Pedersen and Warian Lead Gopher Men to Fourth-Place Finish at Gopher Invitational
September 12, 2022
By Nick Hunter
MAPLE PLAIN, Minn. – Carding its lowest 18-hole team score in three seasons Monday at Windsong Farm, the University of Minnesota men’s golf team climbed five spots on the final day to claim a fourth-place finish at the 2022 Gopher Invitational.
Led by junior Ben Warian, who posted a career-low 65 during the final round, the Gophers earned their best performance at their home tournament since a fourth-place finish in 2014.
“Our guys played great and it’s a testament to the team we have and what we’re excited about,” said Gopher head coach Justin Smith, who watched his team improve on a 12th-place finish a year ago. “We have a lot of guys who can get in there and shoot some good, productive rounds for us. I’m proud of the way they all battled, and they all contributed in their own way.
[Assistant coach Robert Bell] and I have been saying this is a competitive team. Coming off a tough season last year, as coaches we just keep putting the resources around them, putting them in the right spots on the right courses and let them go shine.”
A final-round team score of 277 Monday is the school’s best 18-hole tally since the Gophers fired a 274 during the second round of the 2019 Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala.
Playing in his first event with Minnesota this week, former Minnetonka High School graduate Jacob Pedersen fired a 1-over 72 during the first round on his home course early Sunday before tallying back-to-back rounds of 69 to place tied for 18th at 3-under 210.
“My first [Division I] tournament was a little nerve-wracking,” said Pedersen, who played four seasons at Gustavus Adolphus College prior to joining the Gophers this season. “At my home course makes it about as comfortable as possible. I was hitting it pretty slappy, honestly, but managed it really well. I made the right decisions at the right times.
“Team-wise, we’re in a pretty good spot. This is a solid start to the season—we came in expecting to play pretty well. We have a week off, so we get to groove some things and get off and running to a busy October.”
Warian, from Stillwater, Minn., bounced back from a double-bogey on his opening hole Monday by carding eight birdies over his final 16 holes to move up 36 spots on the leaderboard, finishing tied for 25th at 2-under 211.
Warian's 65 is the lowest round by a Gopher since both Angus Flanagan and Lincoln Johnson posted 65's during the 2018-19 season.
Playing as an individual this week, Gopher sophomore Eduardo Galdos, of Lima, Peru, followed his opening-round 68 Sunday with rounds of 71-70 to finish tied for 12th at 4-under 209.
Entering the final round three shots off the lead, Georgia Southern University rallied by carding a 9-under 275 to claim a five-stroke victory over the University of Kansas and Kent State University.
The Eagles got a boost from fifth-year senior Wilson Andress, who carded a 5-under 66 Monday to earn medalist honors with a two-stroke victory over Coastal Carolina University’s Garrett Cooper.
Andress opened with a 2-under 69 during Sunday’s morning session before bettering his score by two strokes during the afternoon round to sit tied for fifth with 18 holes to play. The Macon, Ga., native carded four birdies over his first 10 holes during the final round Monday, on his way to a 54-hole total of 11-under 202.
Georgia Southern also got help from recent U.S. Amateur runner-up, Ben Carr, who finished at 5-under 208 to place tied for 10th. Carr, from Columbus, Ga., fell to Sam Bennett in the finals at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., last month after defeating Minnesotan Derek Hitchner during the semifinal round.
Kansas got big contributions from a pair of Minnesotans this week in Cecil Belisle, who claimed the Minnesota Golf Association Players’ Championship at Burl Oaks Golf Club in June, and by former Minnetonka High School standout Gunnar Broin.
Belisle, who joined the Jayhawks after spending the past two seasons at South Mountain Community College where he earned back-to-back NJCAA National Championship individual titles, carded a final-round 67 Monday to finish tied for fourth in his first Division I event.
After spending his first two seasons playing golf at Colorado State University, Broin enters his first season with Kansas on a high note, qualifying for his second consecutive U.S. Amateur last month.
Broin posted an even par 71 to begin the championship early Sunday and would place tied for 12th at 4-under 209 following back-to-back rounds of 69.
The Gopher men return to action Sept. 25, competing at the Macdonald Cup at Yale Golf Course in New Haven, Conn.
THE 2022 GOPHER INVITATIONAL
MAPLE PLAIN, MINN.
7,293 YARDS, PAR 71
MONDAY’S FINAL TEAM RESULTS
1. Georgia Southern, 276-281-275—832
T2. Kansas, 280-280-277—837
T2. Kent State, 284-273-280—837
T4. Michigan State, 275-281-285—841
T4. MINNESOTA, 281-283-277—841
T6. Baylor, 288-272-282—842
T6. Furman, 283-276-283—842
8. Rutgers, 273-280-290—843
9. Notre Dame, 289-273-287—849
10. Yale, 279-287-284—850
T11. Toledo, 283-285-283—851
T11. Coastal Carolina, 287-281-283—851
13. Arkansas State, 282-286-284—852
14. West Virginia, 287-284-289—860
15. Iowa State, 286-288-291—865
MONDAY’S FINAL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
1. Wilson Andress, Georgia Southern, 69-67-66—202
2. Garrett Cooper, Coastal Carolina, 68-66-70—204
3. Will Morlan, Furman, 66-68-71—205
T4. CECIL BELISLE, KANSAS, 72-68-67—207
T4. Jordan Gilkison, Kent State, 72-68-67—207
T4. Gabriel Ruiz, Yale, 67-72-68—207
4. Davis Cooper, Kansas, 67-71-69—207
T4. Chris Vandette, Kent State, 71-66-70—207
T4. Rhett Sellers, Rutgers, 64-70-73—207
T10. Ben Carr, Georgia Southern, 67-69-72—208
T10. Xavier Marcoux, Rutgers, 64-70-74—208
T12. GUNNAR BROIN, KANSAS, 71-69-69—209
T12. EDUARDO GALDOS, MINNESOTA, 68-71-70—209 (individual)
T18. JACOB PEDERSEN, MINNESOTA, 72-69-69—210
T25. BEN WARIAN, MINNESOTA, 72-74-65—211
T29. NATE STEVENS, NOTRE DAME, 74-68-70—212
T33. ANTOINE SALE, MINNESOTA, 69-69-75—213
T39. HARRISON ARNOLD, MINNESOTA, 70-71-73—214
T44. JACK WETZEL, MINNESOTA, 70-75-70—215
T44. MASON ROLOFF, MINNESOTA, 72-70-73—215 (individual)
T49. BENNETT SWAVELY, MINNESOTA, 69-74-73—216 (individual)
T55. LINCOLN JOHNSON, MINNESOTA, 71-72-74—217 (individual)
T59. CONNOR GLYNN, MINNESOTA, 74-72-72—218 (individual)
81. CORMAC SHARPE, MINNESOTA, 80-75-83—238 (individual)
For complete tournament results go to: https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=25514