Lobo Golf Men Leave Themselves With a Lot of Work Ahead

May 28, 2013

NCAA Championship First-Round Team Standings

NCAA Championship First-Round Individual Standings

NCAA Championship First-Round Team and Individual Standings

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Fortunately, the University of New Mexico men’s golf team has experience climbing back from a tough first day at an NCAA tournament event

Tuesday’s first day of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships left the fifth-ranked Lobos in a tie for 27th place with No. 19 Auburn among the 30 teams participating. UNM shot a 12-over 292 and trails first-round leader Arizona State by 22 strokes.

More importantly, the Lobos are 13 strokes out of eighth place, which is the spot they need to be after Thursday’s third round to qualify for match play to determine a national champion. Currently, No. 3 Texas and No. 11 Oklahoma State are tied for seventh at 1-under 279.

The 40th-ranked Sun Devils shot a 10-under 270, on the strength of Jon Rahm’s 9-under 61, and have a two-stroke lead over No. 8 and tournament host Georgia Tech at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course.

Sophomore Victor Perez is the top Lobo after the first round with a 2-over 72 and is tied for 66th place among the 156 competitors. Fellow sophomore Gavin Green and senior Benjamin Bauch are tied for 95th at 3-over 73. Golfers still were finishing their rounds Tuesday, which can affect the players' standing.

Senior John Catlin is tied for 113th at 4-over 74, and senior James Erkenbeck, UNM’s top player and winner of the NCAA Columbus Regional two weeks ago, is tied for 126th place after carding a 5-over 75.

The Lobos’ top four scores count toward their team score.

UNM was inconsistent on the back nine, which pushed the team down in the standings. The five players combined for six birdies, 11 bogeys and two double-bogeys. Catlin, who was having the Lobos’ best round for much of the day, shot bogeys on holes 15, 16 and 17 to fall off the pace.

Erkenbeck, Green and Bauch each had double-bogeys, which helped pushed their scores above par.

The Lobos will look to get back in the hunt Wednesday, with a 5:20 a.m. stat off the back nine. The Lobos again will play with Texas and No. 6 Washington, which is 10th place after a 1-over 281 on Tuesday.