The Michigan men’s golf team is close to becoming a consistently good team this season. It just hasn’t quite gotten to that level.
The Wolverines tied for fifth place (out of 13 teams) at the Windon Memorial Classic hosted by Northwestern yesterday. But once again, they left a tournament wanting more.
Two weeks ago, Michigan couldn’t hold onto a final-round lead at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate and finished second. At the Windon, it got off to a good start on Sunday, sitting in third place after 36 holes. But a 10-over-par team effort yesterday dropped the Maize and Blue to fifth.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t play well in the final round,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. “A couple of guys got off to bad starts, and we had some bad finishes. It’s disappointing. We just weren’t consistent across the board.”
Even worse, Big Ten rivals Indiana and Minnesota passed Michigan on the final day. Both are at the edge of Golfweek’s top-40 rankings. Michigan entered the tournament ranked 46th.
“It would’ve been nice to keep Minnesota and Indiana from passing us,” Sapp said. “But we didn’t play well enough to do that, unfortunately.”
Sapp added that bad putting, such numerous three putts yesterday, doomed the Wolverines.
Michigan’s entire lineup finished in the middle of the pack.
Freshmen Lion Kim and Alexander Sitompul tied for 22nd to lead the Wolverines. Junior Bill Rankin tied for 31st and shot even-par the final two rounds to recover from a 6-over-par start. Fellow junior Nick Pumford came out strong and was just 1-over par after the first two rounds. But he shot 7-over par in the final round and tied for 38th.
Even with the disappointing finish, Sapp says he feels his team is close to taking it to the next level. The Wolverines just need to capitalize on their leads and close tournaments.
“We haven’t had our breakout round or tournament yet this year,” Sapp said. “We’ve played solid golf, but we haven’t put four great scores together yet. We also haven’t played well throughout an entire tournament yet. But I think we’re close to breaking through and having some special rounds of golf.”