Gophers fight back to finish in 4th

After a tough first round, the women improved in each of the last two.

John Hageman

The Minnesota womenâÄôs golf team found itself near the top of the leaderboard yet again over the weekend, but not without some early-round struggles. The team shot a 32-over par 896 to land in fourth place out of 16 teams at the Indiana Invitational. It was the fourth time the Gophers finished in the top five and the fourth time they have shot sub-900 this spring season . Host team Indiana won the event, shooting a 22-over 886, including a second-round best 291. The Gophers stumbled out of the gate, shooting a 22-over 310 in the first round. âÄúObviously we started off a little slow, but they definitely did a great job coming back in the second and third rounds,âÄù Minnesota associate head coach Kristine Wessinger said. The team recovered later in the day by shaving 13 strokes off its first-round score on the second 18, which put the women in sixth place going into the third and final round Sunday . The Gophers then shaved another eight strokes off their second round score for their tournament-best 289 in the final round to move up to fourth place . Juniors Teresa Puga and Samantha Sommers led the way for the Gophers, both shooting a 6-over 222 to finish in a tie for eighth overall. Junior Michelle Edlin finished in a tie for 27th by shooting a 10-over 226, while senior Christine Herzog moved up almost 30 spots in the final round by shooting a 1-under 71, which put her in a tie for 33rd with a 14-over 230. It was HerzogâÄôs best finish of the season and the best 54-hole total of her career. âÄúOur team has been so successful this spring, so that made it even more exciting because I knew we could compete and win these tournaments,âÄù said Herzog, who was competing in her first tournament this spring. âÄúItâÄôs always fun to be on a competitive team and being able to contribute too is exciting.âÄù Junior Mary Narzisi recovered from an 11-over in the first round to shoot just 2 over par in the second round and 5 over par in the final round to finish in a tie for 46th with a 18-over 234. Illinois sophomore Hailey Koschmann took medalist honors by shooting a 2-under 214 . The Gophers will have just a week before they travel to Columbus, Ohio, for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invite on April 17-18. It will be their last tournament before the Big Ten Championships on April 23-25 . âÄúOf course you want to win the Big Ten championships but you canâÄôt really control that,âÄù Wessinger said. âÄúI think we need to just try to play as best as we can every day and practice really hard for the next few weeks.âÄù