ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's golf head coach Andrew Sapp announced today (Friday, Nov. 13) the signing of the top two players in the State of Michigan -- Joey Garber (Petoskey, Mich./Petoskey) and Matt Felsenfeld (West Bloomfield, Mich./David Leadbetter Golf Academy) -- to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year.
"We are very proud of this recruiting class," said Sapp. "For us to sign the top two players in the state who both have some wonderful national experience validate where our golf program is right now. Both Joey and Matt will have wonderful careers at Michigan and we are looking forward to next September when they arrive on campus."
Garber is ranked as the top player in the state of Michigan by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard (NJGS) and Golfweek. NJGS also rates him as the seventh-best player nationally in the graduating class of 2010. Garber was named the Michigan High School Athletic Association "Mr. Golf" as a junior and becomes U-M's second signee to receive the honor in the last two years; current Wolverine sophomore Matt Thompson (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview) won the honor in 2008. In addition to the State's top honor, Garber was also named the Golf Association of Michigan Junior Player of the Year and an AJGA All-America honorable mention in 2009.
"I could not be more pleased and confident in the decision I have made," said Garber. "Michigan is one of the top academic institutions and becoming a great student is the first step in becoming a successful and knowledgeable man. U-M gives you every opportunity to succeed with great coaches, great team chemistry, and great facilities and as stated earlier, it is one of the finest academic institutions in the world. Coach Sapp and Coach Whitten are great guys, truly dedicated and invested in our golf games and futures. Needless to say, I bleed Maize and Blue and simply can't wait to wear the Block 'M' with great pride. "
While playing at Petoskey, Garber earned All-State honors and was the medalist runner-up at the 2006 Division 2 Finals, finishing behind Thompson. In 2009, Garber led Petoskey to a 14th-place team finish and closed sixth as an individual. Outside of high school golf, Garber won back-to-back medalist honors (2008-09) at the Michigan Junior Amateur and was the co-medalist at the 2009 U.S. Amateur Qualifier at the Boyne Highlands C.C., in Boyne, Mich. In 2009, he won the AJGA Randy Wise Junior Championship title and tied for fourth at the AJGA Golf Pride Junior Championship.
"Joey is possibly the highest nationally ranked player to come out of the state of Michigan in the past 20 years," said Sapp. "His ability to win and his competitive fire are what every coach looks for in a recruit. With his golf experience and talent, he should make an immediate impact when he steps on campus. We are thrilled to have 'Mr. Golf' in the State of Michigan stay home and become a Michigan man."
Felsenfeld is ranked as the No. 2 player in the State of Michigan by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard (NJGS) as well as Golfweek. After spending his freshman year at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, Mich., Felsenfeld left for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Before heading south, as a freshman at Country Day, Felsenfeld helped the Yellow Jackets to a fourth-place finish at the 2006 Division 3 State Finals, where he tied for 21st and earned all-state and all-county honors.
"My desire to select the University of Michigan came from my great experience during my official visit with the golf team," said Felsenfeld. "I felt a good connection with the members of the golf team as well as being comfortable with the coaches. I have been a Michigan fan for years and it will be an honor to attend U-M and become a member of the Wolverine golf team. It was my first choice and I know that it is going to be a great fit for me. Both my parents are graduates of Michigan and my brother is a recent graduate. I have visited Ann Arbor on many occasions for football and basketball games, concerts, and dining. I have become familiar with Ann Arbor and the U-M campus and know it is the type of atmosphere I will excel in."
While at the Leadbetter Academy, Felsenfeld played on the Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT), earning All-America Third Team honors in 2009. He earned medalist honors at the 2008 Teens on the Green World Championship and runner-up honors at the 2009 Leadbetter Classic and the 2008 TPC Tampa Bay. Throughout 2008 and 2009, Felsenfeld collected 13 top-10 individual finishes, including a fifth-place finish at the 2009 Michigan Junior State Amateur Championship.
"Matt has a great deal of tournament experience and success at the national level, and we look for that in a recruit," said Sapp. "He has Maize and Blue running through his veins with both parents and his older brother as U of M graduates. Adding him to our roster gives us the best two players in the state. He should definitely be a contributor to our lineup in the future and help us continue to build this golf program and win championships."
The Wolverines will lose three seniors this season, senior Billy McKay (Grand Blanc, Mich./David Leadbetter Golf Academy), senior captain Ross Millman (St. Louis, Mo./Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School) and senior Michael Slovitt (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier HS).