A bad tee shot was never an option for Runar Arnorsson growing up in Iceland. A slice or mishit meant his ball was lying in a black mass of rock, otherwise known as cooled lava to the locals.

"You gotta hit the fairway," Arnorsson said. "Lava is just rock. If you hit it, it can come back right at you or bounce in the fairway or bounce out of bounds. You can't really compare it [to any other hazard].

"Those conditions get you prepared."

The 23-year-old sophomore is prepared for another strong season, which begins Sunday with the Gopher Invitational at Windsong Farm in Independence. Last season he played in all 11 tournaments and had a 74.78 stroke average.

The plush green courses throughout the Big Ten present different challenges for Arnorsson, but he always reminds himself: "Well, I've had a worse lie than this."

Arnorsson returned to Minnesota early this summer to work on his short game. He's also spending extra time studying.

"I spend a lot of time studying at Bierman [athletics building]. I have to keep balance in my life, and one of the things is I have to feel good while playing, so it's important knowing everything is going well in school."