Coming into the weekend, there was nowhere to go but up for the Minnesota men’s golf team.
After shooting a 70-over par and finishing last at the General Hackler on March 14-15, the Gophers moved up the leaderboard at the FAU Spring Break Championship by shooting a 26-over par 878 to land in eighth out of 16.
But director of golf Brad James has not been impressed with the team’s performance thus far this spring.
“The whole spring has been a massive disappointment,” James said. “Our expectations are that we compete nationally, and we haven’t been able to do that very well.”
Illinois won the event for the second straight year by shooting a 10-under 842, while Illini junior Chris DeForest took medalist honors by shooting an 8-under 205.
Junior Donald Constable led the Gophers for the first time since joining the team at the beginning of the spring season as a transfer from Texas by shooting a 2-over 215 for a tie in 13th.
Senior Ben Pisani followed, shooting a 4-over 217 to finish in a tie for 17th.
Playing with the team for the first time since October, freshman David Haley ended in a tie for 39th by shooting a 10-over 223.
Freshman Erik Van Rooyen shot a 15-over par 228 to finish in a tie for 64th, while sophomore Derek Chang brought up the rear with a 20-over 233 to end in 79th.
Every one of the Gophers who competed in the General Hackler improved their score over the weekend.
James said that while the scores were better than the previous event, major changes in the lineup may be in order.
“The kids have worked reasonably hard, but I don’t think they really know … what working hard and committing to getting better really is,” James said. “Individually, there really haven’t been any standouts at all.”
Minnesota associate head coach Andrew Tank added that the coaches are not set on who will play Saturday and Sunday in Augusta, Ga., for the Augusta Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Course.
With just two events left before the Big Ten championships, Tank said time is running out for the team to improve, but he thinks some extra work on the golf course will be beneficial.
“I think we just need to get out and practice and play as much as we can before these next two events,” Tank said. “And we need to go out and play like we are capable of … and put ourselves in a position for Big Tens.”
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