2010 UCF CHALLENGE: Minnesota will head to sunny Florida to open up its spring season on Sun. Feb 13 at the UCF Challenge. Held at the par 73, 6,319 yard RedTail Golf Course, the 54-hole event will be played over three days from Sun. to Tues. in Sorrento, FLA.
Hosted by UCF, the tournament features an impressive listed of teams. Of the 17 participating schools, nine participated in the 2010 NCAA Regional's- Baylor, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Georgia State, Illinois State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas and Tulane. In addition, 15 teams are currently ranked in the top 100 in the nation by Golfstat.com.
This will be the first time the Gophers have competed in the four year old event, whose winners have had good fortune following the tournament. Three of the last four NCAA Champions have been participants in the event during their title seasons. Duke in 2007, USC in 2008, and Arizona State in 2009 all went to claim the title following UCF Challenge appearances during the season.
Live scoring can be followed throughout the tournament at www.golfstat.com.
THE GOPHERS: Minnesota returns this spring having recorded one of the best seasons in program history during the fall of 2010. The Gophers recorded four of the lowest 54-hole scores in school history, including two of the three best, and finished in the top-10 in each tournament. Led by four accomplished seniors in Teresa Puga, Michele Edlin, Samantha Sommers, and Mary Narzisi, Minnesota features a wealth of experience and figures to contend for the conference title.
We're really excited about the spring and I think we can contend for the Big Ten Championship," said Rose. "Our girls are working hard every day to get us into a position to do so."
In addition to the accolades garnered as a collective team, Minnesota's individual golfers also boast impressive accomplishments from the fall. Puga, Edlin,Sommers, and Narzisi all had seasons that rank among the program's best and all four figure to continue their success in the spring.
"I have to give a lot of credit to the seniors," said Rose. "They lead by example, they don't complain, and they are some of the hardest working students you will see. They have just done an outstanding job for us."
Joining four seniors in the mix for this spring will be sophomores Jackie Shepherd and Tori Stork, and freshman Banchalee Theinthong. All three collected valuable experience while playing in events during the fall and will look to
provide an impact in the second half of the 2010-11 season.
UP NEXT: The Gophers will be back in the Sunshine State on Feb. 21 to participate in the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla.