Laorr paces Minnesota to best score of spring

Minnesota finished 8th out of 16 teams at the Clover Cup.

Nickalas Tabbert

The Gophers women’s golf team shot 40-over par to finish eighth out of 16 teams at the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz.

Minnesota shot a team score of 904 at the Longbow Golf Club — its best score of the spring season by 17 strokes.

Oklahoma ran away with the tournament, finishing with a team score of 862. Southern Methodist finished second at 18 strokes behind the Sooners.

Sophomore Anna Laorr tied for 19th to lead the Gophers with a season-best score of 223. She shot 7-over par in her first top-20 finish of the spring season.

Laorr said the team played its first solid tournament of the spring.

“We played pretty well,” she said. “We finished higher in the tournament than we were supposed to.”

Heavy rain and lightning forced the first round to be played Saturday, Laorr said.

As a result, the greens were slow and soft in the opening rounds but sped up for Sunday’s final round.

“I definitely think that the short game was a lot more difficult,” Laorr said about Sunday’s conditions. She said players had to be more conservative because of the fast and firm greens.

Laorr said the course was deceivingly windy at times as well.

Junior Banchalee Theinthong finished three shots behind Laorr in a tie for 28th after shooting a 74 in each of her first two rounds. Sophomore Carmen Laguna had the Gophers’ best round Sunday, also a 74.

Laorr said the Gophers had struggled in their past few tournaments when Laguna and Theinthong were out of the lineup. Both returned to the lineup this week.

Another incentive was to play well in the absence of coach Michele Redman, who did not travel due to a death in the family. Assistant coach John Cleary traveled with the team instead.

Laorr said the team’s schedule for the rest of the year is favorable. Minnesota’s next event will be the BYU Entrada Classic on March 18-19 in St. George, Utah.