Wolverines bounce back at Big Ten Championship
Over the weekend, the Michigan men’s golf team started its postseason play at the Big Ten Championship at the Baltimore Country Club in Maryland, looking for a better result than its 11th place finish at the last tournament. This turned out to be a challenging task due to unexpected injuries, but nevertheless, the Wolverines shot 878 (296-288-294) to finish ninth out of a 14-team field, 49 strokes behind the winner, Illinois.
“We had a couple guys even battling injuries through the week, just not really feeling very good, and not being able to swing it the way they wanted to swing it,” said Michigan coach Chris Whitten.
The Wolverines were led by sophomore Nick Carlson and senior Bryce Evon. Carlson was tied for seventh after two rounds, and he finished tied for 16th with a 214 (71-70-73). Evon had a slower start with a 76 in round one, but bounced back with a 71 and 72 in the final rounds for a total of 219. Evon finished tied for 33rd.
“I think two of our guys, Nick Carlson and Bryce Evon, played very steady golf. I’m sure they still wish they had played better,” Whitten said. “Nick had one of his more poor events the last time out, and worked hard and made some good changes and led our team this week which was good to see. Bryce was very consistent this week and I thought he did a good job. Those two guys were improved.”
Seniors Reed Hrynewich and Tom Swanson and junior Kyle Mueller were in Michigan’s lineup as well and finished tied for 41st, 66th, and tied for 44th respectively.
“Overall, (we) were good around the greens which I thought would be the challenging part of this golf course, and we just struggled in our approach shots,” Whitten said. “Getting the ball positioned was a big deal. … (The greens) had a lot of tilt and if you missed the green in the wrong place there was almost no chance to pitch the ball close.”
On Thursday, the NCAA will reveal which teams are selected to move on to the Regional Championships, which will take place May 15-17.
“We have to wait until Thursday to see how the rankings change and if we’ll be selected for the postseason for the NCAA Regionals,” Whitten said. “Until that time we’re just gonna prepare assuming that we’re gonna go. I think we have a really good chance to be selected.”
Michigan could make a deep postseason run if it keeps improving, especially if it isn’t further troubled by injuries.
“Some guys need to get healthy and actually need some rest — maybe about three days of rest,” Whitten said. “A couple other guys need to get back to work on their game. We will probably have a little bit of qualifying within the team to determine the lineup for the postseason.”