The Michigan men’s golf team beat the teams it was supposed to at The Prestige in La Quinta, Calif., Monday and Tuesday.
But the 52nd-ranked Wolverines could not get past several top-40 teams in a tough field and finished tied for seventh in the 54-hole event. Golfweek No. 1 Charlotte won the tournament, and No. 8 Stanford finished second.
Michigan was close to its fourth top-five finish of the year. The Wolverines had the best second round of any team at the tournament and finished just three shots out of a tie for fourth place.
“We were really close to being excellent,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. “Our guys proved they can compete with these teams.”
Freshman Alexander Sitompul finished in a tie for fourth thanks to a 4-under par final round to lead Michigan. An eagle on the par-4 10th highlighted his round. Sapp said that Sitompul had a great practice round on Sunday, so his outstanding play wasn’t a huge surprise.
“He really controlled the golf ball,” Sapp said. “When he missed the green, he was able to get up and down. Once he got through the first round, he was really feeling it.”
Senior Tim Schaetzel was the only other Wolverine in the top 20, finishing in a tie for 19th. He was 5-under par after two rounds, but struggled yesterday with a 7-over par effort.
Sapp felt Michigan had too many scores in the high 70s and low 80s to break through into the top five. The Wolverines had three individual rounds over 80 during the tournament – too many high scores in a tight, competitive field.
“It was a difficult golf course,” Sapp said. “But it’s important the guys grind a little bit when necessary. We need to combine under par rounds with rounds around par to shoot like we did in the second round.”