Men’s golf takes second at Big Ten Match Play

Drew Claussen

 

The Gophers men’s golf team took second place this weekend at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in Bradenton, Fla.

Minnesota defeated Michigan in round one and then took down the tournament’s top seed, No. 23 Illinois, in the quarterfinal Friday.

The score was tied 3-3, and the Gophers won a tiebreaker based on holes won.

“We expected to win matches. We knew we were going to have a tough one against No. 1 [seeded] Illinois,” head coach John Carlson said. “To beat them was not a surprise, but it was certainly a big feather in our cap.”

Minnesota used another tiebreaker to beat Purdue on Saturday and then fell 4.5-1.5 to Northwestern in the final.

The second-place finish was the Gophers’ best in the four-year history of the event.

Golfers battled high winds and a difficult course at Jack Nicklaus-designed Concession Golf Club. That combination led to some difficulties, according to Carlson.

“[Saturday] this golf course played as hard as I’ve ever seen a golf course play. It’s the highest-rated golf course in the state of Florida,” meaning it’s the hardest, Carlson said. “ After playing 72 holes in two days, it kind of all caught up to us in the last six or seven holes.”

Erik Van Rooyen, Tim Peterzen and Tyler Lowenstein provided wins for the Gophers Friday against Illinois.

Jon Trasamar, David Haley Jr. and Peterzen had wins for Minnesota against Purdue. Lowenstein had the only win for the Gophers against Northwestern.

“It was a great start to the spring season for us,” Carlson said. “That’s the point of having four upperclassmen, a sophomore and a freshman in the lineup — with more experience, we’re certainly on the right track going into the rest of the spring semester.”

The men’s golf team will next compete Feb. 25 in Scottsdale, Ariz.