Minnesota hammered in tough field at Lady Northern Invite

The Gophers shot an 82-over-par 239 which was good enough for last place.

Nick Heronimus

Competing at an unfamiliar course against multiple Big Ten rivals, the Minnesota Women’s Golf Team struggled to keep up with their competition.

The Gophers finished last place in the fourteen team field at the Lady Northern Invitational in University Park, Pa. Minnesota shot a team 82-over-par 946 en route to their last-place finish.

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Sophomore Christine Herzog, who shot a 23-over-par 239 for the weekend, acknowledged the struggles for Minnesota over the weekend.

“We are disappointed because we know we can play this course better,” Herzog said.

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The Gophers opened up the tournament by shooting a first-round 316 and then followed with a 313 on Saturday. They finished on Sunday by shooting a 317 to end the weekend.

Leading Minnesota in its first-day scoring and for the whole tournament was freshman Samantha Sommers, who shot a 20-over-par 236 overall. Sommers also expressed disappointment in her individual performance.

“I could have played better,” Sommers said. “I know that I have things to work on for the future.”

One team that did not share the Gophers’ problems at the Lady Northern was Kent State. The Golden Flashes shot a team 5-over-par 878 to earn first-place honors. The tournament medalist also came from Kent State in senior Kira Meixner, who shot a 4-under-par 212.

Leading up to the week, Gophers’ coach Brad James had wanted Minnesota to use the Lady Northern as a learning experience and according to Herzog, that goal was met.

“You always want to play better, but we learned a ton this weekend,” Herzog said.

The specifics of what the Gophers learned at this tournament were better course management and gaining an overall comfort level with the course, which will be invaluable in the spring season.

An increased comfort level of the course will be helpful because the University Park course will play host to the Big Ten Championship. The greater the comfort level, the greater the results for Minnesota.

Other members of the Gophers who factored into the team score were junior Paige Bromen, junior Sydney Liles, junior Young Na Lee, and freshman Mary Narzisi.

Bromen fired a 38-over-par 254, while Liles shot a 23-over-par 239. Lee added a 25-over-par 241, and Narzisi shot a 27-over-par 243 for the Gophers.

This was Narzisi’s first event as a Gopher and early on she and fellow freshman Sommers have impressed their veteran teammates.

“It’s always a big adjustment for freshmen, but I think Mary and Sam are handling it well,” Herzog said.

Sommers agreed she is adjusting to being a Division I golfer with each practice and tournament this year.

“I have a much better idea of what being a college golfer is about after this weekend,” Sommers said.

She and her teammates will have a slight break in their season, as they are not competing again until Oct. 6. In their time off Minnesota will look to use their break off to get some guidance from Coach James to improve for the rest of the season.

“I love to practice and improve each week,” Sommers said. “Coach James is one of the best people to teach us about golf.”