By Nathaniel Clark, Daily Sports Writer
Published May 4, 2014
In the words of Michigan coach Chris Whitten, it was a “disappointing” weekend.
The Wolverines found themselves in the basement of the 12-team field at the Big Ten Championships after 72 holes with a team score of 1226, a far cry from their runner-up finish at the NYX Hoosier Invitational three weeks ago.
In addition to playing on Pete Dye Course, which is known to be a difficult course, Michigan had to contend with a wind that blew between 30 and 40 miles per hour at times, especially during the first three rounds of play.
“The wind impacted all teams, of course,” Whitten said. “But it really made our guys really have to expand their comfort zones.”
But the weekend wasn’t all sour for the Wolverines. Sophomore Brett McIntosh hit his way into a tie for seventh place out of 60 golfers with a total score of 299. His 71 in the first round was a career best and included four birdies. He also notched an eagle on the 18th hole in the second round.
“Brett wasn’t feeling well this past week, so I was really proud of the way he played, especially the first two days,” Whitten said.
Sophomore Chris O’Neill also had a strong weekend. He finished in a tie for 24th with a total score of 304. After shooting 81 in the third round with two double bogeys and a triple bogey, he came back and posted a 71 in the final round, which featured four birdies. Like McIntosh’s, O’Neil’s 71 was a career best.
“Chris may not have had the best (third) round,” Whitten said. “But it was really great to see him hang in there and come back like he did.”
Meanwhile, freshman Reed Hrynewich tied for 31st, scoring 306. His best rounds were his first and his last as he managed to complete both in 75 strokes. He finished the first round with four birdies.
“He made very good decisions for the fact that it was his first-ever Big Ten Championships,” Whitten said. “He knew that this was an important event.”
Rounding out the scoring for Michigan were junior Noori Hyun and sophomore Andrew Yeager, who finished in a tie for 55th with 321. Hyun recovered from a second round in which he shot an 86 with two triple bogeys by notching a 75 in the final round including two birdies. Yeager finished his final round in 74 with three birdies after scoring above 80 in each of the first three rounds.
Now the Wolverines will have to wait and see if any individual golfers qualify for an NCAA regional, which will be announced Monday. Michigan last sent a golfer there in 2012 when Matt Thompson tied for 19th. The Wolverines last went as a team in 2011 when they took first place on their way to finishing 10th in the NCAA Championships.