Coming off a record breaking performance at last week's UCF Challenge, the Gophers head back to Florida for the Central District Invitational on Monday. The Gophers will look to continue their hot start, which featured a medalist in Teresa Puga and the lowest 18 and 54-hole scores in program history when they take to the River Wilderness Country Club in Parrish on Feb. 21st and 22nd.
Hosted by Michigan State, the tournament features a field of 15 schools from across the nation. The 54-hole event will played over two rounds, with 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday's final round at the 6,099 yard, par 72 course.
Joining Minnesota in the field will be Arkansas, Baylor, Indiana, Iowa State, Kent State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas A&M and TCU. Twelve schools are currently ranked in the top-50 nationally according to the Golfweek/Saragin rankings: Arkansas (12), Baylor (50), Iowa State (27), Kent State (37), LSU (4), Michigan State (19), Minnesota (42), Norte Dame (20), Ohio State (25), TCU (30), and Texas A&M (38).
The Gophers lineup will remain the same from last week with four seniors and two underclassmen. Seniors Puga, Mary Narzisi, Samantha Sommers, Michele Edlin, team up with sophomore Jackie Shepherd and freshman Banchalee Theinthong.
In their opening event of the spring season, Minnesota earned a third place finish at the 17 team - UCF Challenge. The Gophers used a program record 286 in the final round to finish just two strokes back of winner Costal Carolina. The team's three round total of 869 also broke the previous school record of 877 which the Gophers set this past fall.
With a final round 66 that included an eagle on her final hole in regulation, Teresa Puga earned medalist honors as well. In addition to being the first Gopher medalist since 2007, the senior from Spain's three round total of 208 is the lowest in school history and her 66 over the final 18 holes is tied for the best.
Monday's opening round will begin with a traditional start with Tuesday's final 18 using a shotgun start. Live scoring can be followed at www.golfstat.com.
Teresa Puga discusses her medalist win at last week's UCF Challenge below: