Their expectations were high, but so were the scores.

The Michigan men’s golf team went into the Puerto Rico Golf Classic with hopes of finishing near the top of the leader board, but with a lackluster first two rounds, the team found itself fighting out of the cellar.

“The first two rounds were pretty poor,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. “We just didn’t play like we expected to. We made too many mistakes. Too many big numbers on holes. Too many balls in the water and out of bounds.”

After shooting a combined 602 through the first two rounds, the Wolverines were in last place, but fought off last place to finish 12th out of 15 teams.

Even after two poor team rounds, Michigan retained respectability. Senior Lion Kim led the Wolverines out of last place with an excellent third round, shooting a five-under 67, contributing to the team’s overall two-under 288.

Kim set the tone for the rest of the team as senior Alexander Sitompul, junior Matt Thompson and sophomore Jack Shultz also had their best rounds of golf on the last day. All three finished the final round with a one-over 73.

However, it was too little, too late for the Wolverines.

“Overall, I’m still disappointed with the way I played individually,” Kim said. “And as a team, it wasn’t our best performance. I know we’re a better team than that. We had to get off to a good start, and we just didn’t do that.”

It didn’t help that the Wolverines were competing against top-notch competition. They’re uninspiring performance was no match for top-ten programs of Oklahoma State, Alabama, Texas and Georgia Tech.

The surprise of the tournament was freshman Joey Garber. The Petoskey, Mich. native displayed consistency uncharacteristic of a freshman. Garber finished the tournament with a two-over 74, a one-over 73 and a two-over 74.

“Our expectations were higher than this,” Sapp said. “This was a great opportunity to prove that we could be a top-20 team. And to do that you have to beat top-20 teams. There were a lot of them in this field. Now that the tournaments over, you kind of have to develop amnesia and get ready for the next tournament.”

The Wolverines will have to put this 12th place finish behind them, as they will be traveling to California this weekend to compete in the USC Collegiate Invitational.

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