U golfers slip to 2nd

by Jim Schortemeyer

It was a weekend of mixed results for the Minnesota men’s golf team at the Compaq U.S. Collegiate Golf Championships in Lecanto, Fla. The 16th-ranked Gophers beat two teams ranked above them, but everybody was creamed by University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
The Rebels finished the team competition at 25-under par, 11 strokes ahead of second-place Minnesota. The Gophers beat eighth-ranked Arizona State by four strokes and fourth-ranked Oklahoma State by five.
But while Minnesota played well, defending national champion UNLV looked unbeatable. The Rebels’ success came largely in part from a scorching 16-under par Saturday. The Rebels beat every team in the field by at least 10 strokes that day and carried a nine-stroke lead into Sunday’s final round.
With most of its work done, UNLV coasted through a Sunday afternoon of golf to pick up an easy win. The Rebels finished with three golfers in the top six finishers.
But finishing second isn’t all bad for Minnesota. Three weeks ago, the Gophers finished 32 strokes behind Oklahoma State at the Golf Digest Invitational and 39 strokes behind UNLV.
The Gophers’ runner-up finish came thanks to solid play from its top four golfers, who all placed in the top 22.
Some were expected to do well, others were a surprise. Sophomore James McLean came through with a 67 on Sunday — the low round of the day — to vault into a third-place tie. McLean finished at 6-under par, two strokes behind UNLV’s Chris Berry and Oklahoma State’s Hunter Haas.
Senior Jeff Barney made an unexpected appearance on the leader board Saturday. At one point, Barney was 4-under par before sliding to a 1-over par finish Sunday.
Senior Adam Dooley shot 3-under par for the weekend, which was good enough for a ninth-place finish, and steady Martin LeMesurier rounded out the Minnesota contingent with a 13th-place finish.
Senior Andy Komor also competed, but his rounds did not count toward the team total. Komor finished tied for 36th.
The Gophers will be in North Carolina next weekend for the Collegiate Championship at MacGregor Downs.