Gophers close out regular season in Ohio

Minnesota is coming off its lowest season score.

by Drew Claussen

The Gophers women’s golf team has been rolling in its past couple events, and its coach has taken notice. The overall team score improved in each of the last four events.

“It was fun to end on our lowest team score,” head coach Michele Redman said. “The thing that I’m enjoying watching is that we’re getting better each week — as a coach, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

Minnesota will look to keep its trend of low scoring going this weekend at the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.

“This is a really good field this week, so it’s going to be interesting to see where we pair up with the rest of the field,” Redman said.

No. 16 Baylor, No. 22 Ohio State and No. 25 Michigan State are the three ranked teams in the 11-team field.

The Spartans will return to defend the crown they won last year. Since the inaugural event in 1975, the Buckeyes have won their own tournament 13 times.

The Lady Buckeye Invitational is the last regular season contest for the Gophers, and the team will once again aim to set its season-low score as it has in the previous two events. Minnesota shot 908 at the Clover Cup March 16-18 and followed that with an 899 at the Rebel Intercollegiate April 6-8.

Redman said she is excited with the way her team is playing and thinks they are peaking at the right time.

“It’s perfect. I can’t wait to get there this weekend and see how we’re going to play,” Redman said.

One reason for the team’s recent success could be that it has found a consistent lineup.

For the Clover Cup and Rebel Intercollegiate meets, the team’s five-person lineup consisted of Carmen Laguna, Anna Laorr, Jackie Shepherd, Banchalee Theinthong and Sarinee Thitiratanakorn.

Another reason could be that the three freshmen in the lineup — Laguna, Laorr and Thitiratanakorn — have settled in during their first season of golfing at the Division I level.

Redman has said many times throughout the season that she did not want to set specific benchmarks or statistical goals for the team because of its youth. She simply wanted improvement every week.

The team has made good on that goal, and it’s coming together at the right time of the season.

After the Lady Buckeye Invitational, the Gophers will have one week of practice before heading to the Big Ten championships on April 27-29 in French Lick, Ind.