Men and women earn matching fifth place finishes

The women’s team is making a strong case for an NCAA bid this spring.

by Nick Sudheimer

The Minnesota womenâÄôs golf team made a strong argument to the NCAA this past weekend that it belongs among the top teams in the country.

The Gophers finished with a 54-hole team total of 883, earning them a fifth-place finish at the 18-team Mountain View Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz. The only schools to finish ahead of Minnesota âÄî Iowa State, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Colorado âÄî are all ranked nationally.

The strong showing allows the Gophers to move one step closer to qualifying for the NCAA tournament.

Senior Teresa Puga led the way for Minnesota, ending with a tournament total of 218 and finishing tied for 12th in the standings, barely missing what would have been her second top-10 finish of the season.

Sophomore Mary Narzisi continued her successful spring by finishing 19th, while Michele Edlin took 30th, Jackie Shepherd 39th and Pai Banchalee tied for 84th.

Minnesota has two tournaments remaining before the Big Ten championships April 22.

Men step out of mediocrity with fifth-place finish

The menâÄôs team took a step in the right direction this past weekend at the 17-team Florida Atlantic University Spring Break Championship. The Gophers had their best tournament of the season, finishing in fifth place.

Minnesota finished 6-over at the Gleneagles Country Club with a total score of 870, which was only one stroke behind fourth-place finisher Miami (Ohio).

Leading the way for the Gophers was sophomore Jon Trasamar, who finished fourth, a career best, with a 212. This is the second consecutive tournament in which Trasamar has been one of the GophersâÄô top two finishers.

Not far behind Trasamar was senior Donald Constable, who continued his strong spring season by shooting a 214 and finishing tied for seventh place.

Constable has been one of the most consistent members of the team this year, having finished in the top 20 in seven tournaments this season.

Erik Van Rooyen finished 15th after shooting a 217 on the weekend. The tournament was Van RooyenâÄôs fourth top-20 finish of the season and gave the Gophers three golfers in the top 15 for the first time since September 2008.

After Van Rooyen, however, the rest of the Gophers lineup struggled. The next-best finisher for Minnesota was David Haley Jr. in 54th place with a score of 227. This large gap between MinnesotaâÄôs top three finishers and its final finisher pushed the team back to fifth place.

The Gophers will head next to Baton Rouge, La., to participate in the Louisiana State University Invitational April 2 and 3.