Carlson's Playoff Win Caps U-M's Record-Breaking Round
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Site: Toledo, Ohio
Course: Inverness Club (Par 71, 7,300 yards)
Tournament: Inverness Intercollegiate
U-M Team Standing: 3rd Place of 13 Teams (292-300-270/862)
Top U-M Individual: Nick Carlson, 1st (69-73-67/209, -4)
U-M's Next Event: Sun-Mon., Sept. 25-26 -- at Windon Memorial Classic (Glenview, Ill.)
TOLEDO, Ohio -- A record-breaking final round, a playoff win for a first career individual title -- sophomore Nick Carlson -- and a top-three finish highlighted the University of Michigan men's golf team's season-opening trip to Toledo's Inverness Intercollegiate today (Tuesday, Sept. 20) at the famed Inverness Club.
After posting team tallies of 292 and 300, U-M found itself ninth with a 592 total after yesterday's (Monday, Sept. 19) 36-hole day. Then today's final round began. Senior Tom Swanson's inspired play guided the Wolverines to a U-M single-round and Inverness Intercollegiate record 270 (-14). Starting off the backside, Swanson made his first turn six under after four birdies and holing out for not one but two eagles.
As the day progressed, U-M slowly moved up the leaderboard. With the round ending, four Wolverines closed with sub-par rounds, with Swanson and Carlson leading with 67s (-4), while senior Bryce Evon and junior Kyle Muellerposted 68s (-3). In fact, Evon's final tally tied his career-best single-round total, which was set during his freshman season.
With his final-round career-best 67, Carlson finished the day with a career-best 209 (69-73-67, -4) and tie with Duke's Jake Shuman (70-71-68) for co-medalist honors. With a playoff needed to determine the overall winner, Carlson stuck his approach to 15 feet for birdie and then tapped in for par on the opening hole, while Shuman missed right and bogeyed from 30 feet to give Carlson his first career and U-M its 44th individual medalist honor.
"Coming off what I did at the U.S. Amateur gave me a lot of confidence going into this week," said Carlson. "This is a tough golf course and a really good field. Being in that pressure situation again like the Am -- where it was all or nothing with a ton of nerves -- did help."
"This gives us a lot of momentum going into next weekend," added Carlson. "We finally played to our potential like we know we all can. It was really special to see that all come together today. Moving from ninth to third in one day shooting the all-time Inverness record for team was pretty incredible."
"Although we put ourselves behind after the first day, today was a great round for the team," said U-M head coachChris Whitten. "It's always nice to shoot the low score in the final round and move up. Inverness is a course we know well, and we definitely got a few nice breaks today. I was proud of all the guys to come back after a frustrating day. Nick really played steady and made some clutch shots at the end of the round, which is usually what it takes to win. We will take the momentum and hopefully use it for the rest of the fall season."
With the furious finish, three additional Wolverines placed among the top 50, led by Mueller's 17th career top-20 finish as he tied for 13th at 214 (72-74-68, +2). Swanson tied for 44th at 223 (77-79-67), and Evon tied for 49th at 225 (77-80-68).
"The whole day things were just kind of happening for us," added Carlson. "Tom (Swanson) got us off to a great start being four under through eight then holing out for eagle on 18. With Kyle (Mueller) being a normal Kyle shooting under par was a huge part. Then to hear how Bryce (Evon) was playing near the end was really cool. It was just a Wolverines type of day where everything was happening for us at the right time."
In addition to the team's third-place finish, freshmen Brent Ito and Taisei Negishi made their collegiate debuts as individuals. Ito, who was a late addition to the field, tied for 36th after his 220. After rounds of 74 and 78 to open his first college tournament, he posted a career-low 68 (-3). Negishi finished 75th at 240 (82-76-82).
The Wolverines waste little time getting back into the swing of tournament play. U-M travels Friday (Sept. 23) to Glenview, Illinois, for Northwestern's Windon Memorial Classic. After a Saturday (Sept. 24) practice round, the Maize and Blue plays 36 holes on Sunday (Sept. 25) and a final round on Monday (Sept. 26).
Final Team Standings
1. Auburn 280-281-282 = 843
2. Duke 277-281-288 = 846
3. MICHIGAN 292-300-270 = 862
4. Michigan State 290-287-288 = 865
5. Penn State 288-293-285 = 866
6. Minnesota 296-287-290 = 873
Virginia 297-292-284 = 873
8. Bowling Green 287-300-291 = 878
Saint Mary's (Calif.) 298-296-284 = 878
10. Toledo 295-295-297 = 887
11. Ball State 299-297-292 = 888
12. Miami (Ohio) 310-303-291 = 904
13. Austin Peay 307-299-311 = 917
1. NICK CARLSON, U-M 69-73-67 = 209 (-4)#
Jake Shuman, Duke 70-71-68 = 209
3. Will Long, Auburn 73-68-69 = 210
4. Ryan Benton, Auburn 69-72-70 = 211
Alex Smalley, Duke 72-69-70 = 211
Matt Gilchrest, Auburn 64-72-75 = 211
Michael Sharp, Michigan State 67-73-71 = 211
Chandler Eaton, Duke 69-75-67 = 211*
# wins medalist honors after first playoff hole
Other Michigan Individuals
T13. Kyle Mueller 72-74-68 = 214
T44. Tom Swanson 77-79-67 = 223
T49. Bryce Evon 77-80-68 = 225
T51. Reed Hrynewich 74-74-78 = 226
T36. Brent Ito 74-78-68 = 220*
75. Taisei Negishi 82-76-82 = 240*
* played as individual