Men’s golf season begins with loss

Nickalas Tabbert

The Gophers men's golf team started its season Friday at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in Bradenton, Fla. Minnesota lost its opening-round match against Michigan on Friday morning by a score of 3-2. Erik Van Rooyen and Tyler Lowenstein recorded match victories.

Minnesota will face Penn State on Friday afternoon.

Last season, the Gophers beat Michigan and advanced to the finals, but they lost to event-champion Northwestern.

This weekend's Big Ten Match Play Championship is the first of six events this spring before the Big Ten championships in late April. Minnesota will have two weeks before its next tournament.

Coach Jon Carlson said he thinks the team will compete for a Big Ten championship this season.

"We've got a veteran lineup with two really great young players," he said. Those two players are sophomore Kyle Beversdorf and freshman Jon DuToit.

DuToit, who competed Friday, had the second-lowest scoring average behind Van Rooyen last fall.

Van Rooyen recently qualified for a Sunshine Tour card, one of six PGA tours that make up the International Federation of PGA Tours.

He and Jon Trasamar are the captains for this year's team, Carlson said.

"His play tends to elevate the play of everyone around him," Carlson said of Van Rooyen. 

Carlson said the team's goal is to be playing its best golf the week of the NCAA regional. The top 5 teams advance to the NCAA final.