Scoreboard Strategy

So we all agree? No looking at the scoreboards?” At the 2002 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, we were committed to our own games. There was no need to get caught up in what other teams were doing. Less than a month earlier, our team had won the Big Ten championship for the first time in 30 years. It was the same there: no scoreboard watching. 

The NCAA had done a great job of placing small magnetic scoreboards around the course. This was no PGA event with giant electronic displays daring you not to look. And to the Gophers—a team given a death sentence due to financial issues—the scoreboards didn’t exist.

With one round to play, we were six shots behind the leader Georgia Tech. But by the turn, we had a two shot lead and the Gophers were starting to pull away. With a scoreboard looming to the right of the 15th green, Junior Wilhelm Schauman overcame his temptation to look, and sunk a putt for par. While walking to the next tee, his playing partner from Toledo asked in a thick Irish accent, “Did you see the scores? You bastards are winning!” 

Despite the unwanted update, Wilhelm finished strong. We won the first NCAA title in school history and, in storybook fashion, saved the program. 


—Andrew Tank, University of Minnesota associate head men's golf coach and captain of the 2002 NCAA team