Gathering momentum, men and women roll toward Big Ten championships

Nick Sudheimer

 

Three weeks ago, the Minnesota menâÄôs golf team was playing mediocre golf, at best.

But after finishing in the top five in the past two tournaments, as well as the emergence of freshman Jon Trasamar, the Gophers are looking like they have the potential to be a threat at the Big Ten championships.

Minnesota has been led by the strong play of senior Donald Constable, who has finished in the top 20 in every tournament so far this season. Constable recently earned a third-place finish at the Louisiana State University Invitational in Baton Rouge.

Nearly matching Constable, sophomore Erik Van Rooyen has finished in the top 20 in five tournaments so far this season. The South Africa native finished in sixth at the LSU Invitational âÄî his best finish of the season.

That said, the outstanding spring season of freshman Jon Trasamar is, perhaps, the greatest reason for MinnesotaâÄôs successful turnaround. In the past three tournaments, Trasamar has been one of the GophersâÄô best three finishers. HeâÄôs has finished fourth and 21st in the past two tournaments.

While this turnaround is promising, the Gophers will be tested this weekend as they head to Champaign, Ill., to participate in the Fighting Illini Invitational.

The tournament field includes 14 teams, two of which are ranked in the top 25.

While the tournament will undoubtedly be a challenge for the young Gophers squad, it will also give the team a chance to prove that it can be a legitimate threat in postseason play.

Women headed to Ohio

In any sport, it is important to head into the postseason with momentum. Coming off of its best finish of the season, the Minnesota womenâÄôs golf team seems to be doing just that.

Last Tuesday at the Pinehurst Challenge in North Carolina, the Gophers did not have a single golfer finish outside the top 30 and ended up finishing second behind host College of Charlestown.

While Minnesota is having one of its best seasons in the programâÄôs recent history, the team has struggled against ranked teams this spring season, only beating one out of the 11 ranked teams it has played.

The Gophers will have to figure out a way to beat the elite teams in the country in order to have any kind of success in the postseason.

This weekend, Minnesota will play in the 12-team Lady Buckeye Spring Invite in Columbus, Ohio. Of the 12 teams participating in the tournament, twoof them âÄî No. 17 Iowa State and No. 18 Michigan State âÄî are ranked, providing the Gophers with an opportunity to finally topple a ranked team.

The Lady Buckeye Spring Invite is the final tournament for Minnesota before the Big Ten championships.