Minnesota finishes fifth in Florida

Carmen Laguna and Emie Peronnin led the team with a final score of 216.

Carmen Laguna practices putting Tuesday at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. A native of Spain, Laguna is one of three international golfers on this year’s team.

Christopher Selleck; Daily File photo

Carmen Laguna practices putting Tuesday at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. A native of Spain, Laguna is one of three international golfers on this year’s team.

Dane Mizutani

The Gophers escaped the Minnesota cold in favor of some Florida sunshine over the last few days. But more importantly, they started their season on a high note.

Minnesota finished the three-day tournament in a two-way tie for fifth place with an aggregate team score of 869 — tied for the lowest 54-hole score in program history. The Gophers shot a 287 in the final two rounds, the lowest 18-hole score under head coach Michele Redman.

“We played really well, and our players did a really good job of managing themselves on the golf course, not just physically but emotionally as well,” Redman said.

Minnesota junior Carmen Laguna and freshman Emie Peronnin led the team over the three-day stretch, finishing tied for 18th at even par.

Central Florida hosted and won the tournament at 7-under par. It also boasted the individual tournament champion as junior Fanny Cnops shot an 8-under par.

Though the Gophers didn’t come away with the tournament title, Redman said she thinks this finish will give the team confidence moving forward.

“We didn’t get off to a very good start today, but we came back and made some birdies,” Redman said Tuesday. “I think our players are starting to believe that they can make birdies, and they’re putting themselves in good position to do that.”

Redman said she wants her team to build on this success and trust so it can continue this type of success down the road.

“I told our players this morning … ‘This isn’t an accident that we’re playing well,’” Redman said. “This isn’t a fluke. We’ve worked hard at this … to shoot these scores.”

While teams in warmer climates have the opportunity to practice outside year-round, Redman said she doesn’t think her team is at a disadvantage because players have to practice inside.

“If we have them doing the right things in practice, then inside and outside aren’t all that different,” she said. “That’s only if they are doing the right things inside, though.”

The Gophers flew back to the Twin Cities on Tuesday night and will return to the Sunshine State next week.