Gophers settle for eighth at Big Ten championships

Minnesota played its best golf Sunday at the conference meet.

Minnesota golfer Carmen Laguna practices putting Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn.

Christopher Selleck; Daily File photo

Minnesota golfer Carmen Laguna practices putting Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn.

Nickalas Tabbert

The Gophers women’s golf team shot 57-over par to finish eighth out of 12 teams at the Big Ten championships during the weekend.

Minnesota played its best golf in the final round Sunday despite rain and wind at the Donald Ross Course in French Lick, Ind.

Purdue and Northwestern tied for first place at 20-over par.

Coach Michele Redman said she was pleased with her team’s finish given the limited amount of time the team has played outdoors this spring and where it was ranked entering the tournament.

Redman said the team finished rounds better than it did in previous tournaments.

Three Minnesota players had their best rounds Sunday, including sophomore Carmen Laguna. She shot 8-over par for the tournament to tie for ninth place.

“She managed herself around this golf course really well,” said Redman, who walked with Laguna on Sunday. “She made a lot of good key putts at the right time.”

Sophomore Anna Laorr finished tied for 26th, six shots behind Laguna. Laorr shaved 21 strokes off her score at last year’s tournament to improve from the team’s worst finisher to its second-best.

“She’s become such a better player than she was a year ago,” Redman said. “She can just really grind it out on the golf course.”

“The Gophers struggled in Friday’s opening round, shooting 24-over par.

“I think we hadn’t been outside,” she said. “I think it took us a couple rounds, and that’s OK.”

Redman said the team and Laguna have a chance to advance to the NCAA regional May 9. The Gophers will learn their fate Monday night when the NCAA tournament field is announced.