University of Minnesota juniors Teresa Puga (A Coruña, Spain) and Samantha Sommers (St. Cloud, Minn.) each qualified for the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship after rounds of 72 and 73, respectively, during a local qualifier on June 3 at Keller Golf Course in St. Paul.
The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship will take place July 12-17 at Warren Golf Club in South Bend, Ind. The tournament, open to amateur golfers who are bona fide public course players and hold a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 8.4, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are solely for amateurs.
Puga continues to prove that she is one of the best, if not the best, player to ever tee-it-up for the Maroon & Gold. She already holds the best career stroke average mark in the history of the program at 76.01 along with the program's finest fall (74.07 - 2008), spring (74.64 - 2010) and season (74.97 - 2009-10) averages.
Puga collected nine top-20 and seven top-seven finishes in 12 tournaments this season, including a tie for 12th place finish at the NCAA West Regional. It was Puga's first NCAA appearance and the first for a Gopher player since the 2000-01 team qualified for regional play.
Sommers put together her finest season as a Gopher in 2009-10, as she finished with a career-low stroke average of 76.09, also the program's third lowest single-season average. She flourished during the spring, finishing with the program's third-lowest spring average at 75.81, and also established the program's lowest 72-hole scorecard with 294 (73-73-74-74) at the 2010 Big Ten Championships.
Sommers collected three top-10 finishes on the season, including a career-best fifth place finish at Big Ten's. She will begin her senior campaign with a career stroke average of 78.45, currently the sixth lowest in the history of the program.
The Gophers established many records in 2009-10. Statistically, Minnesota averaged a combined score of 303.8 on the season for a stroke average of 75.95, bettering last season's averages of 311.4 and 77.85, respectively, for the lowest season averages in school history. Prior to last season, the previous low was established by the 1987-88 team with a season average 77.97.
As a team, the Gophers finished in the top 10 in nine of the team's 10 regular season tournaments, five of which were also top-five finishes. Also, the Gophers established five of the program's top 10 54-hole scores this season, including a season-low 893 in the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate Feb. 21-23 and shot a program-best 72-hole score of 1,208 at the 2010 Big Ten Championships. The team also added seven of the lowest 18-hole rounds in the history of the program, including a season-low round of 289 in April at the Indiana Invitational.