Behind strong performances from its seniors, the Michigan men’s golf team finished in fifth place at the Northern Intercollegiate at Sugar Grove, Ill. this past weekend.
The first day of the outing — which contained two rounds — started rough for the Wolverines, as they shot a lackluster 295 (+7). But thanks in part to a 67 (-5) from senior Ian Kim, Michigan rallied for a final score of 284 (-4) in the second round.
“The first day we started slow, but Ian really picked it up for us and had a fantastic second round,” said Michigan coach Chris Whitten.
The Wolverines carried their momentum into the second day, shooting a 285 in the third round to help them come back to even overall on the score card.
“We came out stronger today, and really got some good help from senior Kyle Mueller,” Whitten said.
Mueller isn’t new to Michigan, and his steady play isn’t either. Mueller was tied for eighth overall, and shot eight birdies over the weekend. When asked about Mueller’s play, Whitten said he wasn’t surprised by it.
“Kyle is capable of that,” Whitten said. “It wasn’t surprising, he actually could’ve done even better.”
Even with the solid showing at the outing, Whitten believes there is still room for improvement. The fifth-place finish isn’t what Whitten or the Wolverines want, citing that they believe that they have the ability to win every outing.
“Our goal is to keep learning as a whole, and to keep eliminating the mistakes,” Whitten said.
Some of the Wolverines’ potential could be reached with the help of some new faces. Michigan is bringing on three freshmen this year, and it has just two seniors on the entire roster. Whitten believes this to be a sign that his team will grow with each outing.
The Wolverines do have a couple more opportunities this fall to improve, with invitationals at both Alabama and Texas in the month of October.
If Michigan can continue to get contributions from its upper classmen while the freshmen develop, then Whitten’s goals for his team may be within reach.