The Fourth Annual Gopher Invitational at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota concluded this afternoon with LSU and Texas tying for the team title. Marquette's Mike Van Sickle taking individual medalist honors. This year's field featured teams from around the country including Arkansas, Iowa, Iowa State, LSU, Marquette, Minnesota, Pepperdine, Texas, Southern Methodist, Washington, Wisconsin and Yale.
To track live results all weekend, please visit golfstat.com.
Sunday, 8:00 a.m.
The breakfast spread this morning at Spring Hill was top of the line once again. They have treated us well here this weekend.
Sunday, 8:30 a.m.
The final round of the 2008 Gopher Invitational is underway at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata. The sun was out early but has quickly disappeared. Our first group to record scores was the two-some of Alex Culverwell and Justin Kaplan of Minnesota. Culverwell went par, par, double on holes 10-12 while Kaplan carded par, par, bogey.
Sunday, 9:37 a.m.
Four of the five Gophers in the lineup recorded pars on their first three holes (10-11-12). They were freshman Derek Chang, seniors Andy Paulson and Victor Almstrom and Junior Ben Pisani.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m.
It is fall-like conditions this morning at Spring Hill. Morning sun has given way to mostly cloudy conditions. There is also minimal wind and it seems to be solid scoring conditions. Iowa's Cole Peevler has moved to -1 on the day and is two back of the leader, John Peterson of LSU, who just teed off. Going back to the breakfast experience at Spring Hill, the thick cut bacon is perhaps the best I have ever eaten. Just phenomenal.
Sunday, 10:17 a.m.
The condition of this course is truly amazing considering that they have received nearly 3/4" rain since Wednesday night, so the fairways are soft without giving up any roll and the greens are very receptive. The rain has "slowed down" the greens to a comfortable 11-12' on the stimpmeter according to MGA head rules official Doug Hoffmann.
Sunday, 11:56 a.m.
A light mist is falling but luckily the worst of the rain apparently is staying west of the Twin Cities. The Gopher women's team may have traveled to Ann Arbor for no reason as weather continues to keep the golfers off the course at the Wolverine Invitational. Out first round leader, Charlie Holland of Texas, has shot back to the top of the leaderboard at -6 overall. He is -2 for the day while LSU's John Peterson has slid to -4 after a +2 start through six holes. The first eagle of the day came from Yale's Michael Fader with a 3 on the par 5 16th hole.
Sunday, 12:05 p.m
It's shaping up for a great team finish between Texas, LSU and Pepperdine. Texas and LSU are -1 with everyone through 9 holes while Pepperdine is just two back at +1.
Sunday, 12:38 p.m.
Texas' Holland triple bogeys the seventh hole to knot the individual leaderboard with Peterson. The duo is playing in the same group so it should be quite a battle to the finish. A steady rain has started to fall at Spring Hill and temperatures continue to fall as a front moves through.
Sunday, 2:05 p.m.
With the rain becoming heavier and the wind picking up, Mike Van Sickle of Marquette finished birdie-par-par to be the clubhouse leader. He played the last five holes 1-under after a bogey on 13. He is -3 and enjoying the fantastic Spring Hill cuisine while John Peterson of LSU is on the course at -3 as well.
The course is playing the most difficult today with a scoring average of 76.17. Yesterday, the course played to the tune of 74.68 while Friday yielded a 75.75 average.
Sunday, 3:15 p.m.
Texas and LSU tie for the team title. Texas will be given the championship trophy by tiebreaker. The tiebreaker was the cumulative score of the No. 5 player of both teams and Texas' No. 5 player Bobby Hudson tallied a 226 while LSU's No. 5 Josh Jones finished at 231. Marquette's Ben Sickle took medalist honors with a -3 213 total.
Saturday, 8:39 a.m.
Another wet day at Spring Hill Golf Club hasn't slowed Justin Kaplan, playing as an individual, who carded two birdies and a par on his first three holes of the day. Paired with, Kaplan, fellow unattached Gopher Alex Culverwell put up a birdie and two pars alongside Kaplan.
Saturday, 9:25 a.m.
The rain has started to show itself as conditions on the course aren't exactly golfer friendly. However, the teams continue to play on despite the adverse weather. The Gopher women are not as lucky. Play has been suspended at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor. The women are scheduled to play 36 holes today. It doesn't look promising.
Saturday, 9:50 a.m.
