WAYZATA, Minn. - Seniors Erik Knudsen and Marc Dobias each finished among the top 20 on Sunday to help the Lamar men's golf team to a fifth place finish after the first two rounds of the eighth annual Gopher Invitational from Spring Hill Golf Club.
Knudsen is tied for 12th in the 77-man field after carding rounds of 71 and 76 on the par-72, 7,020-yard Tom Fazio designed golf course. His 147 total (+3) leaves him 10 strokes off the lead heading into Monday's final round of the 54-hole tournament.
Dobias, who is playing in his first event for Lamar after transferring from VCU, is one stroke behind Knudsen in a tie for 18th after rounds of 71 and 77. California's Max Homa has a four stroke lead over teammate Brandon Hagy and New Mexico's Victor Perez for the tournament lead after firing rounds of 67-70=137 (-7).
California also has a comfortable 14 stroke lead heading into the final round. The Golden Bears opened with a blistering 14-under-par 274 before posting a 290 in the afternoon round for a 564 total (-12). SMU is second at 578 (+2), with Kent State (580), New Mexico (585) and Lamar (593) rounding out the top five.
This is the largest field in the event's history with 15 schools competing for the title. Arkansas is two strokes behind the Cardinals at 595, and tournament host Minnesota is in 12th place with a 619 total.
Sophomore sensation Luke Jerling is tied with LU teammate Stephane Dubois for 31st place. Jerling, who was the 2012 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, opened with a 76 and followed with a 75 for a 151 total (+7).
Dubois, who is beginning his first full season at Lamar after transferring from Wisconsin in January, opened with a solid 74 before an afternoon 77 left him at 151, as well.
Sophomore Gustaf Burenstam had Lamar's best afternoon round with a 1-over-par 73. Burenstam, who opened with a 79, is tied for 37th with a 152 total (+8). A native of Sweden, Burenstam is playing in just his seventh career tournament for the Cardinals.
Knudsen's day did not get off to the best start as he double bogeyed his first hole of the tournament. After a pair of pars, Knudsen would birdie the par-5 third hole and then got back to even with a birdie on the 10th. After giving one back on his 16th hole, Knudsen would birdie his final two holes to finish at 1-under-par.
Knudsen, who tied for 32nd at last year's Gopher Invitational, could not manage a birdie in his second round. He would post 14 pars and four bogeys on his way to a 76.
Dobias carded five birdies, four bogeys and nine pars in his opening round 71. Unlike Knudsen, Dobias was able to post four birdies in the afternoon round. However, he would also suffer three bogeys and three double bogeys en route to a 77.
The Cardinals will be grouped with Arkansas and New Mexico in Monday's final round with the action starting at 8:30 a.m.