Minnesota finishes fifth in Miami Hurricane Invite

Sophomore Emie Peronnin led the Gophers and tied for 13th overall.

Anna Laorr swings at the Minikahda Club on Sept. 16, 2014, at the second annual Minnesota Invitational.

Daily File Photo, Alex Tuthill-Preus

Anna Laorr swings at the Minikahda Club on Sept. 16, 2014, at the second annual Minnesota Invitational.

Brad Bobel

Minnesota moved up the leaderboard each of the three days in the Miami Hurricane Invitational.

The Gophers started off in the middle of the pack but moved their way into the top five by Wednesday, shooting a team total 26-over par as fellow Big Ten opponent Northwestern took the crown, posting a 7-over par.

On the third and final round, Minnesota finished at 6-over par as first place Northwestern shot a dismal 13-over par.

“It was a good tournament and field,” freshman Celia Kuenster said. “It was really positive for us. Beating a great Northwestern team [Wednesday] by a lot was great.”

“We showed really good signs of progress. We had the second-lowest team score of the day,” senior Anna Laorr said. “All five [golfers] contributed a lot this tournament.”

Just like the last tournament, the climate proposed some challenges to the course. It rained the first day the Gophers were there, and the wind made an appearance in the last two rounds.

“It was very windy, which made it tough,” Laorr said. “If there was no wind, scores could have been lower. It was a very attackable golf course.”

The Gophers have never played the Biltmore Golf Course, so the two practice rounds they played were helpful.

“There were some funny holes that made the team think a little more,” head coach Michele Redman said.

Leading the team was sophomore Emie Peronnin, shooting 5-over par (73-75-70 — 218) to finish in a tie for 13th place.

She finished the final round at 1-under par to lead the Gophers with the lowest round of the tournament.

“Emie’s been working really hard, and it’s nice to see her perform well now,” Kuenster said.

Seniors Carmen Laguna and Laorr were close behind as they both tied for 21st.

Laguna finished her final two rounds at 1-over par each (76-72-72 — 220), while Laorr battled sickness Wednesday, taking her score down from the first two rounds.

“I wasn’t feeling very well [Wednesday], as I started to get sick the day before,” Laorr said. “But it’s nice to know that my teammates have my back.”

Kuenster couldn’t find her groove, shooting a 9-over (73-75-74 — 222) and finishing in a tie for 33rd.

Fellow freshman Sabrine Garrison rounded out the lineup, finishing in 52nd place at 13-over par (77-75-74 — 226).

As the rounds went on in Miami, many Gophers’ scores improved, enabling them to jump teams on the leaderboard.

“After every round, you get more comfortable [with the course],” Laorr said. “We’ve practiced a lot for when we play in the wind, and it showed [this tournament].”

Before the Gophers competed in the Miami Hurricane Invitational, they used a three-week break to emphasize their short game and mental approach to the game.

“It’s hard to be inside all the time. When we go down South, we just want it so badly,” Laorr said. “It’s the mental stuff to work on. We need to get back to enjoying the game.”