In what hopefully is a sign, the rain has slowed and the weather is clearing up a bit. Hopefully the golfers at Spring Hill will get to take advantage of this break before the course gets any rougher. As of right now, weather doesn't seem to be a huge factor but throughout the day, it could definitely have a crucial effect.
Saturday, 9:58 a.m.
After two hours, it's two Golden Gophers pacing the pack and finishing their first nine holes. Through the back nine, Alex Culverwell put up a 39 while his teammate Justin Kaplan shot a 34 heading into the turn. On another note, kudos to the staff at Spring Hill Golf Club for putting on a great tournament so far. The breakfast spread is by far one of the best meals around and the service accompanying it is just as great. Hopefully the weather will be equally hospitable throughout the day but only time will tell.
Saturday, 10:15 a.m.
After learning that the Gopher Women have had their first round canceled (with the decision to play to be evaluated at 12:30 EST) the men are getting a look at some bad conditions themselves. The wind is really picking up here and the skies are not looking as friendly as golfers would like. However, this is Minnesota and everyone knows that conditions can go from subzero to tropical in about seven minutes so we'll hopefully be looking at some clearer weather soon.
Saturday, 10:22 a.m.
Leading the way for the field in today's action at Spring Hill is Wisconsin's Tyler Obermueller with a 31 through his first nine putting him five shots under so far this morning. Overall, Round one's leader Texas' Charlie Holland and LSU's John Peterson are tied for the overall lead in the tournament at four under but there's still a lot of golf left to play and things could get shaken up as the weather starts to play a factor.
Saturday, 10:48 a.m.
Gopher freshman Derek Chang is feeling unfazed by the weather as he improves from yesterday's front nine. Through the turn, Chang has shot a one over 37, improving from a 39 yesterday.
Saturday, 11:01 a.m.
We've had an eagle sighting from a Hawkeye, with Iowa's Cole Peevler shooting a 3 on 16 to give the tournament it's first eagle of the day.
Saturday, 11:18 a.m.
Here's a quick leaderboard update. Co-leader John Peterson of LSU is even for the day and shares the lead with Texas Longhorn Charlie Holland (+1 on the day) at four under for the tournament.
Saturday, 11:22 a.m.
Wisconsin's Jordan Elsen has joined the leaders at four under after playing his first nine of the day. The three way battle for first in the individuals can only heat up from here. Keep checking back for more updates throughout the day.
Saturday, 11:33 a.m.
LSU has just tied Texas for first place in the team category. The stakes in the individual battle just increased as both teams have ridden their top golfers to seven under in the tournament.
Saturday, 11:43 a.m.
Wisconsin has found it's groove today, moving up four spots as a team into fourth place as they are currently 10-under on the day. Led by Jordan Elsen, who is tied for the individual lead, the Badgers have pushed their way into the top five.
Saturday, 12:04 p.m.
We have just found out that day one of the Wolverine Invitational has been officially canceled. The Gopher Women's team was supposed to play 36 holes today but Mother Nature had other plans. They will play 18 tomorrow and hopefully the weather will be more cooperative.
Saturday, 12:11 p.m.
After our last update, there have been some big changes at the top of the leaderboard. LSU's John Peterson has begun to distance himself with the rest of the Tigers as he is sitting at 7-under for the day while his team's overall score of 7-under for the tournament has put them in the lead. Texas sits in second at 4-under with Charlie Holland pacing the longhorns at 3-under for the tournament, while shooting 2-over on the day. Not the best showing from yesterday's leader but there will be plenty of chances for Holland to catch up.
Saturday, 12:20 p.m.
Second time's a charm for unattached Gopher Justin Kaplan as he shoots a 74 on the day. A nice day by any standards but coming off of his 85 yesterday, it's an impressive show of mental focus. The 11-shot improvement is by far the biggest tournaround from day one to day two of the tournament.
Saturday, 12:45 p.m.
Patrick Datz is currently Minnesota's top finisher with a 69 today, as the Gophers sit in eighth overall. Datz, individually, is tied for fourth at 2-under overall. LSU continues to lead the way with Texas right behind them.
Saturday, 2:01 p.m.
After a late day collapse by Texas, the Longhorns find themselves five shots back of LSU at the moment, with the Tigers leading the way with a 4 under. The surprise of the day has been Iowa who has come out strong on day two and put up a 7-under for the day. They're currently tied for third place with Pepperdine at 4 over for the tournament.
Saturday, 2:19 p.m.
While the weather outside may be atrocious, the food inside is, once again, amazing. Golfers are coming in from the cold, wet course to an inviting clubhouse with a spectacular spread. With play wrapping up, our finals for round two are being delayed with the torrential downpour that's Wayzata at the moment.
