Gophers end fall with a ninth place finish in Greensboro

While it was sunny in Minnesota, the Minnesota menâÄôs golf team dealt with hail, rain and wind. The Gophers concluded their fall campaign yesterday finishing ninth out of 14 teams in the 2008 Bridgestone Championship at Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. Duke claimed the title in a field that included seven teams that participated in the NCAA tournament last spring. The golf course was difficult due to the weather conditions, Coach Brad James said. The first round play was stopped due to hail on the ground. Through all of that, James said the team played well. âÄúItâÄôs very difficult to play through those conditions but I thought our guys did an extremely good job dealing with those external distractions,âÄù James said. MinnesotaâÄôs lineup consisted of seniors Victor Almstrom and Yu Katayama along with juniors Ben Pisani and Thomas Campbell and freshman Derek Chang . Almstrom, Katayama and Pisani have played in every tournament for the Gophers this fall. Katayama, with two bogies , led the Gophers and finished individually in a six-way tie for 13th with four-over par . Pisani held the teamâÄôs lowest stroke average this fall at 73.57 but shot five over and finished in a tie for 19th place. The team finished in the top five in three of its five tournaments. MinnesotaâÄôs best finish was second at the AdamâÄôs Cup of Newport Sept. 22-23.That weekend, Almstrom and Chang also notched their highest individual performances of the fall tying for third. James said this fall has been disappointing as far as results go, but there have been some great individual accomplishes that include PisaniâÄôs five top-20 finishes. âÄúTeam-wise, results not as good as we had expected,âÄù James said. âÄúBut we did see a lot of good individual results and we also saw a lot of guys do a great job in the process of getting better.âÄù WomenâÄôs Golf The Minnesota womenâÄôs golf team was essentially set up for failure. Even after shooting 289 during the first round, the Minnesota womenâÄôs golf team finished in 16th place at the Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas . The first round score is one away from the record-low 288 the 1992 team shot. Coach Brad James said he wanted the Gophers in this tournament because there were a lot of very good teams and it put the team in a challenging environment. âÄúOur girls were thinking that even par is a good score,âÄù James said. âÄúBut if you shoot even par in this tournament, youâÄôre going to be in last place.âÄù