University of Minnesota senior Yu Katayama continues to show that he will be a valuable part of the 2008-09 Gopher squad. He followed up is 2008 Minnesota State Open championship by finishing third in the U.S. Amateur Section qualifier at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn. this week after carding a 36-hole total of 1-over par 143. By finishing in the top five, Katayama earned a spot in the United States Amateur, which will be played Aug. 18-24 at Pinehurst Golf Course in Pinehurst, N.C.
There was a three-way tie for the fifth and final qualifying berth that included a pair of Katayama’s Gopher teammates. Seniors Victor Almstrom and Andy Paulson both shot 36-hole totals of 5-over par 147 but will serve as the first and second alternates, respectively, after being defeated by Daniel Zimmerman in the first hole of a sudden death playoff.
Gopher senior Patrick Datz, along with juniors Thomas Campbell and Ben Pisani, sophomore Cameron White and freshman Robert Bell were all part of the qualifier field but did not make the cut.
The Gophers will open the 2008-09 season by hosting the fourth annual Gopher Invitational Sept. 12-14 at Spring Hill Golf Course in Wayzata, Minn. The event is free and open to the public.