In the second tournament of her college career, Gophers freshman golfer Mariana Mesones shot an 8-under 64, the lowest score in the history of the program.
As it turns out, she and her teammates were just getting warmed up.
Last weekend, just a week after setting that record, Mesones went even lower. She shot a final-round 8-under 62 at the Evie Odom Invitational in Virginia Beach, Va. All four of her teammates that day also went under par – including a 63 from fellow freshman Isabella McCauley that would have set a new program record if not for Mesones – as the Gophers shattered a team record while finishing 17-under on the day.
How does Mesones explain her back-to-back, record-breaking weekends?
"I had a really tough first tournament as a freshman," Mesones said on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast, noting that she carded a 77-77-82 and tied for 58th in her debut at the ANNIKA intercollegiate. "I want to thank my coaches that they never gave up on me. That helped me a lot to believe in myself and trust in my game and perform what I was working through since I was 4 years old. I think the two events have proven to myself what I can accomplish."
Mesones, a native of Peru, left her home country during high school to play at Saddlebrook Prep, a golf and tennis academy in Tampa, Fla. She came to Minnesota on a recruiting visit and immediately felt it was the right fit.
"We do everything together, we go shopping, talk about life," Mesones said of her teammates. "The coaches are wonderful, and we get along so well. We're like sisters, and I feel like every single day we push each other to get better – not just in golf but in life in general."
That said, she said made herself at home with record-breaking days in South Carolina and Virginia – on courses that reminded Mesones of the ones she used to play on in Peru. And even after a tough first tournament, she didn't lack confidence.
"I feel it since the moment I wake up," Mesones said. "I put on my favorite music and I said to myself today is going to be an awesome day and we're going to go out and kill it."
But how can she top what she's done in such a short time already? Do it for the whole tournament, she said.
"I've been getting second place the last two tournaments," Mesones said, "so I'm really pumped to get first place in the next one coming up."