The Michigan men’s golf team opened up its spring season on Thursday at the prestigious Hammock Beach Golf course in Palm Beach, Fla.
After a three-and-a half month hiatus, the Wolverines matched up against Ohio State in the opening round of the Big Ten Match Play Championship. They struggled against the Buckeyes, ultimately falling, 5-1. Sophomore Brent Ito was the only successful golfer for Michigan, as he notched a 4-2 victory.
“Although we started off slow, there were still a lot of positive things we saw from the guys,” said Michigan coach Chris Whitten.
Following the loss to Ohio State, the Wolverines saw massive improvements against top-seeded Purdue. The squad became more familiar with the course, but still fell, 4-2. Junior Nick Charlson offered a bright spot in his matchup, which came down to the final holes before he eventually prevailed, finishing two up on his opponent.
“The team played much better against the Boilermakers, I thought,” Whitten said.
Sitting in last place in the division heading into the weekend, Michigan looked to shape things up going into its matchup against Maryland. The tournament, however, got interrupted by a fog delay, thus reducing the match from 18 holes to nine. This did not bode well for the Wolverines, as they lost a pair of matches coming down to the final few holes.
“Today was a lot of situational things,” Whitten said. “One putt you needed for momentum just never fell our way.”
The Wolverines faced Nebraska in one last consolation match Saturday afternoon.
Freshmen Henry Spring and Charlie Pilon each tallied victories against the Cornhuskers. Spring won his match, 6-4, while Pilon sank Nebraska’s Sean Song, 4-3. The match proved to be the most competitive of the day, as the Wolverines finished with 2.5 victories. However, this was not enough, as the Cornhuskers came out on top, 3.5-2.5.
Michigan faces a two-week break before its next action at the Southwestern Jones invitational. And it’s clear there is a lot of improvement to be made before then.
“We need to get back into the rhythm for our next tournament,” Whitten said.