Mendez, Gophers Win B1G Championships
May 4, 2014
The University of Minnesota men's golf team won its first team title since 2007, and its first under head coach John Carlson. Freshman Jose Mendez tied for first to become the Golden Gophers' first medalist since Matt Anderson in 2003.
The Gophers finished with a team score of 1,186 (+34), turning in their lowest score of the tournament, a 290, on the last day. Minnesota won by four strokes over Illinois. Iowa finished third, eight strokes behind the Gophers. Mendez shot a 73 and tied for first with Illinois' Charlie Danielson at 1 over on the tournament.
Minnesota entered the final round with a seven-stroke lead over Illinois and Purdue, and Mendez led the field at even par, three shots ahead of second place.
Illinois made a strong push in the final round. Danielson tied Mendez on the 13th hole when he birdied and Mendez bogeyed. That also cut the Gophers' team lead to two shots.
The Illini tied the Gophers late in the round, but Minnesota reclaimed sole possession a few holes later. Danielson overtook Mendez on the 16th hole when he made par and Mendez bogeyed.
Minnesota held a one-shot lead with three pairings left to play the 18th. Sophomore Jon DuToit made par, and senior Jon Trasamar birdied 18 to put the Gophers up three. Mendez made par on the last hole while Danielson bogeyed, clinching a tie for medalist honors.
Mendez finished at 1 over with a four-round score of 289. Trasamar tied for third, his career-best conference finish, after a 2-under 70 on Sunday. He was 6 over on the weekend.
Mendez and Trasmar both made the Big Ten All-Championships Team. They were joined by Danielson, Northwestern's Jack Perry and Iowa's Steven Ihm.
DuToit tied for 12th at 12 over. He carded a 74 on Sunday, his best score of the weekend. Senior Alex Gaugert (73) and junior Tyler Lowenstein (75) also had their lowest scores in the final round. Gaugert tied for 20th at 15 over.
Minnesota now has eight Big Ten titles in program history. The Gophers have won four conference championships since 2002.
Mendez won the Gophers' ninth individual Big Ten crown, and is the eighth different golfer to do so. (Les Bolstad accomplished the feat twice.)
The Gophers last won both the team and individual conference championships in 2003.
With the conference win, Minnesota will automatically make the NCAA field. NCAA Regional selections will be announced Monday, May 5 from 9 to 10 a.m. CDT. The show will be streamed on the Golf Channel website.
Gopher Scores (Pete Dye Course - Par 72)