Feb. 11, 2012
Big Ten Match Play Bracket and Results
BRADENTON, Fla. -- For the third-consecutive year, Northwestern is the champion of the Big Ten Match Play championship after earning its most recent title Saturday afternoon with a 4-1-1 victory over No. 8 seed Minnesota at Concessions Golf Club.
"Chien playing 18 with match locked. 'Cats win!! Three-peat!" tweeted head coach Pat Goss.
Northwestern played this season as the No. 7 seed in the tournament after winning in 2010 as the No. 6 seed and in 2011 as the No. 4 seed. Goss has a pedigree with match play pupils; World No. 1 Luke Donald is the defending champion at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and participated in NU's alumni match last weekend, which the former Wildcats took over the current Wildcats, 20.5 to 6.5. The drubbing clearly served as good preparation for the collegiate players.
Northwestern now has won 13-consecutive matches in this tournament dating to its inaugural playing in 2009. The Wildcats are 14-1 all-time in the Big Ten Match Play Championship, with their only loss coming against Illinois in the quarterfinal round of 2009.
In addition to its stellar record in the Big Ten Match Play tournament, Northwestern also notched a match-play victory over then-No. 1 UCLA on Oct. 13, 2011, at Evanston Golf Club prior to NU's home Windon Memorial Classic. That victory puts the 'Cats 15-1 in any match play competition over the past four years.
The win is the 28th team tournament title for Northwestern under 15th-year head coach Pat Goss.
Following is a blow-by-blow account of all six matches in the 2012 Big Ten Match Play Championship title bout:
No. 1: Eric Chun (NU) def. Erik Van Rooyen (MINN), 3 and 2
Senior Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) started out down to his opponent Erik Van Rooyen, then drew all square with a par at No. 3 and took a lead he would not relinquish with a birdie at the 210-yard par-3 fourth hole. That lead quickly ballooned to 3-up through six before reaching 4-up following a par at the 13th.
Van Rooyen fought back with birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 to cut the lead in half, but a Chun par at No. 16 finished the match, 3 and 2.
No. 2: Jack Perry (NU) def. Robert Bell (MINN), 6 and 4
Sophomore Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) took a 2-up lead over Robert Bell with a birdie at No. 4 and a par at No. 5. He gave back a hole on the sixth, then made a huge momentum play on the 547-yard par-5 seventh. After Bell put his second shot onto the green in good proximity to the flag, Perry chipped in for an eagle to win the hole.
The change in emotion really benefited Perry, who went on to win Nos. 8 and 9 with pars to take a 4-up lead at the turn. The score remained the same until back-to-back pars at Nos. 13 and 14 closed out a big win and a great tourney for Perry, 6 and 4.
No. 3: Sam Chien (NU) def. Jon Trasamar (MINN), 2-up
Senior Sam Chien (San Diego, Calif./Mt. Carmel) built a 2-up lead through five holes against Jon Trasamar, winning the second with a bogey and the fifth with a par. Trasamar fought back to all square when Chien found trouble on holes No. 8 and 9, then went 1-up on the Wildcat with a par at No. 10.
Chien brought the match back to all square with a birdie on the par-5 13th hole, then went dormie after winning the par-5 17th with a par. He also won the 18th for good measure to account for a 2-up final.
No. 4: Bennett Lavin (NU) def. David Haley, Jr. (MINN), 4 and 3
Freshman Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) took an immediate lead over Minnesota's David Haley, Jr., with a winning par at the first. Another par victory on the fifth hole pushed his lead to 2-up, though a triple bogey at the eighth gave one hole back.
Moving to the back side, Lavin made par at Nos. 11, 12 and 13 while his opponent found black numbers to extend the freshman's lead to 4-up through 13. Lavin continued his steady play with pars on the final two holes of the match to deny Haley a comeback attempt, winning 4 and 3.
No. 5: Nick Losole (NU) and Tim Peterzen (MINN), halve
Junior Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) grabbed the early lead against Minnesota's Tim Peterzen with a birdie at the 418-yard par 4 second hole, but a double bogey later on at No. 5 squared the match. Back-to-back Losole bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 gave Peterzen a 2-up lead when he made pars, but Losole quickly battled back with a birdie on No. 9 to cut his deficit in half.
Peterzen extended his lead back out to 2-up after a Losole bogey at No. 11 before the Wildcat made a great up-and-down from long right of the short 333-yard par-4 12th green for a hole-halving par. He then piped his drive on the par-5 13th before winning the hole with a par to again make it a 1-up match.
The margin remained at a single hole until the 16th, when Losole made a huge birdie to draw the match to all square. Both competitors then birdied the par-5 17th and made bogey on the last to halve the match.
No. 6: Tyler Lowenstein (MINN) def. Matthew Negri (NU), 5 and 3
Freshman Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) and Minnesota's Tyler Lowenstein traded wins on the first two holes of their match before Lowenstein took the lead at No. 3 following a Negri double bogey. Back-to-back Lowenstein wins at Nos. 7 and 8 extended Negri's deficit to 3-down, where it stayed until midway through the back nine when Lowenstein closed out the match, 5 and 3.
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