Last-place finish could spark change

The Gophers had a rough third round and might soon adjust the lineup.

by John Hageman

The Minnesota menâÄôs golf team was in need of a quick turnaround if the men wanted to be playing their best by the end of the year but with another disappointing finish this weekend, time for improvement is running out. The team shot a 22-over-par 886 at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational in Augusta, Ga., to end up last out of 18 teams. It was the second time the Gophers finished in the back of the pack this spring season. Minnesota came into the third and final round Sunday in 14th place , but shot a 17-over 305 to slip all the way down the leaderboard. Senior Ben Pisani led the way for Minnesota by shooting a 3-under 213 to finish in a tie for 24th. It was the first time Pisani has shot under par since the Bridgestone Championship on Oct. 24-25 . âÄúHeâÄôs the only player on the team, I feel, is doing what it takes to get better and reach his potential,âÄù director of golf Brad James said . âÄúItâÄôs just part of the growing process of knowing what it takes.âÄù There was a wide gap between Pisani and his next teammate, as junior Donald Constable finished in a tie for 68th by shooting a 6-over 222. Senior Thomas Campbell shot a 10-over 226 to finish in a tie for 80th. Freshman Erik Van Rooyen shot a 13-over 229 to tie for 89th, while fellow freshman David Haley struggled in the second round and ended up in last overall by shooting a 20-over 236. The coaching staff had substituted Campbell and Haley in after the teamâÄôs disappointing eighth place finish at the FAU Spring Break Invite , but James said he plans to make even more lineup changes before the next tournament. Augusta State won the event by shooting a 47-under 817 . The host school also had three of the top four golfers overall with Henrik Norlande r taking medalist honors. The Gophers will play at the Indiana Invitational April 19-20 in Indianapolis, Ind. It will be their last tournament before the Big Ten Championships at the end of the month in Minneapolis. âÄú[We] have always done a good job in the last ten years of having a lot of success in the postseason,âÄù James said. âÄúAnd thatâÄôs what we need to look at right nowâĦand thatâÄôs what weâÄôll be working towards.âÄù But if there is an upside, James said the team has the talent to make a run, even if the results havenâÄôt shown it. âÄúThe team itself is a very quality team and theyâÄôre capable of some great things, but just havenâÄôt performed,âÄù James said.