Greve leads Gophers to first place at Fossum Invitational

Ben Greve’s career-low 66 on Sunday gave him and his team the tournament titles.

David McCoy

As Ben Greve stepped up to the tee this weekend at the Fossum Invitational, he knew next weekend’s Big Ten Championships weren’t the only thing on the horizon.

The end of his collegiate career was in sight as well.

With that in mind, the senior on Minnesota’s men’s golf team couldn’t have picked a better time to pick up his first win for the Gophers.

The Annandale, Minn., native shot a career-low 66 in the final round of the tournament, finishing with another career-low 6-under-par 210 to tie for the individual win. Greve also led the charge as Minnesota came roaring back from 13 shots behind leader Xavier to win the team tournament as well.

“Greve getting his first win was awesome, because he’s worked his butt off the last four or five years,” freshman Michael Fiedler said. “And to have a win come right before Big Tens and late in his senior year, it’s awesome.”

Xavier shot 12-over in Sunday’s final round to let the win slip away. Minnesota finished three shots ahead of both Xavier and Illinois for its first win of the spring season.

The Gophers shot scores of 292, 291 and 284 for the tournament, which was in East Lansing, Mich. Their 284 was the lowest final round.

Greve posted scores of 70, 74 and 66. Most of the Big Ten competed at the Fossum Invitational this weekend, including Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Indiana, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.

With the Big Ten Championships this weekend in Madison, Wis., the win couldn’t have come at a better time for the Gophers.

“We’ve actually had a lot of confidence for a while,” Greve said. “We just weren’t playing well. This win gets us started in the right direction again.”

Coach Brad James took a break from the team’s victory bowling party and added, “It’s definitely nice to have some momentum like that.”

Minnesota had two other golfers who were also in the top 20. Sophomore Bronson La’Cassie tied for 11th place with a 3-over 219. Junior Josh Persons tied for 17th with a 5-over 221.

Minnesota also got a big boost from Fiedler. In his first tournament of the spring, Fiedler was the fourth-highest Gophers player with an 11-over 227. He finished 42nd overall.

Fiedler said he tried to keep the mindset that any of his bad shots could cost the team its win.

“You just go and try to help the team out any way you can,” Fiedler said. “Every shot counts, and one shot might give your team a third place. So every shot, you have to think it’s for the win.”

Whatever was going through Greve’s head, it obviously worked for him, too.

“I hit the ball well, I putted well,” he said, “and it was just one of those days where everything goes your way.”