The Michigan men’s golf team served as a nice welcome mat when it hosted this year’s Northern Intercollegiate golf tournament. Michigan finished the weekend 12th in the field of 15, saved only by a solid performance from senior Dave Nichols on the final day of competition.
Michigan stumbled out of the gate and could not recover, finishing the weekend 43-over par on its home course. Marred by inconsistent play on the back nine, the front nine proved just as unfriendly in yielding higher scores from all but one starter. The short game left cause for concern, but it was the all-around sloppy effort that produced four double bogeys and a triple bogey and kept the Wolverines from cracking the top 10.
“I was a little disappointed with the way our starting five played, other than Dave Nichols,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. “I might shuffle the lineup a little bit and get some of these young guys who played well in there for our next tournament.”
Senior Dave Nichols turned in the only quality performance for the Wolverine starters. Coming off an appearance at the 2003 U.S. Amateur Championship, Nichols looked sharp all day, heading back into the clubhouse at 2-under par.
“It’s really coming together (for me),” Nichols said. “Today it was just real solid; hopefully I can build on that.”
Sophomore Christian Vozza, playing as an individual, turned in a similarly respectable performance. Vozza carded career bests in back-to-back rounds this weekend, capped by a 67 yesterday. Vozza finished third among the individual competitors and earned a spot in the starting group.
“You can bet that Christian Vozza will be in the lineup (next week) after his play this week,” Sapp said.
Redshirt freshman Brandon Duff, also playing as an individual, finished the weekend tied for 19th with a score of 7-over par.
Duff’s final score is not indicative of his weekend; he looked good, tallying a 1-over par in each of the first two rounds. Despite a weak third round, Duff and his Great Big Berthas could make an appearance in the starting five early in the season.
Xavier was the star of the tournament, taking the trophy home on the shoulders of three aces and a spectacular score of 1-over par. Jason Kokrak popped in an ace on the 14th hole yesterday, joining Matt Makinson and Miles Maillet, who both scored hole-in-ones during the practice round.