]) and freshman Joey Garber (Petoskey, Mich./Petoskey).

Closing with Fall Success in Greensboro
Over the last two seasons, the Wolverines have closed the fall season with a trip to the Bridgestone Intercollegiate. Both trips yielded third-place finishes as the Wolverines tallied an 874 54-hole total in 2008 and an 853 total in 2009. Individually, the Wolverines have excelled with four players in the top 20 in 2008 -- including a near win from Bill Rankin, who lost by one shot -- and three top-10 finishes in 2000 -- including a near win from Lion Kim.

Breaking Through
Just four tournaments into his career, Joey Garber nearly won his first collegiate event at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at the Ridges. Garber closed with a career-best, six-under 210 performance, which helped him to a runner-up finish. Along the way, he posted a career-best, five-under 67 in the second round. So far this season, Garber has started all four events, posted five of his 12 rounds under par, and is second on the Wolverines with a 73.58 scoring average.

Top Finish by a First-Year Player
With results dating back to the late 1970s, Joey Garber's second-place effort at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at the Ridges is the top finish by a freshman in the history of the program. U-M great Michael Harris equaled the mark with his second-place finish in his redshirt freshman season at the 1996 Fripp Island Intercollegiate with a 216 (69-74-73). The closest first-year player's finish was Andrew Chapman, who tied for fourth at the 1998 Marshall Invitational with a 219 (73-72-74). Garber closed with a six-under 210 (72-67-71).

Keeping Pace
So far this season, Lion Kim has tallied seven of his 12 rounds at or below par and leads U-M with a 71.67 per-round average. With the current pace, Kim could set the all-time mark for season scoring -- topping the 72.00 average Matt Thompson had in the 2009-10 campaign. This season, Kim has fired a season best and tied a career best with his four-under 67 in the third round of the Windon Memorial Classic, Sept. 26-27. In all, four of the rounds this season are below par. In the 2009-10 campaign, his 72.28 scoring average was the third best in U-M history.

How About His Second Round
Miguel Echavarria's four-under 68 in the second round of the Rod Myers Invitational (Oct. 10-11) was a career best by four strokes. He had a 72 in the second round of the Wolverine at Radrick Farms during his freshman season. Echavarria's tally is the second lowest of the season, only behind Joey Garber's 67 (-5), posted in the second round of the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at the Ridges, and Lion Kim's 67 (-4), posted in the third round of the Windon Memorial.

Quite a Finish in First Start
In his first start of the season at the Rod Myers Invitational, Rahul Bakshi tied his low round at Michigan with two-under par 70s in the first and third rounds. Using those rounds, he equaled his 54-hole career best with a 219, which led to his career-best finish of 26th. This season, Bakshi has started two of his three events and is averaging a career-best 75.56 per round.

First Career Win is in the Books ... Finally
Lion Kim earned his first collegiate win with a six-under 207 at the Windon Memorial. Kim's previous-best finish was tying as the runner-up with teammate Matt Thompson at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms. Overall, the victory is Kim's fourth top-five finish in his career. Kim's 207 (69-71-67), which was played at a par of 71, equaled his career-best 54-hole tournament total. Kim posted a nine-under 207 (69-67-71) at the 2009 Wolverine at Radrick Farms, which was played as a par of 72.

Mr. Clutch Does it Again
How did Michigan pull out the victory at the Windon Memorial? They called upon Mr. Clutch. With two holes remaining, Lion Kim drained a 25-foot birdie on 17 to keep U-M one shot up on Ohio State going into the final hole. After pulling his drive, Kim punched out and landed his third shot to the middle of the green 45 feet from the hole. Kim then sunk the long, left-to-right putt, allowing U-M to hold on and claim the team title.

Finding the Golden Ticket
After surviving a seven-plus hour weather delay, Lion Kim used a 6-and-5 championship match-play win over David McDaniel to win the 85th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship on July 17 at Bryan Park's Champions Course. By winning the USAPL, Kim likely earned an invitation to compete next April in The Masters at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club.

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.

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

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.

Fri-Sat., Feb. 11-12 -- at Big Ten Match Play (Coral Springs, Fla.)
Sun-Tue., Feb. 20-22 -- at Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, P.R.)

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423