New Mexico Men's Golf Lands NCAA Championship Berth
Release courtesy of New Mexico Athletics
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The University of New Mexico men's golf team qualified for the NCAA Championships May 26-31, withstanding fierce winds en route to capturing fourth place at the West Lafayette NCAA Regional. The team finished at 16-over 880 (288-282-310), and were once again led by the stellar play of senior Andrej Bevins (71-68-74), who finished tied for first place with Illinois' Nick Hardy at 3-under 213.
This week, Bevins led the field in par-5 scoring, carrying an average 4.42 strokes, while also tying for the most eagles in the field and tallying the second-most birdies in the field (13). In addition, he also posted top-five averages in statistical averages such as par-3 scoring (3.17) and par-4 scoring (4.07).
This is Bevins' second collegiate victory. He was crowned champion of the 2015 installment of the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque.
Next up on the Lobos' list of finishers is Andre Garcia (71-69-80), who put together another solid performance today en route to his 12th-place finish, a position he shared with two other competitors. The statistical highlight of Garcia's week was his par-4 scoring average, which finished out at 3.97, trailing only Illinois' Hardy. He also tallied the second-most birdies in the field with 13.
Sean Carlon (75-72-76) just missed out on the tournament's top 20, eventually finished as part of a seven-way tie for 21st at 4-over 223. Carlon showcased his consistency throughout the week's difficult conditions, as evidenced by his 32 pars on the week, good for eighth most in the field.
Gustavo Morantes (71-78-84) struggled throughout the day's windy conditions, and eventually found himself in a four-way tie for 63rd at 17-over 233.
Benjamin Tolsma (83-73-80) recorded the most consistent nine-hole sequence opening the day. However, he stumbled coming home and relinquished a handful of positions on the leaderboard. At day's end he found himself in a three-way tie for 72nd at 20-over 236.
Helping propel UNM to its first NCAA Championship birth since 2013 was the team's statistical dominance. The team led the field in total birdies with 47, and recorded the second-lowest par-4 team scoring average in the West Lafayette Regional field.
UNM head coach Glen Millican adds to his record of unprecedented success at the helm of the UNM men's golf program. This week's performance earned him his seventh NCAA Championship appearance, and his third NCAA Regional championship, adding to titles in 2002 and 2013.
Under Millican, the Lobos have twice recorded a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, accomplishing that in 2005 and 2013.
The four-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, and three-time Region Coach of the Year now has 31 team tournament titles to his name.
Action at the NCAA Championships will begin next Friday, May 26, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The 30 qualifying teams and 156 total players will play 54 holes, before the top 15 teams play a fourth round on Memorial Day. From there, the top eight teams advance to match play before the national championship match on Wednesday, May 31.