Minnesota seeks improvement at LSU Invitational

Minnesota will travel to Baton Rouge, La., for the LSU Invitational this weekend.

Drew Claussen

The Gophers’ men’s golf team’s strong second-place showing at the Big Ten Match Play came more than a month ago, and the two events that followed it have the team looking for answers.

Minnesota placed 13th out of 14 teams at the Schenkel Invitational on Mar. 16-18 and tied for 11th out of 15 teams at the FAU Spring Break Invitational on Mar. 23-25.

The team will travel for a third consecutive week for the Louisiana State University Invitational on Saturday and Sunday in Baton Rouge, La.

Head coach John Carlson said he would have liked to have an off-week for the team to practice at home.

“With the last couple tournaments being disappointing finishes, I feel like a week of practice would have certainly helped all the guys,” Carlson said.

Carlson added that he likes to have his golfers practice at courses that he knows they can shoot low scores to give them some confidence.

Eleven other teams will join the Gophers at the two-round invitational, including No. 24 LSU, No. 27 Tennessee-Chattanooga and No. 34 Iowa. The field is made up of teams from four different conferences.

“The field is strong at LSU,” Carlson said. “Every team is ranked fairly highly within their conference, so it should be a good test for our team when we go down there.”

The event will take place at The University Club in Baton Rouge, which is a par-72.

“LSU has one of the most demanding golf course layouts in the country,” Carlson said. “The greens are as severe as the ones we faced at Concession [Golf Club].”

Concession was the site of the Big Ten Match Play, and Carlson said the greens at LSU, in terms of toughness, are similar to those at Concession.

Minnesota will have only one more meet after the LSU Invitational before the Big Ten championships. Carlson said, like always, he will look for improvement every week leading into postseason play.

“This weekend’s really going to be a good barometer as to how high we’re going to finish at the Big Ten championships,” Carlson said.