twThe University of Minnesota women's golf team shot a final round of 14-over-par 305 to finish in ninth place at the Big Ten Championships with a total of 1238 (+70). The finish is an improvement by two to where Minnesota placed a year ago. The team score of 1238 is the third lowest for a 72-hole event in Golden Gopher history.
"I am very excited about the way we played," Head Coach Katie Weiss said. "We increased our place by two from last year. We played better here than we did all year and I think we could have even placed a little bit better. We got so close. But, overall I'm very excited. I'm beginning to see the team really come together. We are capable of doing a lot. The sky is the limit for this team."
Ohio State, who led the event the entire time, took the title with a score of 1194 (+24) and a 29-stroke lead over second place Wisconsin. The third through 11th place teams were separated by only 11 strokes. The Big Ten Championships were held at the par 73, 6,053-yard Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, Iowa.
Sophomore Terra Petsinger (Arvilla, N.D./Larimore) finished the tournament with a final round of even-par 73 to cap a stellar performance for the Golden Gophers and take fourth place with a total score of 6-over-par 298. Petsinger's total score tied a Minnesota record for the second lowest 72-hole total in school history and her fourth place Big Ten finish is the highest for a Golden Gopher since Sara Evens tied for fourth in 1993.
"Terra is a phenomenal player," Weiss said. "She has a great work ethic and looks to compete every time she steps out on the course. She really has matured over the last year. Look for her to be a contender in every event next year."
Senior Karyn Stordahl (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) also finished the event with an impressive final round of 1-over 74 to tie for 11th place at 303 (+11). Stordahl's 303 is the fourth lowest four-round score in school history. Freshman Sarah Butler (Roseau, Minn./Roseau) placed 41st with a score of 318 (+26) after carding a round of 81 (+8). Senior Kirstin Whalen (Elk River, Minn./Elk River) finished 59th, while junior Katie Jacobson (Grand Forks, N.D./Montana) placed 60th with scores of 331 and 333, respectively. Freshman Jessica Thomas (Esko, Minn./Esko) continued to improve her play in the tournament firing a final round of 4-over 77, almost 20-strokes better than her opening round. Thomas finished 63rd with a total of 349 (+57).
The Big Ten Championships conclude the 2002-03 Minnesota women's golf season. In Weiss' first year as head coach for Minnesota, the Golden Gophers finished in the top-10 in eight of 10 tournaments with an average team score of 314.47 per round. Under Weiss' guidance the top two Minnesota golfers, Stordahl and Petsinger, finished the season with scoring averages that rank in the top-10 in school history. Stordahl is fourth with an average of 77.27, while Petsinger is sixth at 77.33.
Final Team Scores Big Ten Championships Par 73, 6,053-yard Finkbine Golf Course 1. Ohio State 302-303-295-294-1194 (+26) 2. Wisconsin 309-311-296-307-1223 (+55) 3. Northwestern 319-314-297-300-1230 (+62) 4. Purdue 312-317-305-298-1232 (+64) 5. Michigan State 307-318-299-310-1234 (+66) 6. Michigan 313-307-305-310-1235 (+67) 7. Illinois 309-315-300-312-1236 (+68) 8. Indiana 311-309-302-315-1237 (+69) 9. Minnesota 317-310-306-305-1238 (+70) 10. Iowa 323-310-301-305-1239 (+71) 11. Penn State 312-309-308-312-1241 (+73)
Golden Gopher Scores 4. Terra Petsinger 75-75-75-73-298 (+6) T11. Karyn Stordahl 77-77-75-74-303 (+11) 41. Sarah Butler 85-76-76-81-318 (+26) 59. Kirstin Whalen 85-84-80-82-331 (+39) 60. Katie Jacobson 80-82-86-85-333 (+41) 63. Jessica Thomas 96-91-85-77-349 (+57)