Record Season: The University of Minnesota women’s golf program has fielded teams every year since 1975, or for 33 seasons. The 2008-09 Gophers are well on their way, statistically, to being the best the program has seen. Heading into the Lady Buckeye Invitational on Apr. 18-19, Minnesota has averaged a combined score of 308.6 for a stroke average of 77.15, the lowest average through nine events in school history. The closest competition is from the 1985-86 team which held a 77.8 average.
Individually, Minnesota sophomore Teresa Puga already holds the lowest fall season scoring average of 74.07, established this season, and currently sits at 77.0 this spring which would be the program’s fourth lowest spring average. If the season ended today, Puga would hold the school’s record for stroke average in a season at 75.48. Kate Hughes, arguably the best player in school history, holds the record of 75.51.
Senior Paige Bromen played in four tournaments during the fall schedule and finished with a stroke average of 76.9, the program’s 12th best spring average. Also, sophomores Michele Edlin and Mary Narzisi currently hold season averages of 78.56 and 78.76, respectively, which is just outside the school’s top 23 in season average. Edlin and Narzisi’s fall averages of 77.5 and 77.9 almost made the school’s list as well, falling percentage points away from Tai Kinney’s 2001 fall average of 77.41.
As a team, the Gophers have finished in the top 10 in eight of the team’s nine tournaments this season, five of which were also top-five finishes. Individually, Minnesota’s roster includes seven players that hold season averages under 80.
Minnesota worst finish of the season was a 16th place finish at the Las Vegas Invitational, however, the team’s 54-hole score of 885 is the lowest 54-hole tournament is program history.
Lady Buckeye Invitational: Minnesota will use the Lady Buckeye Invitational, hosted by Ohio State and played at OSU’s Scarlet Course, as a tuneup for next week’s Big Ten championships, thanks to eight other Big Ten teams that will be in attendance. The Scarlet Course is a par 72 course, listed at 6,228 yards.
The field will play 36 holes on Saturday, April 18 and 18 holes during Sunday’s final round. A 7:30 a.m. shotgun start in scheduled for both days. Live scoring will be available at www.golfstat.com.
The 15-team tournament field includes (Golfweek Ranking): Illinois (105), Indiana (60), Iowa (92), Kansas (78), Kansas State (115), Kent State (20), Michigan State (21), Minnesota (72), Nebraska (66), Northwestern (69), Ohio State (30), Penn State (118), Rollins (NR), Washington (43) and Wisconsin (75).
The Gophers: Minnesota’s lineup for the Lady Buckeye will include seniors Paige Bromen and Kelli Berns and sophomores Michele Edlin, Mary Narzisi and Teresa Puga.
Up Next: The aforementioned Big Ten Championships are scheduled for Apr. 24-26 in West Lafayette, Ind. The event, hosted by Purdue, will be played at Brick Boilermaker Golf Club. Minnesota finished in a tie for eighth place in last years event, the highest finish in three years.