forClick here for 2005 Big Ten Men's Golf Championship Notes
The 24th-ranked Golden Gophers travel to Madison, Wis., for the 2005 Big Ten Men’s Golf Championships at University Ridge Golf Course. Minnesota hopes to regain the title they owned for two straight seasons in 2002 and 2003. The Gophers finished third last season behind Ohio State and Illinois and will again battle for the coveted crown.
Minnesota is fresh off a win at the Fossum Taylor Made Invitational last weekend in East Lansing, Mich. It was the Gophers’ first win of the spring season. Senior Ben Greve fired a final round 66 to share medalist honors with Indiana’s Jeff Overton and rally the Gophers from 11 shots down going into the final round.
Along with Greve, who earned his first collegiate crown at the Fossum, the Gophers boast a deep and talented lineup led by sophomore Bronson La’Cassie. The Brisbane, Australia native enters the Big Ten Championships ranked 29th in the country individually by Golfweek. La’Cassie leads the Gophers with four top-10 finishes, six rounds in the 60s, 14 rounds below par and 21 rounds below 75. He is only 9-over-par for the year and would like nothing more than to earn his first collegiate individual title at the Big Tens this weekend. Also slated for the starting lineup are juniors Ryan Paulson and Josh Persons and sophomore Niall Turner. Turner earned a career-best three-round score and finish at the Boilermaker Invitational three weeks ago firing rounds of 69-78-70 to finish eighth at 2-over 218. Persons, a transfer from Kansas State, has played steadily in his first year in Maroon and Gold and has improved his standing in each tournament of the spring. Paulson is healthy again after coming into last season’s tournament just recovered from a separated shoulder. He’s looking forward to another opportunity at a Big Ten title.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Golden Gophers have won six Big Ten team titles (1929, 1938, 1963, 1972, & 2002, 2003). After a 30-year drought, Minnesota won two straight in 2002 and 2003. Last season, the Gophers shot rounds of 287-279-282=848 (-4) finishing six shots behind Ohio State and one shot behind Illinois for second place.
In 2003, the Gophers earned their first back-toback Big Ten Championships in school history, winning the 2003 tournament with a final round of 7- under-par 277 for a 72-hole total of 1122 (-14). The Golden Gophers overcame a six-stroke deficit heading into the final day to win the event by six with Illinois finishing at 8-under 1128.
Senior Matt Anderson became the fifth Gopher to win a Big Ten individual title in 2003. Anderson fired a 67 in the final round to place first with a total of 276 (-8). His four-round score tied the second lowest 72-hole total in Minnesota history. The Golden Gophers had not taken both the team and individual crowns since 1972.
Minnesota Individual Big Ten Medalists -- Les Bolstad in 1929; Bill Brask in 1968; Dave Haberle in 1971 and John Harris in 1974; Matt Anderson, 2003.