Gophers continue spring season struggles at Braveheart Classic

Minnesota finished ninth of 15 teams with a 44-over par 908 in the tournament.

by John Hageman

The result seems familiar, but the Minnesota menâÄôs golf team hopes to learn something new from its continued struggles. The Gophers finished ninth out of 15 teams Tuesday at the Braveheart Classic at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont, Calif., shooting a 44-over par 908. Arizona went on to win the event easily with a 6-under par 858. The Wildcats also had the best scores in all three rounds. Director of golf Brad James said he was disappointed in the way his team performed, but is hopeful that the players can learn from the experience. âÄúI was really happy with the preparation leading up to the event, but obviously the result is an embarrassment,âÄù James said. âÄúAt the same time I think itâÄôs a good opportunity for the guys to learn.âÄù Sophomore Derek Chang led the way for Minnesota, shooting a first-round overall-best 1-under par 71 before falling off in the subsequent rounds with scores of 79 and 73 to finish in a tie for 18th overall. âÄú[I] saw some good signs out of Derek,âÄù associate head coach Andrew Tank said. âÄúThatâÄôs a great sign; thatâÄôs certainly what heâÄôs capable of.âÄù Senior Ben Pisani shot a 9-over 225 to end in a tie for 22nd. Newcomer Donald Constable finished in a tie for 36th, shooting a 12-over 228. Constable, a junior , transferred from Texas before the spring season . James said he had recruited the Wayzata native heavily before he went to play for the Longhorns. âÄúWeâÄôre very fortunate to have Donny back into the program,âÄù James said. âÄú[He] has all the tools to be a professional golfer. I think we need to harness those tools and channel those assets that he has in the right direction.âÄù Tying with Constable was Robert Bell , who played as an individual. Rounding out the GophersâÄô lineup was freshman Erik Van Rooyen, who tied for 79th by shooting a 27-over 243. ArizonaâÄôs Tarquin MacManus earned medalist honors by shooting a 6-under par 210. While the Gophers may have struggled during the tournament, Tank said he knows the team is capable of better play. âÄúI hope they learn that itâÄôs not just what you practice at home,âÄù Tank said. âÄúThey have to take those skills to the course and be able to execute them under competitive pressure.âÄù