Women finish Mercedes-Benz Invitational in 8th

Two golfers ended up tied for 18th in the tournament at 6 over-par each.

Gophers second year Heather Ciskowski tees off at the Minikahda Club during the Minnesota Invitational on Tuesday, September 15.

Alex Tuthill-Preus

Gophers second year Heather Ciskowski tees off at the Minikahda Club during the Minnesota Invitational on Tuesday, September 15.

by Jack White

Highlighted by the performances of Celia Kuenster and Heather Ciskowski, the Minnesota Women’s golf team finished in eighth place overall at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships.
Ciskowski and Kuenster both tied for 18th place individually at the tournament. The Gophers finished with a score of 882 but had the second-best score of the last day of a tournament with a 289.
The team struggled in the first and second round of the tournament, scoring a 296 and 297, respectively.
The short game continued to be a challenge for the Gophers, who had a hard time adapting to the course.
“Getting used to the greens,” head coach Michele Redman said when asked what the team needs to improve on. “Trying to figure out where is the right spot to be on these greens [because] there’s so many little mounds on them.”
Even though Kuenster tied for the best score of any Minnesota golfer individually, she still underperformed from her first place finish last week at the Gopher Invitational. Kuenster scored a 219 total at the tournament compared to her 213 finish last week.
“I didn’t feel like I made the best decisions,” Kuenster said. “I felt like I was playing pretty well and needed to stay patient.”
Ciskowski was a surprise standout for the Gophers. The sophomore posted a 219 total, with a strong first round of 71 capped off by two scores of 74 the following rounds.
Ciskowski improved dramatically from the prior week, finishing 11 strokes better at the Mercedes-Benz Invitational than her score last week.
“All of us walked away feeling pretty good about our game,” Ciskowski said.
Men’s team finishes Ninth
The men’s team showed improvement from their previous tournament, recording a score of 895 at the Husky Invitational after recording an 899 at the Gopher Invitational last week.
Minnesota placed ninth in the tournament, with their best score coming in the second round with a 294.
Even though Minnesota had a top 10 finish as a team, the team scored two rounds over 300 in the tournament.
“We didn’t play real well as a team today. The placements were a little easier, and we just didn’t play great,” head coach John Carlson said. “[The course] was difficult. It presents quite a challenge from green to tee.”
An individual standout for the men’s team was Justin Doeden, playing in his first tournament for the Gophers after transferring from Cardinal Stritch University.
The junior from Prior Lake tied for a 10th place individually with Washington State University’s Aaron Whalen with a score of 218. The score was 5-over par for the tournament.
“I was really happy to see Justin in the lineup this week,” Carlson said. “It was fantastic to see a top 10 finish.”