The Michigan men’s golf team has played much better golf this year compared to past seasons, winning two tournaments and finishing in the top five twice more.
But this weekend they took a step back, struggling to a 10th place finish out of 14 teams at the Linger Longer Invitational in Greensboro, Ga.
Michigan coach Andrew Sapp didn’t mince words when describing his team’s performance.
“It was a bad tournament for us, bottom line,” Sapp said. “We’ve got three weeks to get some things worked out before our next tournament.”
Senior Tim Schaetzel led the way for the Wolverines, tying for 11th place. He played consistent golf throughout the weekend and shot 1-under par for the tournament.
But Schaetzel didn’t get much help from the his teammates. Junior Nick Pumford tied for 36th. Freshmen Alexander Sitompul and Lion Kim, two of Michigan’s most valuable contributors all season, finished tied for 51st and 65th, respectively.
“After they got off to poor starts, they lost confidence,” Sapp said. “They didn’t really get anything going. They just never felt comfortable with the golf course.”
The Wolverines did face tough competition in Greensboro. No. 26 Mississippi won the tournament, with No. 2 Georgia finishing second. Three other top-25 teams also competed.
But Sapp didn’t make excuses, pointing out that Michigan fared well against many of the nation’s elite teams at its last tournament in Puerto Rico.
Sapp was reluctant to call the Wolverines’ performance last weekend a step back.
“When you play 10 or 12 tournaments in a year you’re bound to have a couple of bad ones,” Sapp said. “It’s obviously a bad tournament for us. I’ll tell you if it’s a step back after we play in (our next tournament). If we don’t rebound well, I’ll say it was a step back.”