The University of Minnesota men's golf team came into the 2008 Bridgestone Championship at Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. having finished in the top 5 in three of its four tournaments. That streak ended this week with a ninth place finish at the Bridgestone Championship but what is apparent is the quality of golf the Gophers are playing compared to a season ago. At this time last season, Minnesota held a head-to-head record of 33-15-1 (.559) but this season the Gophers will head into the break with a record of 42-20-2 (.656) as well as a high team confidence.
"The guys are dedicated to the process of becoming better players and I look for the spring results to reflect this," said Associate Head Coach Andrew Tank. "We had a few solid individual finishes but as a whole the team and individual results weren't what we're hoping for. That being said, I am happy with the team's effort and we will continue to work on our games and be ready when the season continues."
Minnesota was led this week by senior Yu Katayama. He finished in a six-way tie for 13th place after rounds of 72-72-76 for an overall score of 4-over par 220. Junior Ben Pisani, who finished the fall season with a team-low 73.57 stroke average, shot a 5-over par 221 and was amongst a group of five golfers to finish in a tie for 19th place.
Derek Chang carded a 13-over 229 and finished in a tie for 49th place. He played in four of the team's five events as a freshman this fall and finished with a 74.58 stroke average. Senior Victor Almstrom tied for 54th place while junior Thomas Campbell finished in a tie for 60th.
Duke started the day in third place, five shots back of Michigan but used a second consecutive score of 289 to overtake the Wolverines and capture the team title with a 5-over par score of 869. Michigan State was second with a score of 9-over par 873, one shot better than third place Michigan. Individually, Payne Gniewek of Michigan State and Max Scodro of Notre Dame shared medalist honors.
The Gophers will be off until they open the spring portion of their schedule on Feb. 13-14 at the Big Ten Matchplay Championships in Orlando, Fla.