The University of Michigan golf team closes its regular-season schedule with a trip to Columbus, Ohio, this Saturday and Sunday (April 9-10) for the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. Originally scheduled to be a 54-hole event, the tournament has been reduced to 36 holes due to expected weekend weather. The men’s event features 16-team playing on the prestigious Scarlet Course. U-M will play in OSU’s event for the 14th time. The Scarlet Course will be set up for a par 71 and 7,455 years. Scoring will be five players, count the low four scores.
The Kepler Intercollegiate Field
There will be 16 teams competing in the Kepler Intercollegiate, including Bowling Green, Dayton, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Liberty, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Southern Illinois, UAB, UNLV, Wright State and West Virginia
The Kepler Intercollegiate Schedule
Friday, April 8 — Travel and Practice Round (Noon)
Saturday, April 9 — First Round (18), 10:30 a.m. (shotgun)
Sunday, April 10 — Final Round (18), 10:30 a.m. (shotgun)
The Scarlet Course
Built in 1938, the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University was designed by Alister MacKenzie. Mackenzie also designed the University of Michigan Course. It measures 7455 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 142 and a 76.1 USGA rating.
The Kepler Intercollegiate Line-up
The Wolverines will have a five-man starting lineup, including sophomore Kyle Mueller, senior Chris O’Neill, junior Reed Hrynewich and freshman Nick Carlson. U-M’s fifth starter will be determined by a midweek qualifier.
Last Year at the Kepler Intercollegiate
Returning to Ohio State’s event for the first time in seven years, U-M posted its second-best team finish at the 2015 Kepler Intercollegiate, closing fourth with an 869 (293-292-284) total. Kyle Mueller led the Wolverines as he was sixth individually with an even-par 213 (72-72-69) total, while Reed Hrynewich’s tie for 13th (71-76-71/217) gave the Wolverines two among the top 20. [ Recap ]
History at the Kepler Intercollegiate
This weekend’s appearance at the Kepler Intercollegiate will mark the 14th in the history of the program. The Wolverines have garnered four top-five finishes at the event, including last season’s fourth-place finish. Last year’s team tally of 869 (293-292-284) was the lowest by the Maize and Blue and was just the third time the 900-stroke barrier was cracked by the Blue at the Scarlet Course.
Kepler Team Finishes
1994: 13th (637)
1996: 14th (945)
1998: 12th (910)
1999: 5th (915)
2000: t-3rd (897)
2001: 3rd (895)
2002: 11th (598)
2003: 16th (941)
2004: 14th (922)
2006: 8th (916)
2007: t-8th (623)
2008: 9th (928)
2015: 4th (869)
Current Wolverine History at the Kepler Intercollegiate
2015: 71-76-71 = 217 (t-13th)
2015: 72-72-69 = 213 (6th)
2015: 76-75-71 = 222 (t-29th)
2015: 74-74-74 = 222 (t-29th)
2015: 79-71-77 = 227 (t-50th)
2015: 78-76-74 = 228* (t-54th)
* played as individual
• Chris O’Neill is one of five finalists for the prestigious Byron Nelson Award, which is given annually to a graduating senior who excels not only on the golf course but also in the classroom and community. O’Neill is one of three Big Ten players up for the honor, joining Illinois’ Alex Burge and Charlie Danielson. There are two major awards for college golf — the Ben Hogan Award (POY) and the Byron Nelson.
• Michigan has posted four top-five finishes in this season’s eight events. U-M has had runner-up finishes at the Windon Memorial Classic (Sept. 27-28) as well as the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate (March 5-6). The Wolverines were also third at the Inverness Intercollegiate (Sept. 21-22) and fifth at the MacKenzie (Oct. 12-13). Overall, U-M has a 57-40-2 team record.
• So far this season, Michigan has averaged 868.29 per 54-hole event. The Wolverines have continued to be consistent from round to round, descending each round — first (290.29), second (289.43) and final (288.57). Overall, U-M is averaging 289.43 per team round.
• Chris O’Neill made his 44th consecutive start at the Aggie Invitational (April 2-3) and has yet to miss an event in his four-year career. He is expected to extend that streak this week with the Kepler Intercollegiate. Kyle Mueller has started the first 21 tournaments of his young career.
• Chris O’Neill has continued to have a stellar final campaign, posting five top-10 finishes — the Inverness Intercollegiate (t-6th), Desert Mountain Intercollegiate (t-8th), Windon Memorial Classic (t-9th) and the MacKenzie Invitational and Aggie Invitational (t-10th). With eight sub-par rounds — including a season-best 66 (-5) in the first round of the MacKenzie and 66 (-6) in the first round of the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate — he is averaging 71.86, more than a shot better than any of his three previous seasons (73.03 in 2013-14).
