Gophers finish sixth in first tourney

Banchalee Theinthong finished tied for ninth to lead the Gophers.

Nickalas Tabbert

The Gophers women’s golf team finished sixth out of 16 teams in its season-opening Hurricane Invitational on Monday and Tuesday in Coral Gables, Fla.

Minnesota shot 69-over par in the 54-hole event. Baylor won the tournament at 31-over par.

This is the Gophers’ first of five spring tournaments before the Big Ten championships in late April. Minnesota finished third in its last two fall tournaments.

Coach Michele Redman said she was happy with her team’s first performance of the season.

“We were a little bit rusty, but we got a lot of practice in,” she said. “It was a pretty difficult golf course. You had to hit the ball pretty straight.”

Banchalee Theinthong led Minnesota with a ninth-place finish at 9-over par. She shot 5-over par in both the first and third rounds, and her 1-under par second round missed tying her career-best round by one stroke.

“I was pretty happy with my driving, my hitting was better and my short game, too,” Theinthong said.

The Gophers were unable to finish the second round Monday due to darkness. Players finished the final holes of the second round Tuesday morning before starting the final round.

Redman said the delay didn’t throw the team off and instead benefited them by giving them a fresh start.

The middle round was Minnesota’s best, as the team shot a combined 18-over par, four shots better than its first round.

Carmen Laguna, the Gophers’ best golfer in the fall season, signed an incorrect scorecard and had her final round disqualified.

Sarinee Thitiratanakorn and Anna Laorr tied for 46th at 23-over par. Jackie Shepherd tied for 55th three shots behind them.

Taylor Quinn had the best final round for Minnesota at 3-over par. She shot 14-over par in the first round. Her scores were not used, though, because she competed as an individual.

Redman said she took Quinn on the trip on a last-minute decision and was glad to see her perform well.

Minnesota will play next in the Central District Invitational in Tampa, Fla., in two weeks.