New Mexico Wins 2013 Mountain West Men's Golf Championship
May 5, 2013
New Mexico had a five-stroke lead over UNLV after windy conditions in first round of the tournament kept scores above average. The Lobos were the only team during the opening 18 holes to shoot under par at 2-under 282. In the second round, two-time defending champion San Diego State took advantage of calmer, yet hot weather conditions, and posted a 9-under 275 to move from third to a tie for first place with New Mexico at 5-under 563. The winds returned for the final round, with gusts up to 20 miles per hour, but once again the Lobos weren't phased and pulled away from the field to capture the team title by eight strokes with a final score of eight-under 844. It marked the first team title for New Mexico since 2006.
While the Lobos claimed the team title, UNLV senior Kevin Penner held off a late surge by New Mexico senior James Erkenbeck to earn the individual crown by one stroke. Erkenbeck recorded six pars and one bogey through the first seven holes of the third round. He finished the day with seven birdies and four pars on the final 11 holes for a six-under 65, the lowest score of the tournament. Overall, Erkenbeck posted a 54-hole tournament score of six-under 207.
Penner started the day in a three-way tie for first place and held serve throughout the third round. Heading into the final two holes, the senior was tied at 6-under with UNM's Erkenbeck. On the 17th hole (par 3, 186-yards), Penner landed his tee shot approximately 15 feet away from the cup and nailed the proceeding putt, posting his seventh birdie of the day. Penner hit safely off the 18th tee, but his second shot found trouble as it landed in the bunker on the left-front of the green. Lying two, Penner hit a perfect sand wedge out of the trap and nearly holed out, hitting the pin and setting up a tap-in for the one-shot victory and a tournament total of seven-under 206.
New Mexico sophomore Gavin Green came in third place with a 4-under 209. He was the only player in the tournament to shoot under par all three rounds.
San Diego State and UNLV tied for second with identical scores of even-par 852. Air Force came in fourth with a three-day total of 23-over 875, its best finish in MW Men's Golf Championship history. Colorado State placed fifth (876) and Fresno State finished sixth (882). Boise State and Wyoming tied for seventh (897) and Nevada placed ninth (918).