The Michigan men’s golf team hoped the warm weather, sunny skies and beautiful beaches of South Carolina would bring the promise of low rounds on the links.

Unfortunately, the heat was too much for them.

The Wolverines, coming off a last-place finish in the Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan two weeks ago, shot rounds of 308-308-326 for a total of 942 to finish last at the 14-team Coastal Carolina Invitational in Myrtle Beach. Arkansas won the tournament, bettering ther Wolverines by 69 shots.

Michigan found itself in 13th place after the first 36 holes of the 54-hole tournament on Monday despite solid performances by junior Dave Nicholls (75, 78) and redshirt junior Scott Carlton (79, 74). Nicholls has been the low man for the Wolverines the last three tournaments, and has a 74.44 per round average through six tournaments thus far. Other key performers thus far this year have been redshirt freshman Mark McIntosh (76 per round average), and redshirt sophomore Rob Tighe (76.27 per round average).

“We had a chance to move up quite a bit if we played well. We could have caught a lot of teams, but it just didn’t work out,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said of his team’s performance yesterday on the second day of the two-day tournament. “Our main thing we didn’t do well was finish the round. We got off to a good start today, but made triple bogeys, double bogeys and didn’t recover well.”

“Dave is leading us right now, we need to get everyone up to his level to get four good scores,” Sapp said of his star junior yesterday. “As a team, we have to recover after a couple of bad holes. When we head down to Florida [this weekend], we must improve our ability to score when not hitting the ball well.”

The Wolverines will head to South again this weekend to Citrus Springs, Fla. to take part in the El Diablo Intercollegiate before they begin their Big Ten schedule. Michigan hopes to improve on its performance in Citrus Springs from last year, where it tied for 10th place in the 20-team tournament.

“We look forward to getting back closer to home” Sapp said of the upcoming Big Ten schedule. “It was good to get out of the snow, but we are looking forward to playing in the Midwest.”

Key dates on the Michigan schedule include the Kepler Invitational in Columbus April 12-13, and the Bruce Fossum/Spartan Invitational in East Lansing April 26-27 before the Big Ten Championships commence in Bloomington the first week of May.

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