Women continue to improve while men falter

The women have had a historical spring season thus far.

John Hageman

The womenâÄôs golf team continued its strong start to the spring season with a third-place finish Wednesday at the Northern Migration Invite in Florence, Ariz. The team shot a 34-over-par 898, just three strokes behind the winning squad, the University of Texas-San Antonio . WednesdayâÄôs finish marks the first time in the programâÄôs history that the Gophers have managed to shoot sub-900 for three straight tournaments. It was also the third tournament in a row Minnesota has earned a top-five finish. âÄúI think theyâÄôre finally kind of starting to believe in what theyâÄôre doing,âÄù Minnesota womenâÄôs associate head coach Kristine Wessinger said . âÄúThe short game has been better, and the technical work that all of them had to do over the winter has worked, so theyâÄôre kind of trusting what they have.âÄù The Gophers had two players finish in the top 10, as juniors Teresa Puga and Samantha Sommers shot a 5-over-par 221 to end in a tie for third and an 8-over 224 for a tie in 10th, respectively . It was SommersâÄô best finish of her career. âÄúSamâÄôs kind of realizing sheâÄôs an excellent college player, and I think âĦ sheâÄôs starting to trust that in herself,âÄù Wessinger said. Freshman Jackie Shepherd finished with an 11-over 227 to finish in a tie for 19th. Juniors Mary Narzisi and Michele Edlin each shot a 15-over 231 to tie for 29th. IdahoâÄôs Kayla Mortellaro took medalist honors by shooting a 5-under-par 211. The Gophers will look to continue this historic spring season March 22-23 as they head to Pinehurst, N.C. for the Pinehurst Challenge. Gophers men set new season low The Minnesota menâÄôs golf team found itself at the bottom of the pack for the first time this season , finishing 12th out of 12 teams March 14-15 at the General Hackler Championship in Murrells Inlet, S.C. The team shot a 70-over-par 934, including a third-round worst 322. East Tennessee State edged host Coastal Carolina by three strokes to win the event by shooting a 19-over 883, though Coastal CarolinaâÄôs Daily Young claimed a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole during the third round Monday. PepperdineâÄôs Josh Anderson and East Tennessee StateâÄôs Seamus Power tied for medalist honors. Both shot a 1-under 215. Senio r Ben Pisani led the way for the Gophers, shooting a 7-over 223 to finish in a tie for 13th. Freshman Erik Van Rooyen and junior Donald Constable followed with a 21-over 237 and a 22-over 238 to finish in ties for 49th and 50th, respectively. Bringing up the rear for the Gophers was senior Thomas Campbell, who shot a 30-over 246 to tie for 66th place, and sophomore Derek Chang, who shot a 33-over 249 for 68th. Freshmen David Haley, Robert Bell and Shang Zhi played as individuals. Haley shot a 35-over 251 while Bell shot a 38-over 254. Zhi did not participate in the first round, but shot 19-over-par in the second round and finished 12-over in the third round. It has been a rough spring season for the Gophers men. They finished with a 1-2 record in Big Ten match play Feb. 12-13 and ninth out of 15 teams at the Braveheart Classic March 1-2. The Gophers will look to turn around their spring season with a March 26-28 trip to Orlando, Fla., for the FAU Spring Break Championship.