One week after a third-place finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate, the Michigan men’s golf team continued its fall schedule with a trip to Glencoe, Illinois, for the Windon Memorial Classic.

Monday, the Wolverines placed second out of 14 teams, improving on their third-place finish last season. Michigan was carried by three outstanding performances: sophomore Kyle Mueller and freshman Nick Carlson tied for third and senior Chris O’Neill came in ninth.

Mueller sealed his third-place finish with an excellent second round in which he shot a five-under 67. After a record-breaking freshman campaign that ended in a trip to the NCAA Regionals, followed by his exceptional performance Sunday and Monday, he has proven himself to be a team leader.

Only one month into his sophomore year, Mueller continued his steady improvement over the course of the fall season. After starting the year with an underwhelming round at the Gopher Invitational in Minnesota, he finished second at the Inverness Intercollegiate last weekend — the Wolverines’ best-ever finish at the event. 

“I played really well this week,” Mueller said. “I hit the ball great all week, (but) just struggled with putting today. I know what I need to work on for (The MacKenzie tournament next weekend). My ball striking has been great the past two weeks. I just need to be able to convert the birdie putts.”

After coming off a one-over par performance at last weekend, Carlson also played a part in Michigan’s second-place finish. He finished the first day of competition tied for 12th, but rebounded exceptionally on the final day of the tournament. Monday, he posted a 69, the third-best final round out of the top 12 golfers, and tied with Mueller for third place overall. Despite his success, the true freshman was hesitant to praise his performance.

“I managed to limit my mistakes and miss in the right place when I did miss,” Carlson said. “My game was so-so, but I put the ball in the hole, and that’s what’s important. The team played solid. It could have been a better week for all of us, but we have a lot to take from this, confidence and things to build on for the rest of the season.”

O’Neill finished in ninth place with three consistent rounds, shooting 71-69-71. While his raw score was an improvement over last week’s sixth-place performance, the stiffer competition left him unable to replicate similar results.

Meanwhile, Purdue posed the greatest challenge for the Wolverines. After a fourth-place finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate, the Boilermakers redeemed themselves with a team win. Despite being overpowered to some extent, Michigan coach Chris Whitten was very proud of his team’s performance and specifically lauded his three top producers.

“O’Neill and Mueller had good weeks again, and they are leading with their scoring for sure,” Whitten said. “It’s great having two anchors in the back of the lineup who will compete hard every time out. Nick Carlson has given us a spark too. I just hoped he would adjust to the college game and manage his responsibilities well for the first month, so for him to have a high finish like this is great. He should take a lot of confidence from this week.”

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