The Gophers women’s golf team traveled to Florida and placed 12th out of 15 teams in the Central District Invitational.
Michigan State hosted the invitational at River Wilderness Golf and Country Club in Parrish, Fla.
Minnesota had two golfers finish in the top 30: Carmen Laguna shot 76-79-71 — 226 to finish tied for 21st.
Banchalee Theinthong shot 76-77-74 — 227 to finish tied for 28th. Laguna’s 71 in the third round set a new lowest round score of her Gophers career.
As a team, Minnesota finished eight shots behind 11th place Kent State and 34 shots behind winner Texas Christian. Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, Louisiana State and Michigan State rounded out the top five. Oklahoma’s Chirapat Jao-Javanil placed first and shot a 68-70-74 — 212.
Theinthong, a sophomore, was the Gophers’ most experienced golfer at the invitational. She was joined in Florida by three freshmen and a redshirt freshman.
“We’re a pretty young team,” women’s head coach Michele Redman said. “I think in general we’re just going to keep getting better.”
The Gophers’ team scores got consistently better as the invitational progressed. The team fired a 311 in the first round and a 294 in the third.
The 294 third-round score was the second best score for the final round, one stroke behind No. 7 LSU.
“I’m very encouraged by what I saw today,” Redman said of the final-round score.
Freshman Anna Laorr and redshirt freshman Taylor Quinn saw their first tournament action of the spring and finished tied for 59th and tied for 74th, respectively.
There’s work to be done before the Gophers’ next competition, Redman said.
“We just need to keep working on our course management and our chipping and putting — that’s where we need to improve,” Redman said.
Minnesota will have more than three weeks to prepare for its next competition. It will travel to Mesa, Ariz., to compete in the Clover Cup.
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