The Golden Gophers travel to East Lansing, Mich., for the Big Ten Championships at the Forest Akers West Golf Club. The Gophers are looking to improve on their 11th-place finish of a year ago with one of the youngest lineups in the country. Minnesota will be playing with two true freshmen, one sophomore, two juniors and only one senior. Leading the Maroon and Gold into the Championships is junior Kelli Berns. Berns has worked diligently on improving her game all season and is now the teams’ stroke average leader. Coming into the season, Berns’ owned an 82.7 stroke average. In the past two tournaments, her stroke average is 78.2, and in the spring season, her stroke average is 78.6. Another player who has made great gains in her game is sophomore Young Na Lee. Lee fired a career low 72 at the Indiana Invitational just two weeks ago. In the third spot is junior Emily Brand. Brand has fond memories of last year’s Big Ten Championships when she opened with a career best 73 en route to a tie for 38th. Freshman occupy the next two spots in the lineup. Christine Herzog has been steady all year in her inaugural campaign with seven sub-80 rounds. And Leslie Grabeman has come on in the spring to make an impact with a tie for 21st at the Rio Verde Invitational in March. Minnesota’s only senior Samantha Braschler rounds out the lineup in the sixth spot. Braschler is very familiar with the Forest Akers West layout playing the first two seasons of her collegiate career with the Spartans.Last Time Out
University of Minnesota women's golfer Kelli Berns shot a final round 74 and tied for ninth at the Indiana Invitational in Indianapolis, Ind. It was a career-best finish for the junior from South Haven, Minn., and the 74 ties a career-low round. Berns shot rounds of 77-74=151 (+7) in the weather-shortened event to finish seven shots behind tournament winner Seul Ki Park of Illinois.
Minnesota carded a second round 310 and finished 11th with a two-round total of 626, 23 shots behind team champion Michigan. Berns was the highest Gopher finisher, but she didn't fire the best round of the day for the Maroon and Gold. Sophomore Young Na Lee carded an even par 72, a career low, and moved up 40 spots to finish in a tie for 30th at 11-over 155. Sophomore Anne Martin dropped into a tie for 46th after an 83 Tuesday finishing at 14-over-par 158. Freshman Christine Herzog and sophomore Sydney Liles tied for 77th at 21-over-par 165.
Minnesota next event is the Big Ten Championships April 27-29 in East Lansing, Mich.Big Ten Tournament History
The Golden Gophers have won one Big Ten team title in 1989 and two individual crowns, both by Kate Hughes in 1988 and ’89. Minnesota finished 11th in last year’s Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich. The top Gopher finisher was Suvi Mantyiemi who tied for 26th.