The result seems familiar, but the Minnesota men’s golf team hopes to learn something new from its continued struggles.
The Gophers finished ninth out of 15 teams Tuesday at the Braveheart Classic at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont, Calif., shooting a 44-over par 908.
Arizona went on to win the event easily with a 6-under par 858. The Wildcats also had the best scores in all three rounds.
Director of golf Brad James said he was disappointed in the way his team performed, but is hopeful that the players can learn from the experience.
“I was really happy with the preparation leading up to the event, but obviously the result is an embarrassment,” James said. “At the same time I think it’s a good opportunity for the guys to learn.”
Sophomore Derek Chang led the way for Minnesota, shooting a first-round overall-best 1-under par 71 before falling off in the subsequent rounds with scores of 79 and 73 to finish in a tie for 18th overall.
“[I] saw some good signs out of Derek,” associate head coach Andrew Tank said. “That’s a great sign; that’s certainly what he’s capable of.”
Senior Ben Pisani shot a 9-over 225 to end in a tie for 22nd. Newcomer Donald Constable finished in a tie for 36th, shooting a 12-over 228.
Constable, a junior , transferred from Texas before the spring season . James said he had recruited the Wayzata native heavily before he went to play for the Longhorns.
“We’re very fortunate to have Donny back into the program,” James said. “[He] has all the tools to be a professional golfer. I think we need to harness those tools and channel those assets that he has in the right direction.”
Tying with Constable was Robert Bell , who played as an individual.
Rounding out the Gophers’ lineup was freshman Erik Van Rooyen, who tied for 79th by shooting a 27-over 243.
Arizona’s Tarquin MacManus earned medalist honors by shooting a 6-under par 210.
While the Gophers may have struggled during the tournament, Tank said he knows the team is capable of better play.
“I hope they learn that it’s not just what you practice at home,” Tank said. “They have to take those skills to the course and be able to execute them under competitive pressure.”
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