Men's Golf Storms Back to Take Gopher Lead
WAYZATA, Minn. – On the strength of an impressive team score of 7-under par 281 in Sunday’s second round, the 15th-ranked LSU men’s golf team catapulted itself to the top of the leaderboard following the first day of competition of the sixth-annual Gopher Invitational being held at Spring Hill Golf Club.
The Tigers, who opened the 2010-11 season with a 13-over 301 for a ninth-place finish following the first round on Sunday morning, blistered the par-72 layout with the lowest team score of the tournament to this point with a 7-under 281 in the afternoon to finish the day with a two-stroke lead at 6-over 582.
LSU will tee it up in Monday’s final round with a narrow two-stroke lead over Kent State while Charlotte and Arkansas follow in a tie for third place in the team standings with matching scores of 12-over 588.
The Tigers were the only squad to break par on the first day of competition as their 7-under par 281 was a total of 10 shots better than the 3-over 291 by Kent State in the first and Arkansas in the second rounds.
With its performance on Sunday afternoon, LSU has put itself in position for a second team championship at the Gopher Invitational in as many appearances as the squad opened the 2008-09 campaign by claiming the title in its first ever trip to Spring Hill Golf Club. The Tigers did not compete in the event in 2009.
Sophomore Sang Yi led LSU’s surge to the top of the leaderboard in the afternoon round as he followed a 2-over 74 in the opening round with a brilliant 4-under 68 in the second round to finish the day in a four-way tie for fourth place with a 36-hole score of 2-under 142. Yi led the Tigers to victory two years ago by tying for fifth place at the 2008 Gopher Invitational in his collegiate debut.
In addition to Yi’s performance a trio of LSU seniors fired matching scores of 1-under 71 in the afternoon to give the Tigers a chance to compete for the team championship on Monday.
University of New Orleans transfer Ken Looper enjoyed his first action in an LSU uniform with rounds of even-par 72 and 1-under 71 to finish the day in sole possession of eighth place at 1-under 143. All-American John Peterson and Clayton Rotz matched one another shot for shot on the afternoon with scores of 6-over 78 and 1-under 71 to finish the afternoon in a tie for 20th place on the leaderboard.
Junior Austin Gutgsell added rounds of 5-over 77 in the first round and 3-over 75 in the second round this afternoon to tie for 31st place overall with a 36-hole score of 8-over 152.
The Tigers will play alongside Kent State and Arkansas in Monday’s final round and will tee off from the front nine beginning at 8:50 a.m. CDT. Live scoring of the deciding round of the sixth-annual Gopher Invitational will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com.
GOPHER INVITATIONAL – SECOND ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 576)
1. LSU 301-281 – 582 +6; 2. Kent State 291-293 – 584 +8; T3. Arkansas 297-291 – 588 +12; T3. Charlotte 294-294 – 588 +12; 5. UNC-Greensboro 292-299 – 591 +15; 6. Minnesota 292-300 – 592 +16; 7. Lamar 300-294 – 594 +18; 8. Iowa 293-302 – 595 +19; 9. SMU 292-304 – 596 +20; 10. Wisconsin 304-308 – 612 +36; 11. Marquette 310-315 – 625 +49.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 144)
1. John Hahn, Kent State, 68-67 – 135 -9; 2. Kelly Kraft, SMU, 71-68 – 139 -5; 3. Sebastian Cappelen, Arkansas, 73-67 – 140 -4; T4. Sang Yi, LSU, 74-68 – 142 -2; T4. Donald Constable, Minnesota, 71-71 – 142 -2; T4. Paul Ferrier, Charlotte, 72-70 – 142 -2; T4. Kevin Hesbois, Lamar, 72-70 – 142 -2; 8. Ken Looper, LSU, 72-71 – 143 -1; T9. Chris Brant, Iowa, 69-75 – 144 E; T9. Colin Chapman, UNC-Greensboro, 73-71 – 144 E; 11. Stephane Du Bois, Wisconsin, 71-74 – 145 +1.