Minnesota sixth out of 12

A poor second round was the difference in an otherwise solid weekend of golf.

David McCoy

One bad round aside, Minnesota’s men’s golf team had one of its most solid tournaments of the season.

But that one round turned out to be just enough to keep it down.

With scores of 294, 307 and 285, the Gophers finished tied for sixth out of 12 teams this weekend at the Boilermaker Invitational at Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind.

“We didn’t have our ‘A’ game, and we suffered from it,” coach Brad James said about Saturday’s middle round. “It’s not something we look bad upon; it’s just one of those things where the golf course just doesn’t allow you to make too many errors.”

Still, thanks to both of its other rounds, Minnesota’s 22-over-par score of 886 put it just six shots out of third place. Missouri won the tournament, shooting 3-under.

The Gophers’ score of 294 was the fifth-lowest of the first round, but their 307 was the second-worst of the second round – better only than Texas Pan American’s 312.

To make matters worse, junior Ryan Paulson was disqualified for an incorrect scorecard for the second round.

“It was partially my fault because I didn’t look over the card,” Paulson said.

That pushed the Gophers back into ninth place heading into Sunday’s final round.

But Minnesota rebounded admirably, as its 285 tied the lowest of the tournament.

James said Minnesota’s problem is with consistency.

“In order to win a Big Ten championship, you need three good rounds,” he said. “That’s what we’ll be working on in the next few weeks.”

The same theme held true for Gophers sophomore Niall Turner, whose 2-over score of 218 led Minnesota with an eighth-place finish. It was the first time since Oct. 5 a golfer other than Bronson La’Cassie led the team.

Turner’s score could have been much better, however, had it not been for his second-round 79, which tied the worst score of anyone finishing in the top 23.

Turner shot a first-round score of 69, his lowest round ever as a collegian. Then, he nearly matched it with a 70 in the final round.

“It was my best tournament of the year so far,” Turner said. “It was just a couple of holes on the second (round) that gave me the bad score. A few bad shots just escalated.”