U men’s golf finishes third at BellSouth

by Jim Schortemeyer

On the verge of a four-week layoff, the Minnesota men’s golf team had one last chance to beat Nevada-Las Vegas in the regular season this weekend. But as they have all season, the Rebels proved they were the better team.
No. 12 Minnesota finished third at the BellSouth Intercollegiate in Cary, N.C. The Gophers finished five strokes behind No. 3 UNLV and one stroke behind No. 24 New Mexico. While they failed to top the Rebels, they did manage to finish three strokes ahead of second-ranked Clemson.
Although the results place Minnesota among the nation’s best teams, the Gophers weren’t very excited about their finish. Senior Andy Komor was already looking forward to a rematch.
“Vegas seems to have our number,” senior Andy Komor said. “But I think up here (at the NCAA championships) we’ll have a good chance at them.”
The Gophers think they could have won the tournament if they had played up to their usual standards.
“I’m a little disappointed because we didn’t play our best,” sophomore James McLean said. “(Adam) Dooley didn’t have a good week. But then Andy Komor and Jeff Barney stepped it up to help us out.”
While Dooley slipped to a 55th-place finish, Komor had his best tournament of the spring. He finished 19th, tied with Barney and junior Martin LeMesurier.
“This tournament I just wanted to get off to a fast start and I managed to do that,” Komor said.
McLean made his usual appearance on the leaderboard, finishing in third place at 1-under par. Although he played another strong weekend, McLean felt he gave away six strokes over the course of the tournament and should have placed higher.

Take Five
Now the Gophers have a four-week respite before their next tournament, one week prior to the Big Ten tournament.
Most of the players welcome a break from the constant travel.
“I was getting a little mentally tired,” McLean said. “It gets to be a bit of a grind out there.”
While the break will be nice, some players are worried about maintaining an edge.
“I’m kind of sick of travelling,” Komor said. “But as far as tournaments go, I’m already anxious to get out there and play. I’ve been getting better every week.”
But chances to get better in tournaments are slim now. The Gophers will host the Big Ten championships, beginning May 14, and the NCAA Championships at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. With those major championships looming on their schedule, some players would rather be on the links than the practice range.
“There’s good things and bad things about the break,” LeMesurier said. “The good part is we get to catch up on school. The bad part is we need to compete to stay in that competitive mode.”
Coach John Means is the schedule maker for Minnesota, and is very pleased with the way things have worked out.
“I set the schedule like this intentionally,” Means said. “For the last three or four years we’ve always been busy in April because of midterms.
“Now we’ll get the grades where they’re supposed to be — not that they’re bad — then we’ll be able to concentrate more on golf when it really matters.”