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    Northwestern Begins Match Play Title Defense With 5-1 Win Over Michigan

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Freshman Jack Perry got NU off to a great start Friday morning, winning his final four holes to earn a 4 and 3 victory and give NU an early 1-0 match lead.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Freshman Jack Perry got NU off to a great start Friday morning, winning his final four holes to earn a 4 and 3 victory and give NU an early 1-0 match lead.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Feb. 11, 2011

    Big Ten Match Play Live Scoring and Results

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Defending Big Ten Match Play champion Northwestern began the 2011 edition of the tournament in a strong way Friday morning, defeating No. 5 seed Michigan, 5-1, to advance to the semifinal round Saturday morning against the winner of this afternoon's match between No. 1 seed Illinois and No. 9 seed Minnesota.

    The Wildcats won their opening match for the third-straight year at the third-annual event, moving to 8-1 all-time at the Big Ten Match Play Championship. Intermittent rain dampened the Champions Course at PGA National during the round, but strong back-nine play and mastery of the course's infamous three-hole "Bear Trap" gave NU a run-away victory.

    Blow-by-blow recaps of all six matches are as follows:

    No. 6: Jack Perry (NU) def. Rahul Bakshi (U-M), 4 and 3
    Play began Friday morning at the No. 6 position with NU freshman Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) taking on Michigan's Rahul Bakshi. Bakshi took the early lead with a birdie at No. 5 before Perry got it right back on the par-5 sixth. He reached the green in two before nearly holing his eagle attempt, but the birdie still was good enough to get the match to all square.

    The players matched scores -- including a hole-halving chip in by Perry on No. 12 -- until the 13th, where Perry pulled away in a hurry. A great up-and-down on No. 13 for par put him one up before a Bakshi double bogey at No. 14 and a Perry birdie on No. 15 put the NU youngster dormie on the 16th tee. He went on to win his fourth-consecutive hole, putting Northwestern on top early in the match with a 4 and 3 victory.

    No. 5: Josh Dupont (NU) def. Jack Schultz (U-M), 3 and 2
    Senior Josh Dupont (Poway, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) was exceptionally long and straight off the tee the entirety of Friday morning at PGA National, putting on a "ball-striking clinic" according to head coach Pat Goss. He found the green on the 538-yard, par-5 3rd in two after launching a hybrid 252 yards toward the flagstick. Shultz conceded the eagle to put Dupont 1-up early. The match remained at 1-up for Dupont after the Wildcat missed four-foot birdie opportunities on Nos. 8 and 9, then a Schultz birdie at No. 10 squared the match.

     

     

    Schultz turned around and made double on No. 11, then a Dupont birdie at the 13th and a Schultz bogey on the 14th gave Dupont a commanding 3-up advantage entering the famed Bear Trap, the nickname for the three-hole stretch from Nos. 15 to 17 -- widely considered the toughest three-hole stretch in the world.

    Schultz made birdie at the par-3 15th, but another double bogey for the Wolverine made Dupont's bogey at No. 16 good enough for a 3 and 2 victory and a 2-0 Northwestern lead in the match.

    No. 4: Nick Losole (NU) def. Alexander Sitompul (U-M), 3 and 1
    Sitompul took the early lead in this one before sophomore Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) made a great birdie on No. 3 followed by a winning par on No. 4 to go 1-up. A back-and-forth front nine in which only three holes were halved found the match all square at the turn.

    Sitompul quickly took the upper hand on the back nine with a birdie at No. 10 against Losole's par. Losole continued to grind out pars on the back side, and it paid off when back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15 by Sitompul gave Losole the opening he needed -- and the sophomore drove through that opening like an 18-wheeler on a downhill slope.

    Playing the Bear Trap in 1-under par, Losole carded a par on 15, a birdie on 16 and finally another par on 17 to win all three holes and take the individual match, 3 and 1, putting NU up 3-0 in the team match in the process.

    No. 3: Joey Garber (U-M) def. Brad Shigezawa (NU), 3 and 1
    Freshman Brad Shigezawa (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou Academy) took advantage of a pair of early bogeys from his opponent to immediately go 3-up through three in this match. Garber responded with an equally big run, playing the next six holes in 2-under par to go 1-up on Shigezawa at the turn.

    The pair played even on the back nine until a Shigezawa bogey on No. 14 gave Garber a 2-up lead entering the Bear Trap. Shigezawa made par at the par-3 15th against Garber's bogey to cut his deficit in half, but Garber went on to win both 16 and 17 (holing a match-winning birdie on the 17th) to take the 3 and 1 victory and give Michigan its lone win on the day.

    No. 2: Eric Chun (NU) def. Matt Thompson (U-M), 2 and 1
    Junior Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) put his 7-0-1 undefeated Big Ten Match Play record on the line against Matt Thompson, who was a perfect 3-0 at this tournament in 2009.

    Chun got off to a slow start, spotting Thompson a 3-up lead through five holes after the Wolverine made birdie on the par-3 5th. Chun then got hot, bringing the match back to all square with a birdie at No. 6, a winning par on No. 7 and another birdie on the par-5 10th.

    The match remained all squad through 15 holes before Chun earned a winning par at No. 16 and a match-clinching birdie putt on No. 17 to win, 2 and 1, and also clinch the team match, 4-1. Chun remains undefeated at the Big Ten Match Play Championship, now sporting an 8-0-1 record.

    No. 1: David Lipsky (NU) def. Lion Kim (U-M), 2 and 1
    At the No. 1 position, reigning Big Ten champion David Lipsky (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) faced off against current U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Lion Kim. Lipsky rolled in a long birdie putt on No. 2 to go 1-up before Kim got the hole back at No. 4. Both players made birdies on No. 5, with Lipsky again holing out from distance.

    "There were a lot of early birdies made in what turned out to be a great match," Goss said.

    Lipsky vaulted to a huge lead midway through the match. Kim made back-to-back bogies on Nos. 8 and 9 while Lipsky carded pars, then the Wildcat senior put up back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 to build a 4-up lead through 11 holes.

    A Lipsky double bogey at No. 14 followed by a Kim birdie on the first hole of the Bear Trap cut Lipsky's lead to 2-up. Matching pars from both players on Nos. 16 and 17 then gave Lipsky the 2 and 1 victory.

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