Minnesota set for third tournament of fall season

The Gophers will travel to play in New Mexico over the weekend.

Jake Stark

Following back-to-back top-five finishes in their first two tournaments of the season, the Gophers are looking to make a run at a tournament title.

Minnesota will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., this weekend to play in the William H. Tucker Invitational at the New Mexico University Championship golf course.

Last year, the Gophers finished in a three-way tie for fourth in the tournament.

Gophers head coach John Carlson said he expects his team to compete for an even better finish this season.

“I think we’re a little bit better this year,” he said. “We need to come thinking about making plenty of birdies because it’s going to be a birdie-fest there.”

The Gophers will face tough competition in this year’s tournament. The host, perennial powerhouse New Mexico, is currently ranked in a tie for No. 4 in the country.

The Gophers have already played against New Mexico once this season. The Lobos won the Gopher Invitational in early September.

“Playing New Mexico on their home golf course is always going to be a challenge,” Carlson said. “I think our guys are ready for that challenge.”

In order to compete with New Mexico, Carlson said he needs some of his golfers to rebound from slow starts to the season.

He pointed out how senior Jon Trasamar and sophomore Jon DuToit both had disappointing showings at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate last weekend.

“I think they have to be on-course leaders this year,” he said. “I know those two have the ability to win.”

Though the majority of the team has struggled to start the season, freshman Jose Mendez has been a bright spot.

Mendez finished in a tie for ninth individually at the Wolf Run.

“I know what we have with [him],” Carlson said of Mendez. “I think he can win every week.”