Michigan Finishes Second at Big Ten Match Play Championship
Written By: Michigan Athletic CommunicationsPALM COAST, Fla.
-- The University of Michigan men's golf team made it all the way to the final round of Big Ten Match Play Championship today (Monday, Feb. 16) at Hammock Beach Resort's Conservatory Course but fell to Illinois, the top seed in the tournament and No. 1-ranked team in the country. It was the second straight year that the Wolverines made the final round of the Championship.
In the team's first matchup of the day, a semifinal bout against third-seeded Iowa, U-M came away with a 4-1 victory.
Junior Brett McIntosh won his semifinal matchup convincingly with a 4-and-3 win. He lost the first two holes of the match and won four of the final five on the way to his victory.
Junior Andrew Yeager was victorious for the second straight match, taking a strong 6-and-5 win. He never trailed in the semifinal match and won five of the final six holes.
Against the Hawkeyes, sophomore Reed Hrynewich picked up his first victory of the weekend, using three birdies, including two in a row on holes nine and 10, to defeat his opponent after 17 holes. In the No. 4 position, sophomore Tom Swanson fell, 3-and-2, to Ian Vandersee, and freshman Kyle Mueller won his matchup, 1-up.
In the final round, the Wolverines faced top-seeded Illinois.
After Swanson and Hrynewich lost their matchups, Yeager found himself in the deciding match in the No. 5 position. Down two holes with three to play, he picked up a par to win the 16th hole. The 17th was halved, and both Yeager and his opponent, Dylan Meyer, hit fantastic shots to set up birdie putts on the final green. Meyer knocked in his five-foot putt to clinch the match and the tournament for Illinois.
Mueller won his final-round match against Charlie Danielson, the No. 4-ranked player in the country, 4-and-3. Mueller finished with five birdies in 15 holes and ended the weekend with an undefeated 4-0 record. O'Neill was the final player off the course, winning his match in the No. 2 position, 3-and-2, after posting four birdies.
Next up, the Wolverines will head to Puerto Rico to compete in the three-day Puerto Rico Classic, which begins next Sunday (Feb. 22) in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
Following are match-by-match results:
Semifinal Round -- No. 7 seed Michigan def. No. 3 seed Iowa, 4-1
No. 1 -- Kyle Mueller (U-M) def. Carson Schaake (IOWA), 1-up
No. 2 -- Brett McIntosh (U-M) def. Raymond Knoll (IOWA), 4-and-3
No. 3 -- Reed Hrynewich (U-M) def. Brian Bullington (IOWA), 3-and-1
No. 4 -- Ian Vandersee (IOWA) def. Tom Swanson (U-M), 3-and-2
No. 5 -- Andrew Yeager (U-M) def. Sam Meuret (IOWA), 6-and-5
Final Round -- No. 1 seed Illinois def. No. 7 seed Michigan, 3-2
No. 1 -- Kyle Mueller (U-M) def. Charlie Danielson (ILL), 4-and-3
No. 2 -- Chris O'Neill (U-M) def. Brian Campbell (ILL), 3-and-2
No. 3 -- Nick Hardy (ILL) def. Reed Hrynewich (U-M), 8-and-7
No. 4 -- Thomas Detry (ILL) def. Tom Swanson (U-M), 5-and-4
No. 5 -- Dylan Meyer (ILL) def. Andrew Yeager (U-M), 1-up
• Day 1 Results
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Chris Whitten
On beating second-seeded Iowa in the morning before facing Illinois in the final? ... "In the match against Iowa there were a lot of close matchups, and the trick is to not get ahead of yourself. I was proud of the way the guys played, and they gave themselves a nice opportunity to go fight it out in the afternoon against another really good team. We went right down to the end and had a chance to win, so we're going to take some good experience from that."
On the strengths of the team this weekend ... "Number one, I thought recovery from bad shots and moving on to the next shot was great this week. Match play helps you do that, because if you lose a hole you can go on to the next one. It was really encouraging that as I think through each guy, to think about the things they worked on in the winter time up until now, we saw good progress on all of those things here this week, so it was really a good stepping stone for the rest of the spring."
On Kyle Mueller going undefeated with a 4-0 record this weekend ... "Kyle just keeps impressing me over and over. Very consistent, very competitive, and he grinds. So even if he's out of position, he's fighting as hard as he can, and he's off to a great start."
On what the team can work on moving forward and heading into the Puerto Rico Classic ... "It will be a very quick turnaround. We'll have tomorrow (Tuesday) off, and then basically two days to clean things up before we go. And we're going from a fast and firm golf course to a slow and possibly wet golf course and also one where teams are capable of shooting way under par, so we'll have to readjust our mindset and recalibrate for that course. But we'll do it as well as we can."