Braschler spurs one-round jump from 12th to third

The Gophers finished third after a 34-shot turnaround from Saturday to Sunday.

by David McCoy

Minnesota’s women’s golf team needed a turnaround from Samantha Braschler.

But Braschler didn’t just turn it around from round one to round two.

She did a pirouette.

Braschler’s 15-over-par 87 put her in a tie for 73rd place after Saturday’s first round of the weather-shortened, two-round Indiana Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. But Sunday, Braschler’s 17-shot turnaround catapulted her into a tie for 11th and the Gophers from 12th to third.

“I was somewhat bitter toward the course,” Braschler said. “I wanted to prove I could shoot normal games on the course, because I am not an 87 shooter.”

Braschler’s second-round 70 was the tournament’s lowest.

But Minnesota’s other golfers did their parts too. Every scored Gophers golfer shot at least three strokes better in round two than round one.

Braschler’s 17-stroke improvement accounted for half of Minnesota’s tournament-high 34-stroke upturn, but junior Jessica Thomas had an 11-shot upturn, and Sophie Stubbs shot six better.

Overall, Minnesota’s top four golfers had a 37-stroke improvement, because only one of Braschler’s and Thomas’ 15-over first-round scores were counted.

Senior captain Terra Petsinger also led the team, with an 11th-place finish after carding a three-stroke improvement.

“The girls were very down after the first day, and I tried to encourage them and keep them from dwelling on it,” Petsinger said. “But the determination to do better comes from inside each one of them.”

Overall, Minnesota finished with a score of 634 – five shots behind second-place Grand Valley State and 14 behind winner Notre Dame.

Gophers Coach Katie Hanneman said the big comeback was Minnesota’s best round of the spring season and was in large part because of the weather, which improved significantly Sunday but still shortened the tournament to 36 holes.

“I think today was a day of scoring, and showcasing talent and ability, and to be able to pull something through,” Hanneman said. “(Saturday) was just battling conditions, and I don’t think it really was a true test of ability.”

None of the Gophers could put a finger on why the better weather helped them so much more than it did the other teams.

But Petsinger said the turnaround was because of a lot more than just the weather.

“It was more determination than it was the weather,” Petsinger said. “Yesterday was really windy, but it wasn’t a 30-stroke wind.”

Men tie for fourth in Ga.

The Gophers men tied for fourth place at the Augusta State Invitational in Augusta, Ga.

Minnesota carded a 58-over 922. Individually, Bronson La’Cassie tied for fifth with an 8-over 224.