Millican's Lobos Trail Mighty Texas By Six Shots Going Into Final 18 Holes

March 16, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Men's Golf - At Morris Williams Intercollegiate

Where: University of Texas Golf Club -- Austin, Texas
36-hole Top Three: 1. Texas 561. 2. Lobos 567. 3. Texas A&M 571
Who: New Mexico (20), Texas (1), College of Charleston, North Texas (44), St. John's, TCU (36), Texas A&M (14), UT Arlington, Utah, Sam Houston State, Texas Tech (43), Wake Forest (47)
GoLobos.com: Recap, Final scores

By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

Glen Millican's Lobos aren't exactly where they want to be (in the lead!) heading into Saturday's final round of the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. However, trailing No. 1 Texas on the Longhorns' home ground by only six strokes is nothing to break any clubs over.

Texas heads into the final 18 holes Saturday with a 36-hole card of 561 and the Lobos are breathing down the Longhorns' neck at 567. This is a battle.

"Anytime you are trying to catch somebody on their home course, it's a little bit harder," said Millican. "You combine that with the fact that Texas is a great team and playing well and maybe that makes it more difficult.

"But all six of our guys are playing well. If you are using Texas on their home course as a measuring stick for your play, then we are right there. All we can do is play as well as we can, but we can catch them. Anything can happen out there."

The Lobos got solid golf over 36 holes from James Erkenbeck 68-72--140, Gavin Green 73-67--140, Victor Perez 71-70--141, Sean Romero 73-73--146 and John Catlin 73-74--147 to form their 567 total. The top four scores on each round are used to formulate the team score.

The Longhorns beat the Lobos at each of the four spots, but not by much.

Jordan Spieth 70-69--139 and Julio Vegas 70-69--139 are the top two Texas golfers on the team card after 36 holes and Dylan Frittelli is a shot back at 70-70--140.

The team that might be kicking itself a bit is Texas A&M which holds down the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the individual leader board.

However, Aggie Geoff Shaw - the 36-hole leader at 65-71--136 -- is playing as an individual and his card does not count on the A&M team card. Aggie Cameron Peck is second on the leader board at 721-66--138, and is listed among the Aggies' five team players.

If A&M could count Shaw's care, the Aggies would have a team score of 560. Instead, Texas A&M has a 571 count - four shots behind UNM and 10 shots behind Texas.

The Longhorns made a similar mistake with their lineup. Longhorn Alex Moon went 71-68--139, but Moon also is playing as an individual as is teammate Cody Gribble, who went 71-69--140.

The top five golfers on the medalist board are from Texas A&M (1-2) and Texas (3-4-5). UNM's Erkenbeck is tied for sixth place along with teammate Gavin Green. Perez is only a shot back at 141, but is tied for 12th place.

TCU isn't far off the team pace at 573 and North Texas has a 576 team count.

Millican's lineup proved to be right on as individual Benjamin Bauch went 74-74--148 and his card would not have counted on either round.

Millican said he wanted his Lobos to be in position to win the tournament going into the final round and being six off Texas' pace isn't bad. But a six-shot Longhorn lead on their home ground also is a solid six strokes.

The final round tees off at 8:45 a.m. with a shotgun start on the University of Texas Golf Club.

The Lobos finished ninth in this tournament in 2011 and in 2010 set the 18-hole record round of 281 on the Texas Golf Club. Texas beat mark that Saturday with a 280 in their second round. UNM shot 285-282 on Saturday.

"It was a long day and this is a long course to walk," said Millican. "I was proud of the way the guys hung in there and posted a better score in the second round than in the first round.

"There are some other good teams out here playing well, too."

Texas has won four tournaments in the 2011-12 season and is the defending and 13-time champs at the Morris Williams.

The tourney is held annually in memory of former University of Texas golf star Morris Williams, Jr., who died in a plane crash while serving in the Air Force in 1953. An Austin native, Williams became the city's youngest junior champion at age 13 and dominated the local golf scene for the next several years.

He starred on the Longhorns' teams from 1947-50 and led Texas to Southwest Conference championships in 1947, 1948 and 1950. In his final year (1950), Williams was runner-up in the NCAA Championship as UT finished second in the team competition.

Former medalists at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate include such names as Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Brad Elder, Bob Estes, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson and Payne Stewart.