NCAA COLUMBUS REGIONAL CHAMPIONS!
May 18, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The ghosts of NCAA regionals past are gone.
Senior James Erkenbeck and the University of New Mexico men's golf team erased them by winning the NCAA Columbus Regional at The Ohio State Universtiy Golf Club on Saturday.
The fifth-ranked and top-seeded Lobos, who started the day tied for fifth, was the only team to shoot under part in the final round (1-under 283), and they finished at 18-over 870 for the three-day, 54-hole event to defeat No. 19 Auburn and No. 23 Stanford by two strokes for the championship.
It's UNM's first NCAA regional championship since 2002, and more importantly, it vaulted the Lobos into the NCAA Championship in Alpharetta, Ga., beginning May 28. The top five finishers from each of the NCAA's six regional tournaments advance to the championship.
The Lobos missed out by one stroke in 2009 and 2012, finishing one stroke back in sixth place. Erkenbeck played on both UNM teams.
Erkenbeck, who started the day fourth at even-par 142, put together a bogey-free, 3-under 68 to finish at 3-under 210 and capture the individual title by four strokes over Auburn's Dominic Bozzelli, Virginia's Denny McCarthy and South Carolina's Matthew NeSmith.