Trasamar leads Gophers into Big Ten championships

Gophers senior Jon Trasamar has four top-20 finishes this spring season.

Minnesota's Jon Trasamar practices at the Tom Lehman Practice Facility at Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Minnesota’s Jon Trasamar practices at the Tom Lehman Practice Facility at Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday, April 25, 2014.

David Nelson

Jon Trasamar knew he needed a change heading into the final day of competition at the Rutherford Intercollegiate two weeks ago.

Trasamar sat in a tie for 45th and was on the verge of an unfulfilling finish in one of the final tournaments before the Big Ten championships.

“I was definitely disappointed with where I stood after the first day,” Trasamar said. “I didn’t feel like I scored very well.”

In just one day’s work on the golf course, Trasamar elevated himself 26 spots to capture his fourth top-20 finish of the spring season.

“I’ve got the expectations that I want to contend,” Trasamar said. “I also knew that I could move up a lot and make up a lot of ground on that last day.”

Now, the senior has his sights set on French Lick, Ind., and the Big Ten championships.

“I think coming from where our program was over the last few years … to go out winning the Big Ten would be awesome,” the fifth-year senior said.

Trasamar has played an instrumental role in the program’s success this spring, highlighted by his fourth-place finish at the Del Walker Classic in March.

“When he plays well, it instills a little bit more confidence in the younger guys,” head coach John Carlson said.

Not only has Trasamar’s play been a major factor, but his leadership skills have helped Minnesota transform from a middle-of-the-pack team to a Big Ten contender.

“We got that win at the end of the [fall season] in New Jersey, and I think we just carried that momentum [into the spring season],” Trasamar said. “I think the more you put yourself in the right mindset … the more comfortable you get.”

Trasamar’s career with the Gophers didn’t start out so comfortable after he worked with three head coaches between his recruitment and this season.

“It can be difficult if you don’t have the right attitude about it,” Trasamar said of the coaching changes.

Trasamar took it in stride, though, and wound up spending his last four seasons under Carlson’s tutelage.

That combination has been a success.

“We’ve had a nice four-year run here that we’ve gotten better each year,” Trasamar said.

With stability in the coaching staff, Trasamar has also helped stabilize the group as the team’s unquestioned leader.

“We want him to be our eye when we’re not around,” Carlson said. “He’s done a great job of that.”

Trasamar will captain a group of five men this weekend at the Big Ten championships.

Trasamar will be joined by freshman Jose Mendez, senior Alex Gaugert, sophomore Jon DuToit and junior Tyler Lowenstein.

Trasamar said he’s confident in the team’s ability to beat the second-place finish last year.

“We know we’re capable of playing with anyone,” Trasamar said. “I know that we have the expectation to go in there next week and try to win.”

Gophers qualify for regionals

Minnesota’s women’s golf team was recently named the 19th seed in the Central Region of the NCAA championships.

“It’s really exciting me for to see a lot of hard work pay off for the girls,” head coach Michele Redman said.

The Gophers will face some top-tier talent, including UCLA, Arkansas, Alabama and Arizona — all of which are ranked in the top 10 in the nation.

The NCAA regionals will take place May 8-10, with the NCAA championships a week and a half later.