Gopher women’s golf team finishes in ninth place in first tournament of year

Junior Heather Ciskowski plays at the fourth annual Minnesota Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 at the Minikahda Club. Ciskowski tied for third place and the Gophers placed ninth in the season-opener tournament overall.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Junior Heather Ciskowski plays at the fourth annual Minnesota Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 at the Minikahda Club. Ciskowski tied for third place and the Gophers placed ninth in the season-opener tournament overall.

Drew Cove

Despite two career-best individual finishes, the Gophers finished
near the bottom of the field in their first tournament of the year.  

Minnesota shot a 43-over-par 907 to finish in ninth place out of
11 teams in the Minnesota Invitational at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis
Monday and Tuesday. Junior Heather Ciskowski finished in a two-way tie for
third place individually.

“I saw some things that I really liked, and I saw some things
that we need to work on,” said head coach Michele Redman. “When we start
playing well, we’re going to be competitive.”

Ciskowski got out to a hot start Monday and was in a four-way tie
for first place after the first two rounds, shooting one-under-par.

“I was hitting really good shots,” Ciskowski said. “I just tried
to give myself the best position to try to win.”

She closed out the tournament with a third-round 74, for a
one-over-par total of 217 Ciskowski’s best collegiate finish.

Redman said the mark was a result of hard work that Ciskowski has
been putting in recently.

“A couple of the days she didn’t get off to the start she wanted,
but she just showed a lot of resilience,” Redman said. “She had a lot of really
good quality shots
she had a really good chance to win.”

Sophomore Muyu Wu also had a strong tournament. Wu had a solid
first 18 holes on Monday morning, but played her best golf in the later rounds.

She shot a 77 and a 73 Monday to put her in a tie for 22nd place
after the first day of competition, but a 73 on Tuesday allowed her to finish
the tournament in a tie for 13th place. It was the first top-20 finish for Wu
in her college career.

Wu said she was nervous to start the tournament, but as time went
on she began to relax.

“It’s not about the swing,” she said. “It is about the
confidence.”

Minnesota was consistent throughout on the team side of the
tournament. The Gophers were in ninth place through the first two rounds and
ended the meet ninth after a third round score of 307.

Purdue and Furman shared the team title of the tournament, and
both teams shot an 18-over-par.

The Gophers tee off again Sept. 23. While they’ve had some
individual success, there’s also plenty to learn from the meet from the team
standpoint.

“On the other side of it, we’ve obviously got some work to do,”
Redman said. “We just had a little rust, and it’s the first tournament of the
year.”