Gophers finish fourth at Princeton Invitational

Senior Justin Doeden finished first among Gophers golfers with a 217 in three rounds.

Riley Johnson plays at the Windsong Golf Club during the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 13, 2015.

Joe Sulik, Daily File Photo

Riley Johnson plays at the Windsong Golf Club during the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 13, 2015.

by Drew Cove

Minnesota took a trip east this weekend, and they made it worthwhile.

The Gophers shot an 869, and finished fourth out of 14 teams at the Princeton Invitational in Princeton, New Jersey this weekend.

After the first two rounds on Saturday, the Gophers held first place overall.

“That round that we shot in the morning [Saturday]. In a cold, probably 45 degrees and a wind about 25 [miles per hour], was the best round we played all year,” said head coach John Carlson.

The Gophers scored 279 in the first round, five under par, and the next closest team that round scored a 292.

In the second round, Minnesota scored 294, 10 over par, and in the third round scored 296, 12 over, for a tournament total of 869 and 17 over par.

It was the usual suspects again for Minnesota individually, senior Justin Doeden tied for 11th, improving 14 places from his standing after two rounds Saturday.

“[Sunday] I just kind of carried my momentum from the back-nine [Saturday],” Doeden said. “I kind of got off to a slow start my second round yesterday, but I really battled hard the final nine holes … It really led to a strong round today.”

Doeden scored 70, one under par, in the first round. In the second round, he scored 78, which was seven over par. He finished two under in the third round with a score of 69.

Minnesota’s other leaders in the top-20 individually were juniors Riley Johnson and Runar Arnorsson.

Johnson finished the first day tied for fifth at one under par, but slid down to tie for 16th at the finish of the tournament.

Johnson finished the day and the tournament increasing his score to 218, five over par.

Arnorsson had a similar situation to Johnson of that he ended the first day tied for seventh, but fell to a tie for 19th by the tournament’s finish.

Arnorsson finished the tournament with a 219, six over par.

The next finishers for Minnesota were not far behind, with sophomore Peter Jones and senior William Leaf.

Jones finished tied for 24th with a score of 220, seven over par, and Leaf scored 223, 10 over par, and finished tied for 37th. Leaf scored a 70 in the first round, one stroke shy of a career-best round.

Minnesota did not finish too far behind the rest of the competition as the tournament completed.

“Where we lost the tournament, I felt like, was the first nine holes of the second round,” Carlson said. “We allowed every other team to feel like they had a chance to win the tournament.”

Seton Hall took first at the tournament scoring 853, one over par, Harvard placed second at six over, and the host school, Princeton, finished third at 10 over par.

The individual tournament champion was Lloyd Jefferson Go from Seton Hall, with a score of 204, nine under par, with the next closest golfer coming within five strokes of Go.

Minnesota heads to the Hawkeye Invitational on April 15 for its next tournament.

“We always talk about getting off to a hot start,” Carlson said. “It happened this week, we gave ourselves a 13 shot lead heading into the afternoon [Saturday].”