THIS WEEK: The Minnesota men’s golf team travels to Stanford, California this weekend to take part in the highly anticipated U.S. Intercollegiate, hosted by perennial national power Stanford at the Stanford Golf Club.
THE FIELD: The field is congested with teams ranked highly in the latest Golfweek rankings, including No. 3 UCLA, No. 5 USC, No. 20 ASU, No. 33 San Diego State, No. 45 Oregon State, No. 50 Oregon, No. 53 TCU, No. 57 California, No. 62 UC Irvine, No. 67 Minnesota, No. 68 Washington, No. 81 UC Davis, No. 87 Nevada, No. 130 San Jose State, No. 139 Toledo and No. 238 Northern Colorado.
LAST YEAR AT STANFORD: The Gophers lost the U.S. Intercollegiate tournament title on a tiebreaker to the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal last April in Palo Alto, Calif. Both teams finished with a three-round total of 2-under-par 838, but the Cardinal won the title calculated by the three-day total of the throw-out score for each round. Stanford's total was 219 and the Gophers’ was 223.
The Gophers fired a tournament-best 3-under 277 in the final round, but it wasn't enough to overtake Stanford who led the Gophers by five strokes heading into Sunday's final round. The tournament was a two-horse race on the par 70, 6,742-yard Stanford Golf Course with the Cardinal and Gophers outdistancing third-place Oregon State by 22 shots.
THE GOPHERS: The Gophers lineup will consist of senior Clayton Rask, juniors Patrick Datz and Yu Katayama, sophomore Thomas Campbell and freshman Mikael Salminen. Datz, a native of Bluffton, S.C., will be making his first appearance of the spring season.
ADMINISTAFF AUGUSTA STATE INVITE RECAP: Minnesota senior Clayton Rask fired a 3-under, 69 in the final round of the Adminstaff Augusta State Invitational to lead the Gophers to a 14th place finish. Rask’s 36-hole score of 4-under, 140 placed him in a tie for sixth place with South Carolina’s Mark Anderson. Saturday’s second round at Champions Retreat Golf Club was rained out, making it the first 36-hole event since the 1979 event.
Gopher sophomore Thomas Campbell posted the next best score for Minnesota with a 3-over, 147 while junior Victor Almstrom carded a 7-over, 151. Freshman Mikael Salminen finished one shot behind teammate Almstrom with an 8-over 152.
UP NEXT: This weekend’s tournament marks the Gophers’ final regular season contest. Minnesota’s next time out will see the team in East Lansing, Michigan for the 2008 Big Ten Championships hosted by Michigan State. This year’s Big Tens will unfold at the 7,103-yard par 72 Forest Akers West Course layout.