wom Tai Kinney (Medford, Ore./North Medford) was named the Minnesota women's golf team's most valuable player, highlighting the team awards announced at a recent team postseason banquet.
Kinney completed her rookie season with the Golden Gophers with a 78.28 stroke average, the best average in school history for a first-year player and the 14th best overall. She was one of three Gophers to play in all 10 tournaments during the 2001-02 season and paced the team with two top 5 finishes. Her best performance was a fourth-place showing at the Duck Invitational in March. Kinney ended her rookie season by topping the Gophers at the Big Ten Championships with a 24th place finish.
Junior Kirstin Whalen (Elk River, Minn./Elk River) was honored as the team's most improved golfer. Whalen secured a position on the traveling squad and competed in seven tournaments this season. She sliced over two strokes from her career stroke average to finish the 2001-02 campaign with a stroke average of 80.24, the third lowest on the team.
Rookie Terra Petsinger (Arvilla, N.D./Larimore) captured the squad's hardest worker award. Petsinger, a walk-on, worked her way on to the Gophers' traveling team and played in seven tournaments with an 81.65 stroke average.
Minnesota completed the 2001-02 season with three top 5 tournament finishes as a team, including winning the Lady Razorback Invitation in Arkansas last fall. The Gophers placed in the top 10 in eight of their 10 tournaments this season. Minnesota ended its season with an 11th place finish at the Big Ten Championships.