Minnesota takes fourth place at weekend Augusta State Invitational

by C.J. Spang

Just one week ago Minnesota’s men’s golf team put itself out of contention for the tournament title with a poor second-round performance.

This week was a different story, however.

After the first 18 holes of the Augusta State Invitational on Saturday, the Gophers found themselves in second place at 5-under par, one shot behind tournament leader Coastal Carolina.

Minnesota’s afternoon 18 wasn’t quite as strong, as the team shot even par to lose ground on the Chanticleers. But that round still left the Gophers within striking distance, six shots back in second place.

But this time around it was the final round that did Minnesota in.

The Gophers carded a 7-over-par 295 on Sunday to fall to fourth place at two-over par for the tournament.

Minnesota had the lowest final-round score out of the top-eight teams.

Coastal Carolina cruised to a relatively easy win, finishing at 10-under par, five strokes ahead of second-place finisher South Carolina-Aiken – the top-ranked team in Division II.

Leading the Gophers individually were freshman Victor Almstrom and senior Josh Persons.

They finished in a six-way tie for seventh place at 1-under par for the tournament.

Persons was tied for fourth after the first 36 holes, but his final round 2-over-par 74 dropped him back three places.

Almstrom came into the final day in a tie for seventh, and looked like he would fall a few positions with three bogeys on the back nine, but an eagle on the 16th hole brought him back to 1-over par for the tournament.

The 16th hole was the best for Minnesota, as the Gophers shot 7-under par on that hole for the tournament.

Junior Niall Turner turned in the best third-round performance on the team, firing at even-par 72 with only one blemish, a bogey on the par five ninth – a hole that plagued him the whole tournament, as he bogeyed it all three rounds.

Minnesota returns to the Midwest for Big Ten competition this weekend at the Boilermaker Invitational.