Friday, 8:30 a.m.
The 2008 Gopher Invitational is underway at plush Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata. After some afternoon rain on Thursday, the course is playing soft this morning. Although there will be a little less roll in the fairways on the 7,020-yard layout but the greens figure to be quite receptive. The weather should be perfect today with temperatures forecasted in the mid-70s with abundant sunshine.
Friday, 9:15 a.m
We have our first golfer with a hot start as Texas' Donald Constable birdied the par 4 474-yard second hole and the par 5 540-yard third hole to get to -2 through three holes. Interestingly, Constable is a Wayzata native and his family are members at Spring Hill. Although it's a bit damp, the greens are not showing it. They are very quick with the sun yet to appear this morning.
One note about this year's event is that it has been expanded to three days with 18 holes apiece. In previous years, the field played 36 holes on the first day.
Friday, 9:35 a.m.
There can't be too many collegiate tournaments played at finer golf courses. Spring Hill has been rated in the top five Minnesota courses by Golf Digest just about every year since the course opened in 1999. The course has a very modern layout with elevation changes, a mix of open and heavily wooded holes and plenty of scenic natural grasses and trees. Spring Hill does not opt to host too many major events, making this particular collegiate event that much more prestigious.
Friday, 9:50 a.m.
We have our first eagle of the tournament....Charlie Holland of Texas records a 3 on the par 5 540-yard second hole.
Friday, 9:53 a.m.
Minnesota's Thomas Campbell and Justin Kaplan, both playing as individuals, are the first to complete nine holes. An eagle by Campbell on the par 5 16th helps the junior finish his first nine - the back nine at Spring Hill - at even par 36. Kaplan cards a 41 on the back.
Friday, 11:40 a.m.
The sun came out around 10 a.m. and the course is magnificent. LSU and Texas are the early team leaders at -4 although Texas is thru 10 holes. Andrew Landry of Arkansas and Richard Lee of Washington are the individual leaders at -3 thru nine holes. Seven players overall are under par with about half of the opening round completed.
Friday, 12:20 p.m.
Defending individual medalist Danny Zimmerman of Wisconsin makes the turn at +2 (38). Wisconsin is one of four teams that returned to the Gopher Invitational this year. An interesting course note is that the par 3, 231-yard eighth hole is the toughest hole to this point today, playing .67 shots over par.
We have three eagles today, two of which occurred on the par 5 third hole. The other happened on the par 5 16th hole.
Friday, 12:23 p.m.
We have a hole-in-one....Marquette's Ben Sieg holed out on the par 3 188-yard fourth hole. Perhaps more amazing is that the threesome played the hole in -4. Iowa State's Michael Wurtz and Washington's Darren Wallace each recorded birdies as well. The fourth hole is a downhill par 3 guarded by trees on both sides with trouble behind the green with many pine trees.
Friday, 1:10 p.m.
Playing as individual, junior Thomas Campbell is one of the first completed rounds of the day, carding an even par 72. Also playing as individuals, Cameron White and Patrick Datz card matching 1-over 73s. The leader in the clubhouse is Texas' Donald Constable with a 2-under 70. Constable birdied 16 and 17 to get to -2.
Friday, 1:35 p.m.
Ben Pisani has an interesting round, recording six birdies on the day but countered with five bogies and a double to end with a 1-over 73. He only had six pars and just one on the front nine.
Friday, 1:45 p.m.
Minnesota's Yu Katayama also had an interesting round. He started -3 through four holes but had a triple and two doubles and finished with a 79. In his first collegiate round, freshman Derek Chang fired a 76. He finished the final three holes at -1 to close strong and hope for momentum into tomorrow's round.
Friday, 1:55 p.m.
Texas' Charlie Holland birdies 18 to finish with a 5-under 67. He becomes the clubhouse leader. Holland has a flawless card with no bogies, an eagle and three birdies. The Longhorns are the team leader at -5....four shots ahead of Pepperdine.
Minnesota's Victor Almstrom rallies with two birdies on the final three holes to shoot a 37 on the back and finish with a 3-over 75. As the first round winds down, most of the competitors are either enjoying a catered Italian food lunch or have returned to the range or putting greens.
Texas owns a three-shot lead after the first day with a 6-under 282. LSU is just three shots back and Pepperdine is nine back. Minnesota is tied for fifth at +10. Holland has a one-shot lead while John Peterson of LSU is just one back. Overall, eight players are under par.