Pisani leads Gophers yet again as men finish 8th

Also, freshman Erik Van Rooyen notched a hole-in-one.

by John Hageman

The Minnesota menâÄôs golf team is still looking for its first tournament victory of the season after finishing in a tie for 8th place at the Windon Invitational at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, Ill. The Gophers tied with Big Ten rival Purdue with a 54-hole team total of 41-over-par 893. Illinois took home the victory by shooting a 16-over-par 868, edging out tournament host Northwestern by six strokes. Senior Ben Pisani led the way for the Gophers yet again, finishing at 5-over-par, good enough for 8th place. Pisani was tied for 2nd after the first round . Senior Thomas Campbell tied with freshmen teammates Erik Van Rooyen and Shang Zhi for 30th place, shooting a 12-over-par 254. Zhi was playing individually. Director of Golf Brad James said that both freshmen played very well. âÄúThere is an adjustment period when you are a freshman,âÄù James said. âÄúBut at the same time, those two players were highly-touted freshman and they are expected to come in here and [be] performers right away.âÄù Sophomore Derek Chang and junior Cameron White finished 16- and 18-over, respectively. Kent State junior Brett Cairns shared medalist honors with Coastal CarolinaâÄôs Dan Obremski. Both players ended at 1-over par. Despite a tough, and at times windy course that many players struggled with, Van Rooyen knocked in a hole-in-one on the par 3 fifth hole during the second round. âÄúWe got to the green and I saw the ball was in and me and my coach went crazy,âÄù Van Rooyen said. âÄúI knew it was a good shot âĦ but until we got to the green I didnâÄôt know.âÄù Despite some good signs from the freshmen, there havenâÄôt been many standout performances for the Gophers besides Pisani, according to associate head coach Andrew Tank. âÄúI think guys have shown signs and have had some good rounds,âÄù Tank said. âÄúBut I donâÄôt know that thereâÄôs necessarily anybody thatâÄôs really stuck out from a performance standpoint other than Ben.âÄù James said that his team has struggled to get off to a good start in the first round, a problem that his team faced last year. âÄúWhen I look back at our rounds from last year and this year, the first round has always hurt us,âÄù James said. âÄúI think the guys play well the second and third rounds once they get comfortable with the golf course.âÄù The Gophers men will head to San Francisco for the Alister Mackenzie Invitational in Fairfax, Calif., next Monday and Tuesday.