The University of Minnesota men's golf team finished eighth in the Gopher Invitational at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minn. The Gophers fired a final round 297 and finished 41 shots behind tournament titleist Lamar. Lamar's final score of 4-over 868 was a Gopher Invitational record. The Cardinals finished a comfortable 22 shots ahead of second place Arkansas and Wisconsin.
“Last year we won 7 tournaments and finished third in the nation, Lamar head coach Brian White said. "We came in this year losing three all Americans and just wanted to play solid. To come out and shoot the score that we did really exceeded our expectations.”
The individual title was shared by Lamar's Casey Clendenon, who fired a final round 2-under 70 and Wisconsin's Danny Zimmerman at 1-under-par 215. Zimmerman held the 36-hole lead by five shots but struggled with a final round 79 Sunday.
“I felt good going into today," Zimmerman said. "I obviously struggled down the stretch and told myself to keep hitting shots for the team. Having the field catch up was a natural kick in the butt ,but I hung in there and made the shots I had to.”
A pair of Gophers finished third and fourth, respectively. Junior All-American Victor Almstrom finished a shot back at even par 216 after firing a final round 71. It was a career best finish for the Swede. Senior Clayton Rask also earned a career high finish with an even-par 72 in round three tying him for fourth at 1-over 217.
Junior Andy Paulson, playing as an indivdual, recorded a career-best finish with a tie for seventh at 3-over 219. Paulson carded a 73 on the par 72, 7,020 Tom Fazio-designed layout. Other Gopher indviduals included Robbie Kelley who finished tied for 29th at 13-over 229 and Justin Kaplan who carded a career-low 71 in round three and moved up 18 spots into a tie for 39th at 16-over 232.
Sophmore Ben Pisani shot a final round 76 and tied for 50th at 19-over 235. Junior Patrick Datz tied for 60th at 242 and sophomore Thomas Campbell was 63rd at 248.
Minnesota returns to action Sept. 22-23 for the PING Preview in West Lafayette, Ind.