Laorr leads Gophers in first tourney

Senior Anna Laorr led the team with a 1-under par finish at the tournament.

Betsy Helfand

The Gophers finished seventh overall at the season-opening Minnesota Invitational.

However, with one lineup change, the team would have experienced very different results.

“Had we had Sabrine in our lineup, we would have finished second,” head coach Michele Redman said.

Freshman Sabrine Garrison, who competed in the tournament as an individual, finished tied for third overall.

Garrison finished second among Minnesota competitors, and her inclusion in the lineup would have placed the team behind first-place East Carolina.

“We’re going to do some lineup changes,” Redman said. “I’m happy with where we are.”

Senior Anna Laorr, who finished 1-under par, paced her teammates and finished second overall.

Laorr, who was one of two golfers to finish under par, posted rounds of 70, 71 and 74.

Last year, Laorr led the team in the Minnesota Invitational, which is the team’s only home competition.

“I love Minikahda. I love this course,” she said. “There’s just something about playing at home that I think really hits hard with me, and so I think I was really happy that I played well at this tournament in particular.”

Laorr and Garrison both posted 70s in the first round.

But the round didn’t go quite as smoothly for the rest of the Gophers, with multiple members of the team posting scores above 80.

“The first round really hurt us. Other than that, we played pretty good,” Redman said.

The team posted a score of 311 as a team — its worst round of the three.

Because it was the first tournament of the season, Laorr said that during the first round, many Gophers players were nervous and were putting pressure on themselves.

“Everyone played better on the second 18, so it had nothing to do with the swing or the golf game,” she said, adding that the team’s performance during the second two rounds was “decent.”

The team posted scores of 299 in the second round Monday and 302 in Tuesday round.

Freshman Celia Kuenster, who finished second among the Gophers in the lineup, said she felt more comfortable as the tournament progressed.

“The first five holes, I was a little worked up. Not worked up because of how I was playing — just emotionally I was a little excited,” Kuenster said. “There was a little stress yesterday, but I think I got my emotions under control and was able to put a good round together.”

Kuenster finished the tournament 5-over par, tied for sixth overall.

Fellow freshman Garrison finished 4-over par, and Redman said the two golfers are hard workers and listen well.

“They’re very coachable, and that makes a big difference for development,” she said.