'V' Is for Victor at Aggie Men's Golf Invitational

April 22, 2012

Team Leaderboard

Player Leaderboard

Team and Player Leaderboard

In Bryan, Texas, the freshman lived up to his name.

University of New Mexico freshman Victor Perez shot a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday to capture a four-stroke men's golf win Sunday at the Aggie Invitational. In a tournament featuring eight of the nation's top 50 collegiate players (as ranked by Golfweek.com), the 105th-ranked Perez carded a 3-under 213 (73-71-69) for the tournament to overtake runner-up and 26th-ranked Daniel Miernicki of Oregon.

The 16th-ranked University of New Mexico, however, settled for sixth in the 10-team event, finishing out of the top five for the first time this season. UNM had a streak of 11 consecutive tournaments with fifth-place results or higher but couldn't extend the streak through the last tourney of the regular season.

The Lobos, who did move up from eighth to sixth during the final 18 holes, shot an 8-over 368 - its best round of the event by 20 strokes, finished with a 68-over-par 1,148 (392-388-368). That was 39 strokes behind winner and No. 10 Oregon (376-376-357=1,109) and nine shots behind fifth-place and 27th-ranked Oklahoma State (393-376-370=1,139).

The tournament format required teams to enter six players in the competition, counting the top five scores in each round. All the other events the Lobos played consisted of five-player teams with the top four scores in each round counting.

Miernicki had a one-stroke lead over Perez and Oklahoma's Charlie Saxon heading into the final round of the 54-hole event at Traditions Golf Club.  Perez, a native of Semeac, France, birdied his second hole (he started on the back nine) to pull even with Miernicki and never relinquished the lead.

Miernicki shot a 2-over-74 and finished at 1-over 217 (73-70-74). Oregon's Eugene Wong and Texas' Toni Hakula tied for third at 2-over 218. Saxon shot a 5-over 77 to finish tied for seventh at 5-over 221.

Perez's victory was the 21st individual trophy during Millican's 11 years at the helm, and he is the 13th different Lobo to get a win under Millican's tutelage. Junior John Catlin won the Arizona Intercollegiate on Jan. 30-31.

Perez has finished in the top 20 for six consecutive tournaments, including four top-10 efforts. He had only two ninth-places finishes to show for his first six events as a Lobo.  

UNM junior James Erkenbeck finished tied for 11th at the Aggie Invitational, shooting an 8-over 224 (76-77-71).

The rest of the Lobos, however, struggled.

Catlin, ranked No. 25 in the nation, ended up in 53rd place with a 22-over 238 (80-80-78). Freshman Victor Green tied for 44th with a 19-over 235 (83-78-74). Senior Alex Estrada (80-82-80=242) tied for 58th at 26 over, and freshman Sean Romero was 64th in the 70-player field with a 31-over 247 (88-83-76).

Junior Benjamin Bauch, competing as an individual, tied for 54th at 23-over (82-83-74=239).

No. 1 Texas, playing without top-ranked Jordan Spieth, tied for second with host and 14th-ranked Texas A&M at 40-over 1,120. No. 32 Oklahoma was fourth with a 52-over 1,132.

New Mexico now has two weeks to prepare for the Mountain West Championships from May 4-6 in Tucson, Ariz.