Gophers take fifth at Big Ten tourney

by Ryan Schuster

After finding out that she was denied a chance to be the lone individual competitor not on a team invited to the NCAA East Regionals, Gophers junior golfer Amy Dahle took out her aggression on the Forrest Akers West Golf Course over the weekend.
Dahle shot a 22-over-par 317 over four rounds and tied for seventh place, leading the Gophers to a fifth-place finish Sunday during the three-day women’s Big Ten golf championships in East Lansing, Mich. The winner, Ohio State’s Amy Langhals, finished at 14 over.
The Buckeyes won the conference meet, Indiana was second, Penn State was third and Michigan finished fourth.
Last Monday, Dahle and her teammates received word of the NCAA selection committee’s decisions for regionals, which not only confirmed their fears of not advancing past Big Tens as a team, but also ended their top golfer’s season.
Missouri’s Leticia Moses was chosen over Dahle in a tie-breaker comparing both golfers’ head-to-head statistics, after they were tied through the initial decision process.
The Gophers players were surprised that Purdue was invited to the regionals, while Missouri was not. If Missouri had received a bid, Moses would have been out of contention as an individual. Dahle probably would have gotten the nod as the at-large selection. Dahle made the most of the Gophers’ last meet of the season, though.
The 1996 regional qualifier entered the tournament with the fifth-lowest stroke average in the Big Ten (78.4) and did not disappoint at the conference tournament. Dahle’s seventh-place finish was her second-highest placing out of five meets during the spring season. For her efforts, Dahle was rewarded by being named to the All-Big Ten team for the second straight season.
Senior roommates Carolyn Klecker and Cathy Lindblad tied for 31st with four-round totals of 331. Sophomore Michelle Ballou took 37th with a 332, sophomore Melanie Lepp was 40th and junior Keri Sawvell finished 48th for the Gophers.
Minnesota was fifth after the first day, fell to sixth at the end of the second and rebounded to place fifth on Sunday. Prior to the meet, the Gophers said they had enough talent to win the tournament, but like they have done all season, they failed to fulfill their own expectations.
Note: Ohio State swept the individual honors as Amy Langhals was named Player of the Year, Amber Amstutz was selected Freshman of the Year and Coach Therese Hession was picked as Coach of the Year.