Despite a 10th place finish, Minnesota happy with its team score in Oregon tournament

The Minnesota women’s golf team’s version of the West Coast Swing has come to a close, but the Gophers have some solid play to show for it.

Minnesota finished off its trip yesterday, firing a 54-hole total of 944 at Eugene Country Club to finish 10th out of 15 teams in the Oregon Duck Invitational.

Though it was a significantly lower finish than the Gophers’ victory last week at the Diablo Grande Invitational, they managed to best that winning score by 10 in Oregon.

And similar to Diablo Grande, Minnesota showed steady improvement over all three rounds.

A final round 307 kept the Gophers firmly in the 10 spot and bettered their first round 323 and second round 314.

Individually, Minnesota was led by Teresa Puga, who was a model of consistency, shooting a 77-78-77-232 to tie for 24th.

Puga, a freshman from A Coruña, Spain, has played just four collegiate tournaments and has been a dependable anchor in each, but Director of Golf Brad James sees potential for much lower rounds from her.

“She’s obviously very consistent but she’s also capable of shooting some scores in the 60s,” he said. “I think once she gets more comfortable in her environment you’ll start seeing some low scores for her.”

Speaking of low scores, junior Young Na Lee fired the Gophers’ low round of the tournament for the second time in a row, carding a 1-under par 71 in the final round to help Minnesota solidify its finish.

Lee’s 71 was also a career best, one stroke better than her previous mark which she set a year ago at the Indiana Invitational and tied last week at the Diablo Grande.

Final rounds seem to be Lee’s specialty, as all three of her best scores have all come on the last day.

Unfortunately, those numbers have always followed rounds in the 80s.

“She does a good job of finishing with good rounds,” associate head coach Kristine Wessinger said. “Now we just need to get her to start off with those 71s and 72s.

“But I was proud that she came back and finished very well.”

In her brilliant round yesterday, Lee didn’t think she necessarily hit the ball a lot better, but her mindset allowed her to be successful.

“I was a little bit more aggressive on my shots and more decisive,” she said. “I didn’t hit the ball bad the first rounds so it’s the mental side that I have to improve on, but it’ll come.”