The scores of the men’s golf team this week were not nearly as pretty as the Puerto Rican landscape in which the Wolverines played.

The team finished tied for 13th with Ohio State with a team score of 12-over par, a long way off from winner Texas’s 42-under.

Five Wolverine golfers traveled to the Caribbean for the three-day Puerto Rico Classic, where they played on Rio Mar Country Club’s renowned river course. Many of the holes hug the scenic Mameyes River, making for a beautiful course and also several tricky setups.

“It’s a tough course, and the weather conditions also caused some high scores,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. “It was pretty windy on the first and third days”

Michigan came into the 15-team tournament with plenty of confidence. After all, it started the spring season fresh off of a solid fall performance. The squad won its home tournament back in September and took home bronze from the Bridgestone Intercollegiate in Greensboro, N.C. to close out the 2009 season in October.

But the team met some stiffer competition on Sunday, as nine of its 15 opponents ranked in the top 50, including No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Texas — when finished second and first, respectively. Those elite squads often finish 40 team strokes under par after three days. The Wolverines can no longer garner first place with a score like 24-under, as they did at their home tournament back in September.

“It’s a great event, and I think we’re very fortunate we get to play some of the perennially ranked teams,” Sapp said. “But unfortunately we weren’t as competitive as we could have been. A lot of teams from the Midwest outplayed us over the past few days.”

The lackluster performance may have been due in large part to the youth of the Wolverine roster. Sapp brought three underclassmen to Puerto Rico — including two freshmen — and not one senior. This lack of experience was quite noticeable on the scorecards, as much of Michigan’s scoring was full of inconsistencies common among younger players.

Look no further than sophomore Matt Thompson’s performance. He completed his first hole on Sunday in 11 strokes en route to an 80 first-round score of eight-over par, which was his worst score of the 2009-10 season. He made corrections for round two, as he finished three-under on Monday, only to fall again on Tuesday to four-over par.

“I think our young guys will find consistency with more and more play.” Sapp said. “But across the board, we need better consistency. It’s something that we’ll work on individually with our players.”

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