Next on the Tee: Robert Kepler Intercollegiate
The University of Michigan men’s golf team returns to tournament action staying in Big Ten country as the Wolverines travel to Columbus, Ohio, Saturday and Sunday (April 11-12) for Ohio State’s Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. The 54-hole event will be played at the prestigious Scarlet Course on the campus. U-M makes its return to the Kepler for the first time in seven seasons. There will be 14 teams competing in the two-day, 54-hole event. Day one will consist of 36 holes of stroke play, followed by a final 18 on day two. The Scarlet will be set up for a par 71 and 7,455 yards. Scoring will be five players, count the low four scores. Selected teams, including U-M, will be allowed an invited individual.
The Tournament Field
There will be 14 teams competing in the 2015 Robert Kepler Intercollegiate, including Georgia Tech, Houston, Kent State, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oregon State, Penn State, SMU, Southern Illinois and UNLV.
The Tournament Schedule
Friday, April 10 — Practice Round (18), tee times TBD (9 to 2 p.m.)
Saturday, April 11 — First Round (18), shotgun, 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, April 11 — Second Round (18), continuous play after completion of first round
Sunday, April 12 — Final Round (18), tee times off No. 1 & 10 at 8 a.m.
The Michigan Lineup
Michigan’s travel roster will include junior Chris O’Neill, freshman Kyle Mueller, sophomore Reed Hrynewich, sophomore Bryce Evon and junior Brett McIntosh. Sophomore Tom Swanson will travel and play as an individual.
The Return to the Scarlet
Michigan returns to Ohio State’s Kepler Intercollegiate for the first time in seven years. U-M’s last appearance was during the 2008 where the Wolverines finished ninth with a 928 team total. Prior to the 2008 event, the Wolverines were a regular at OSU’s event, playing in 11 of 14 seasons since 1994 — missing in 1995, ’97 and 2005.
History at the Kepler Intercollegiate
2008: 9th (928)
2007: t-8th (623)
2006: 8th (916)
2004: 14th (922)
2003: 16th (941)
2002: 11th (598)
2001: 3rd (895)
2000: t-3rd (897)
1999: 5th (915)
1998: 12th (910)
1996: 14th (945)
1994: 13th (637)
• With his start at the Aggie Invitational, Chris O’Neill increased his consecutive-event streak to 33 starts. He has yet to miss an event in three seasons. He is expected to start his 34th straight event this weekend at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. In 33 career events, he has 14 top-20 finishes, with nine among the top 10 and six in the top five — including his first individual title at the 2013 Windon Memorial Classic.
• Kyle Mueller has continued his stellar freshman campaign. He has been the top-finishing Wolverine in six events, including winning his first collegiate start — the Wolverine Intercollegiate (Sept. 6-7). He has posted 12 of his 24 rounds at or below par. He leads with eight sub-par rounds, including a career-best four-under 67 in the first round of the Wolverine — his first collegiate round. He added a perfect 4-0 record at the Big Ten Match Play Championships. Overall, he has finished among the top 25 individually in six of the nine events this season.
• As a team, Michigan is averaging 74.28 per round individually and near par as a team with a 292.88 average.
Kyle Mueller leads U-M with a 72.58 per-round average, which is currently on pace as one of the lowest of all-time at U-M — 72.00 by Matt Thompson (2009-10). Chris O’Neill is just behind at 73.00, which is just below his career best — 73.03 (2013-14).
• In addition to averaging a current fifth-best all-time 72.58 per round average, Kyle Mueller is nearly a stroke better than the all-time freshman record of 73.54 set by Matt Thompson in 2008-09. U-M has had a player finish a season averaging in the 72s on eight occasions.
• Chris O’Neill re-invented his swing during the winter months, and it has slowly paid off as the junior posted a season-best runner-up finish at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate. O’Neill posted a season-best six-under 210 tally en route to the second place finish. It was his sixth overall top-five individual finish of his career.
• In his very first round of the season, Chris O’Neill carded a career-best and U-M season-low six-under 65 during first round of the Wolverine Intercollegiate, besting his previous career low by one stroke. He had shot a 66 in the final round of the 2013 Wolverine Intercollegiate. En route to the shooting his best round, he posted four birdies, one eagle and 13 pars on the par 71, 6,704 yard U-M Golf Course.
• Reed Hrynewich finished as the top Wolverine for the first time in his career at the Puerto Rico Classic (Feb. 22-24). He is the first golfer other than Chris O’Neill and Kyle Mueller to lead U-M at an event this season. Overall, Hrynewich has started eight events this season. So far, he has maintained a career-best stroke average pace of 74.48 per round, shattering last year’s 76.00 per-round average in 10 events. The lefty has four sub-par rounds.
• Reed Hrynewich posted a career-best single-round tally with his five-under 67 in the second round of the Puerto Rico Classic. He posted six birdies, one bogey and 11 pars en route to the career round, which topped his prior best of three-under 68 fired in the first round of the 2014 NYX Hoosier Invitational (April 12-13). With his 67, he closed with his first sub-par 54-hole tournament tally with his one-under 215.
• With its runner-up finish at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate (March 6-7), Michigan has four top-three finishes on the season. The Wolverines won their season-opening Wolverine Intercollegiate (Sept. 6-7) and had runner-up finishes at the Big Ten Match Play Championships (Feb. 14-15) and Desert Mountain. The fourth top-three was a third-place finish at the Windon Memorial Classic (Sept. 21-22).
• Former Wolverine Matt Thompson picked up his first professional tour win winning the GPro Tour event at Forest Oaks. He shot a 13-under 203 (70-66-67) to win his first career event by four shots. Find out more and follow his career in his blog.
LAST TIME OUT
Paced by top-30 finishes from Kyle Mueller (t-21st) and Chris O’Neill (t-29th), Michigan finished with a 919 total and finished ninth at Texas A&M’s Aggie Invitational (April 4-5) held at the Traditions Club. The Wolverines got off to a slow start, opening with a 318 total before rebounding and closing with team tallies of 302 and 299. [ Recap ]
Fri-Sun., April 24-26 — at Big Ten Championships (Newburgh, Ind.)
Thu-Sat., May 14-16 — at NCAA Regional (TBD, six regional sites)
Fri-Wed., May 29-June 3 — at NCAA Finals (Bradenton, Fla.)