THIS WEEK: The Minnesota men’s golf team returns to action this weekend after a two-week layoff for spring break. The team travels to the Peach State for the second time in four weeks to take on a strong field at this weekend’s Administaff Augusta State Invitational in Augusta, Georgia. Augusta State University hosts the event at the Champions Retreat Golf Club.
THE FIELD: The field at this year’s Administaff Augusta State Invitational is one of the strongest the Gophers could see before the NCAA Championships in May. Of the 18 programs competing this weekend, 12 are ranked among the top 50 in the team rankings, according to the latest GolfWeek polls. The field includes (with ranking): Georgia (1), UCLA (4), Tennessee (8), Georgia Tech (10), South Carolina (16), Clemson (23), East Tennesse State (25), Lamar (31), North Carolina (32), Virginia Tech (33), North Carolina State (44), host Augusta State (47), Georgia State (59), Coastal Carolina (60), Minnesota (66), Georgia Southern (93), Houston (119) and perennial Division II juggernaut South Carolina-Aiken.
Top individuals playing this weekend include (with ranking): Chesson Hadley - Georgia Tech (3), Kevin Chappel - UCLA (4), Joel Sjoholm - Georgia State (5), Russel Henley - Georgia (9), Adam Mitchell - Georgia (19), Hudson Swafford - Georgia (20), Kevin O’Connell - North Carolina (22), Gareth Shaw - East Tennesse State (27), Clayton Rask - Minnesota (28), Erik Flores - UCLA (37), George Bryan IV - NC State (42), Mark Anderson - South Carolina (47), Cameron Trinagle - Georgia Tech (48), and Chris Paisley - Tennessee (50), according to Golfweek.
LAST YEAR IN GEORGIA: The Golden Gophers struggled at last season’s event, finishing 18th out of 18 teams. Gopher junior Victor Almstrom is the only current player to finish in the top 80, finishing in a tie for 49th after shooting a three round total of 221 (+5) for Minnesota.
THE GOPHERS: The Minnesota lineup for the Administaff Augusta State Invitational will feature the aformentioned Clayton Rask, as well as Victor Almstrom, Thomas Campbell, Ben Pisani and Mikael Salminen.
SCHENKEL E-Z-GO RECAP: The Gophers combined to shoot a 300 Mar. 16 in the final round of the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational. The squad finished the tournament in 15th place with an overall score of 27-over 891. Minnesota’s highest finishers were senior Clayton Rask and junior Victor Almstrom, who both finished with a score of 4-over 220 and in a tie for 33rd place.
UP NEXT: The Gophers will enjoy yet another weekend off before returning to action April 19-20, when they will head to the U.S. Intercollegiate, annually one of the most hotly-contested collegiate tournaments, hosted by the Stanford Cardinal. The 54-hole tournament will unfold at the Stanford Golf Club in Stanford, Calif.