Minnesota finishes 10th in season opener

Nonstop rain and wind made things interesting during the Minnesota women’s golf team season opener Sunday and Monday.

While the weather delayed play, sophomore Anne Martin said it affected her game.

“I would like to blame the weather, but I struggled. I don’t think the weather really affected my scores,” she said.

In assistant coach Kristine Paulson’s first tournament as temporary head coach, Minnesota finished 10th out of 11 teams at the Wisconsin Invitational. The Gophers fired a 99-over par 963 in the three-round event, finishing 41 strokes behind tournament champ Indiana.

“Coach (Paulson) did an awesome job with me this weekend,” Martin said. “She was there to help me out and cheer me on.”

Minnesota started off slow Sunday, shooting a 74-over par 650 through the first two rounds, good enough to land the Gophers in 10th place going into to Monday’s final 18 holes.

“I was still very happy with the way we played, considering we only had two days to practice before this weekend,” Paulson said.

In her first collegiate event, freshman Christine Herzog finished in 26th place to lead the Gophers. She fired a 22-over par 238.

“I was intimidated going into the tournament, but getting the nerves out really helped,” she said. “I feel pretty good about (my performance), but I know I can improve.”

Anne Martin was the next highest Minnesota golfer, finishing tied for 32nd place with a 25-over par 241.

“It was nice being around such a positive environment; it’s something new for me,” Martin said.

Sophomore Young Na Lee shot 27-over par 243 to tie for 40th place. Senior Samantha Braschler finished the tournament in a four-way tie for 47th place. The senior followed up last year’s 60th-place finish with a 31-over par 247.

Tied with Braschler was junior Kelli Berns, who played as an individual. Sophomore Sydney Liles rounded out the Gophers with a 39-over par 255.

Katie Elliot of Wisconsin and Adrienne White of Louisville were the tournament medalists with a three-round, 9-over par 225.

Despite the low finish, the tournament gave Paulson something to look forward to.

“We’re finally coming together as a team,” she said. “I think this fall is going to have a lot of excitement. I think we’ll do great.”