Minnesota faces quick turnaround

Minnesota will begin its second tournament this week on Sunday.

by Betsy Helfand

After a trip to the Chicago suburbs, the women’s golf team returned home Tuesday.

On Friday, the team will hit the road again, and by Sunday, it’ll be playing in its second tournament in less than a week.

The turnaround is the fastest one the team will encounter all season. The Gophers will compete in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Texas from Sunday to Tuesday.

“I’m not going to lie: It’s very difficult, especially with school. A 36, 18 tournament where we play 36 holes in one day, it takes a lot out of us,” senior Anna Laorr said.

Head coach Michele Redman said the team would have Wednesday off from practice before returning to the course on Thursday.

Freshmen Celia Kuenster and Sabrine Garrison, seniors Laorr and Carmen Laguna as well as sophomore Emie Peronnin made the trip to Wilmette, Ill., earlier this week.

Freshman Heather Ciskowski also made the trip, competing as an individual.

Between the team’s first and second tournaments, it shook up its lineup, adding Garrison and Peronnin.

As of Tuesday, Redman said she was not sure if the team would play qualifying rounds before its next tournament.

The Gophers finished 10th at this week’s tournament, the Windy City Collegiate Classic, in what Redman described as one of the toughest fields the team would face all year. She said the team could potentially switch up its lineup before it plays in Texas.

Laorr said as a team, the Gophers didn’t putt well in the tournament.

“There’s nothing earthshattering. It’s just we’ve got to make more putts. We’ll probably change our practices around a little bit for that,” Redman said.

Kuenster, who finished first among her teammates and tied for sixth overall, said she is trying to find something to get better at each week.

She noted putting as something she would be working on.

Though the team’s putting wasn’t as sharp, it was effective in other areas.

Laorr said the team is focusing on the positives from the Windy City Collegiate Classic as it prepares for the upcoming tournament, while also identifying areas of improvement.

And one of those positives is the way the team drove the ball.

Redman said the team was right where it needed to be with that, and Laorr agreed.

“We’re all hitting the ball really well, and I think we’re all looking forward to Texas,” Laorr said.