The Minnesota men’s golf team was in need of a quick turnaround if the men wanted to be playing their best by the end of the year but with another disappointing finish this weekend, time for improvement is running out.
The team shot a 22-over-par 886 at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational in Augusta, Ga., to end up last out of 18 teams. It was the second time the Gophers finished in the back of the pack this spring season.
Minnesota came into the third and final round Sunday in 14th place , but shot a 17-over 305 to slip all the way down the leaderboard.
Senior Ben Pisani led the way for Minnesota by shooting a 3-under 213 to finish in a tie for 24th. It was the first time Pisani has shot under par since the Bridgestone Championship on Oct. 24-25 .
“He’s the only player on the team, I feel, is doing what it takes to get better and reach his potential,” director of golf Brad James said . “It’s just part of the growing process of knowing what it takes.”
There was a wide gap between Pisani and his next teammate, as junior Donald Constable finished in a tie for 68th by shooting a 6-over 222.
Senior Thomas Campbell shot a 10-over 226 to finish in a tie for 80th. Freshman Erik Van Rooyen shot a 13-over 229 to tie for 89th, while fellow freshman David Haley struggled in the second round and ended up in last overall by shooting a 20-over 236.
The coaching staff had substituted Campbell and Haley in after the team’s disappointing eighth place finish at the FAU Spring Break Invite , but James said he plans to make even more lineup changes before the next tournament.
Augusta State won the event by shooting a 47-under 817 . The host school also had three of the top four golfers overall with Henrik Norlande r taking medalist honors.
The Gophers will play at the Indiana Invitational April 19-20 in Indianapolis, Ind. It will be their last tournament before the Big Ten Championships at the end of the month in Minneapolis.
“[We] have always done a good job in the last ten years of having a lot of success in the postseason,” James said. “And that’s what we need to look at right now…and that’s what we’ll be working towards.”
But if there is an upside, James said the team has the talent to make a run, even if the results haven’t shown it.
“The team itself is a very quality team and they’re capable of some great things, but just haven’t performed,” James said.
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