No. 3 Lobo Golf Men Cool Down But Maintain Lead
April 6, 2013
By Greg Archuleta
UNM Assistant Director of Communications
TEMPE, Ariz. – The third-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team wasn’t able to take advantage of the par-5s Saturday like it did during Friday’s first round, but it still led after two rounds of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational.
UNM cooled down during its second 18 holes at the ASU Karsten Course, posting a 2-over 286 for a two-day total of 6-under 562 for a two-stroke lead over the University of San Diego (289-275=564) and Oregon State (284-280=564).
Top-ranked California (284-282=566) made up four strokes on New Mexico on Saturday and is tied with San Diego State (281-285=566) and No. 33 UNLV (283-283=566) for fourth at 2 under par in the 18-team field.
The Lobos had seven birdies on the par-5s on Friday en route to an 8-under 276. Saturday, UNM was 2 under on the par-5s, and only senior James Erkenbeck broke par for the day.
Erkenbeck birdied No. 18 to finish at 1-under 70 to finish in a tie for 13th after 36 holes at 1 under for the tournament. Erkenbeck (71-70=141) and fellow senior Benjamin Bauch (69-72=141) are in a four-way tie for 13th place.
A double-bogey on No. 18 marred sophomore Victor Perez’s finish. Perez followed his first-round 66 with a 2-over 73 and is tied for sixth at 3-under 139, seven strokes behind Oregon State’s Nick Chianello (64-68=132), who’s at 10 under. He has a two-shot lead over Iowa State’s Scott Fernandez (69-65=134).
Sophomore Gavin Green had an up-and-down day. He had five birdies, but a triple-bogey on No. 13 helped draw him back to an even-par 71 for Saturday’s round. Green (72-71=143) is tied for 24th. Senior John Catlin also is tied for 24th after his 2-over in the second round followed a 1-under 70 Friday.
The Lobos still enter Sunday’s final round to earn back-to-back tournament victories for the first time since 2005. UNM won the Don Puckette National Invitational Tournament in March.
The Lobos, just one of two teams to beat California in a tournament (the Lobos won the Arizona Invitational in late January, and TCU finished second while the Bears were third), are trying to become the first team to finish ahead of Cal twice this season.
The Bears have finished first in eight of the nine previous events they’ve entered in 2012-13.