Lobo Golf Men Suffer Tough 2nd Day in Hawai'i
Feb. 21, 2013
In Kahuku, Hawai’i, conditions – and not just the weather – got the better of the fourth-ranked University of New Mexico golf team at the same time that No. 1 California flexed its muscle.
The Lobos shot a 15-over 303 during Thursday’s second round of the John Burns Intercollegiate – their highest score since their season-opening tournament in September – and fell from second to fourth place, 24 strokes behind the front-running Bears on the Arnold Palmer Course at the Turtle Bay Resort.
Two Lobos fell victim to a bizarre occurrence on the 12th hole that disqualified senior Benjamin Bauch’s second-round score and cost sophomore Victor Perez a three-stroke penalty.
UNM coach Glen Millican said that a patch of grass on the 12th hole had a series of stakes on it (apparently placed there by maintenance workers) that several golfers mistakenly thought indicated a hazard.
Both Perez and Bauch hit their balls into that faux hazard. Bauch couldn’t find his ball and took an illegal drop, causing his disqualification for the round. Perez found his ball and picked it up – resulting in a one stroke penalty, and took a drop of the illegally touched ball, which was a two-stroke penalty.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard of something like that happening,” said Millican, now in his 12th year as UNM coach. “We’ll have to use that as a learning experience.”
The three-stroke penalty turned UNM’s second-round 300 into a 303, dropping UNM (287-303=590) into fourth place, one shot behind 25th-ranked Texas A&M at the 16-team event.
“The winds were about 40 miles per hour, and the course was a lot more difficult to play than yesterday,” Millican said. “And we didn’t play our best golf today, either.”
California was the only team to shoot under par Thursday, posting a 6-under 282. The Bears are at 10 under par (284-282=566) and lead second place Brigham Young (292-290=582) by 16 strokes.
“They’re a great team, and they played great today when just about everyone else struggled,” Millican said. “That’s what great teams do.”
Lobo sophomore Gavin Green, who was second after Wednesday’s first round of 68, shot a 4-over 76 and is tied for sixth place at even-par 144. He is seven strokes behind Cal’s Joel Stalter (67-70=137).
Senior John Catlin had the low round for the Lobos with a 2-over 74. He is tied for ninth at 3-over (73-74=147) after 36 holes. Senior James Erkenbeck is tied for 18 at 5-over 149 (73-76). Perez’s penalty gave him a 5-over 77 on Thursday, and he’s in 44th place with an 8-over 152 (75-77).
Sophomore Sean Romero, competing as an individual, also is tied for 44th at 152 (78-74). Bauch, disqualified from individual play, will be allowed to play Friday’s third round as part of the team score.
“Our guys are better than what they shot today,” Millican said. “Certainly, they’re disappointed but not down. Hopefully, today’s round gives them a little extra fire when they come out tomorrow and try to finish on a positive note.”
Friday’s round will be a shotgun start schedule to start at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time (7:30 HT).