• Kyle Mueller, who leads U-M with a 71.67 scoring average, has nearly won three events this season — the Inverness Intercollegiate (2nd), Windon Memorial Classic (t-3rd) and the MacKenzie Invitational (4th). Those three near victories give him five top-five career finishes in his young career of just 21 total events. Overall, Mueller has finished as the top Wolverine in a tournament 12 times.
• Aided by a U-M record-tying 64 (-7) in the second round of the MacKenzie Invitational (Oct. 12-13), Kyle Mueller became the first Wolverine to crack 200 in a 54-hole event. He closed with a 198 (69-64-65, -15) to set the new U-M standard by four shots — 202 (-8) held by Bill Rankin at the 2008 Maxwell. For his efforts, Mueller was honored as the Big Ten Golfer of the Week for the second time in his career.
• Nick Carlson will make his ninth straight start at the Kepler Intercollegiate. In his first season, he is averaging 73.86 per round and has a 221.57 54-hole average. He posted a career-best 210 (-3) performance at the Windon Memorial Classic (Sept. 27-28) and set a career-best single round with a 68 (-3) in the final round of the MacKenzie Invitational (Oct. 12-13).
• Reed Hrynewich, who has started five events this season, posted his first top-10 finish of the season with a career-best-tying 214 (-2) total at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate (March 5-6). He followed tying for 20th at the Aggie Invitational with a 222 tally. For the season, he is averaging 74.42 per round.
CHIPS & PUTTS
• Kyle Mueller leads U-M with a 71.67 scoring average. He leads with 10 total sub-par rounds, including lowest round of the season and U-M record-tying 64 (-7) in the second round of the MacKenzie Invitational.
• Michigan has never had a player finish a season averaging below 72 per round. Currently, U-M is on pace to have two — Mueller (71.677) and Chris O’Neill (71.86).
• Mueller tallied a team-low and U-M-record 198 (-15) 54-hole tournament total at the MacKenzie Invitational.
• O’Neill has five top-10 finishes in seven 54-hole events this season. Mueller has posted five top-20 finishes, which include four top-10 and three top-5.
• Seven players among U-M’s eight-man roster have posted a sub-par round this season; as a team U-M has 32 total.
• U-M have had three Wolverines finish an event among the top 20 individually three times.
• Michigan has a record of 57-40-2 overall and 12-9 against the Big Ten this season.
• U-M posted a season-low and U-M-record 272 (-12) in the first round of the MacKenzie Invitational.
• Overall, the Wolverines have posted eight sub-par team totals this season.
• Michigan has a season-low, U-M-record 824 (-28) 54-hole tournament total at the MacKenzie Invitational.
• U-M has finished three of its seven 54-hole team events under par.
INTO THE RECORD BOOKS
• Kyle Mueller’s 198 (-15) at the MacKenzie Invitational set the U-M 54-hole tournament by four shots. It is the first time a Wolverine has broken 200 in a 54-hole event. Previous mark: 202 (-8), Bill Rankin (2008 Maxwell).
• Mueller tied the U-M single-round record with a 64 (-7) in the second round of the MacKenzie Invitational with 11 pars and seven birdies. Additional 64s: Bill Rankin (2008 Bridgestone Intercollegiate, 2nd), Christian Vozza (2005 MacKenzie Invitational, 2nd) and Michael Harris (1998 Northern Intercollegiate, 2nd).
• Michigan tallied a U-M team single-round record 272 (-12) in the first round of the MacKenzie Invitational, lowering by three shots. Previous mark: 275, four times – last: 2010 Bridgestone Intercollegiate.
• Michigan posted a U-M 54-hole team tournament record 824 (-28) at the MacKenzie Invitational, lowering by 15 shots. Previous mark: 839 (-13) at the 2005 Wolverine Intercollegiate.
LAST TIME OUT
With a sub-par 287 (-1) final-round tally and three Wolverines among the top 20 individually — Chris O’Neill (t-10th), Kyle Mueller (t-16th) and Reed Hrynewich (t-20th) — Michigan finished off an 887 54-hole event total and closed eighth at Texas A&M’s Aggie Invitational at the Traditions Club. [ Recap ]
Fri-Sun., April 22-24 — at Big Ten Championships (Newburgh, Ind.)
Mon-Wed., May 16-18 — NCAA Regional (NCAA Selected)
SOURCE: University of Michigan Sports