Gophers women’s golf coach Melissa Arthur headed to Wisconsin on Friday looking for a fast start from her team in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. In a strong golf conference, a top-of-the-pack opening round could have kept Minnesota in contention for the four-round championship.
The Gophers, however, were in seventh after Friday. Minnesota could not overcome its slow start and by the tournament’s end Sunday — the team had fallen to ninth place with a 69-over-par 1,221.
Purdue claimed the team title, producing its first-ever Big Ten golf championship. The Boilermakers shot a final-round 293 Sunday for a four-round total of 15-over-par 1,167 (a new tournament record) to beat Michigan State (1,194).
A tie for second place between two Boilermakers keyed the team’s win. Purdue’s Stacy Orshell and Kari Damron finished one shot behind individual winner Emily Bastel (even-par 288) from Penn State. Orshell held the lead for three rounds, but a final round 75 let Bastel in. Bastel fired a two-under par 70 final round.
For the Gophers, junior Katie Bakken (298) moved up from a tie for 13th at the end of Saturday to finish in 11th and lead Minnesota finishers. Bakken lost momentum after being in third after the first two rounds. The junior carded a 1-over-par 73 in the first round and an even par 72 in the second, but shot an 8-over-par 80 in the third round.
Gophers sophomore Cindy Cannon (310) tied for 38th, sophomore Megan Stier and freshman Karyn Stordahl tied for 40th with Michigan’s Cortney Reno, freshman Kristin Whalen (313) tied for 43th and junior Jenny Brunn finished in 62nd.
ù The Boilermakers took home several other awards Sunday. Purdue’s coach Devon Brouse was named coach of the year while Damron was named freshman of the year and Orshell athlete of the year.
Sarah Mitchell covers golf and welcomes comments at [email protected]