The Gophers women’s golf team purposely stayed home the past two weekends to prepare for the Big Ten championships.
A busy spring schedule, with practice on the first day of spring semester, took Minnesota out of the Midwest for all five tournaments.
This weekend the Gophers will travel their shortest distance of the spring — about 700 miles — to French Lick, Ind.
Coach Michele Redman said the team was simply worn out after playing in the Rebel Intercollegiate in Mississippi three weeks ago.
“That’s going to happen when you play as many tournaments as we play,” Redman said after the tournament.
Last year the Gophers played in a tournament the weekend before championships, where they placed eighth. Redman said they are more rested this year because they stayed home.
Redman said she’s considering changing the team’s spring schedule next season to give the team a break somewhere near the middle of the schedule.
The team’s typical fall schedule — four tournaments in roughly seven weeks — is much more manageable for the golfers, she said.
But traveling has allowed the Gophers to play in warmer conditions, as a late spring has kept Minnesota off its own golf course.
Redman said she hopes the lighter schedule this month will bring better results this weekend. All of Minnesota’s players in the lineup have already played the Donald Ross Course, where the championships will be held.
“I think that’s a big advantage for us,” she said.
The Gophers will have to focus on course management and making smart golf decisions this weekend to score well, Redman said.
Men seek fast start
The men’s golf team has played only one round of golf in Minnesota this spring.
Coach John Carlson said he had to determine his lineup based on tournament results and head-to-head matchups between players.
“It wasn’t a perfect solution to really set the team,” he said, “but I’m really confident with the guys that are going.”
Carlson said the team needs consistency this weekend, especially in the opening 36 holes Friday.
“That really set us up confidence-wise,” he said of having a strong start. “We’ve been able to really maintain a good finish if we had a good start.”
A good start will be important this weekend at the Pete Dye Course, one of the most difficult courses in Indiana. Carlson said the course is different than most because of its elevation, tight fairways and length.
“It’s a monster,” he said. “The Pete Dye golf course is just something that most Big Ten teams just don’t face on a normal scale.”
– This is the second year the men’s and women’s championships have been held at a neutral site together.
– The women’s lineup this weekend will feature sophomores Carmen Laguna, Anna Laorr, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn and Taylor Quinn, junior Banchalee Theinthong and senior Jackie Shepherd.
– The men’s lineup will feature freshman Jon DuToit, sophomore Tyler Lowenstein, junior Jon Trasamar and seniors Erik Van Rooyen and Robert Bell.
– Though both teams will play at the French Lick Resort this weekend, they will likely only see each other at Thursday night’s banquet for the seniors.