It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Michigan men’s golf team. Despite posting four top-five finishes in the fall, the Wolverines have had none this spring.
That trend continued as Michigan finished seventh out of 11 teams at the UMB Bank-Mizzou Tiger Classic in Columbia, Mo. Big Ten rival Indiana won the tournament and Kansas State finished second.
The Wolverines got off to a slow start in the tournament’s first two rounds Monday and ended the day in sixth place. Michigan coach Andrew Sapp was both surprised and disappointed with his team’s play out of the gate.
“I wouldn’t say it (slow starts) has been a problem for us this year,” Sapp said. “But we definitely didn’t help ourselves with how we played on Monday.”
Sapp said the Wolverines played well early in Tuesday’s final round when wind and rain made play difficult. But when the weather cleared up, Michigan struggled again.
“The course drained well after it quit raining,” Sapp said. “We simply didn’t do what we needed to during the final round to move up.”
Junior Bill Rankin led the way for Michigan, finishing in a tie for 15th. Junior Nick Pumford and freshman Lion Kim got off to good starts and were tied for 10th after the first round, but poor third rounds dropped Pumford to a tie for 25th and Kim to a tie for 21st.
Sophomore walk-on David Weisfield also tied for 15th in just his second tournament of the year. He had not competed since The Wolverine at Mission Inn in November, where he finished 43rd. But he played as an individual, so his score did not count toward the team’s total.
Michigan failed to capitalize in a tournament lacking the same tough competition it has been accustomed to facing this season. Wichita State, Michigan State and Indiana were the only top-25 teams present.
The Wolverines don’t have much time to regroup. They head to Columbus this weekend for the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. After a promising start to the season, Michigan needs to pick up its play down the stretch before the Big Ten Tournament on April 25th.
“The golf course down there (at Ohio State) is pretty tough,” Sapp said. “We just need to have a good week of practice and regroup a little bit before we head down there.”