Gunderson helps Gophers get hot before break

Sarah Mitchell

Dave Gunderson keeps getting hotter.
The Minnesota men’s golfer just broke into the starting ranks this season, but he is already setting records.
Gunderson hit 17 greens and carded eight birdies and 10 pars to post a final round 64 at the Dr. Pepper Tanglewood Intercollegiate on March 26. The junior’s score was a course record, as well as a tournament and career low.
While he had the best round, Gunderson did not earn the tournament’s individual title. Gunderson’s three-round, nine-under-par 207 was only good enough for a three-way tie for second. Kent State’s Ben Curtis won by a shot.
“I played the best I could. I felt like I couldn’t miss,” Gunderson said. “I was just pleased that I played well and that the team won.”
Minnesota did defend its Dr. Pepper team title, beating out 14 other teams. The Gophers rallied in the final round to comeback and knock off 15th-ranked Kent State.
The finish puts Minnesota in a more favorable position to be selected for NCAA regionals.
“Because of our poor play this fall, we were on the bubble and that moved us up,” Gophers coach John Means said. “We’re hoping that’s enough to get the guys to get their butts in gear for the rest of the year.”
Senior Martin Le Mesurier — who also tied for second — had a chance to tie for the lead heading into the last hole. But Le Mesurier couldn’t sink a 4-foot putt to tie for first.
“He hit a good putt, and it broke a little bit more than he thought,” Means said. “It caught the bottom of the hole and spun back around and sat on the top of the hole. It didn’t go back in.”
Up Next
Le Mesurier has time to recover from the near win. The Gophers travel to North Carolina on April 13-15 for the Bell South Intercollegiate looking to maintain their pace.
“There is quite a bit of confidence on our team. The comradery on our trips is better,” Gunderson said. “Everything seems like it’s starting to come together, and it is a perfect time to come together, too.”
While the Gophers aren’t looking past their competition at the Bell South, the Big Ten championship and NCAA regionals are nearing. They begin in mid-May.
“We started out slow, but now I think we’re going to end on a good note,” Gunderson said.
Aussie eligible
Freshman Ben Meyers is expected to contribute if Minnesota finishes strong.
The Australian was forced by the NCAA to sit out last season. He was ineligible because he took the Scholastic Assessment Test after attending a post-secondary institution in his homeland.
“He hasn’t shot any low scores, yet,” Means said. “He can, he just hasn’t done it, and one of these days he’ll break through.”

Sarah Mitchell covers golf and welcomes comments at [email protected]