Lobos' Seventh-Place Finish Is Solid Effort at Golfweek Preview

Sept. 25, 2012

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In Alpharetta, Ga., a seventh-place finish by the 18th-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team might not be considered a strong performance in any other tournament.

Fortunately for the Lobos, the Golfweek Preview isn’t just any other tournament.

UNM shot a 6-over 286 in Tuesday’s final round at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course to finish at 17-over (287-284-286=857), 12 strokes behind co-champions No. 2 California and No. 4 and tournament host Georgia Tech.

Both finished at 5-over 845 after shooting 4-under 276s on the final 18 holes.

The event featured the nation’s top seven teams, according to Golfweek.com’s preseason poll, and 14 ranked teams total in the 15-team event.

“We saw some good stuff out there during the past three days,” Lobo coach Glen Millican said. “This was a great experience for our team to play alongside some of the best teams in the country. This was a very good tournament for us.”

No. 3 Texas and No. 15 UNLV tied for third at 13-over; No. 5 UCLA and No. 6 Washington tied for fifth, one shot behind the third-place finishers.

Finishing behind the Lobos were No. 17 Georgia (eighth at 19-over 859), No. 1 Alabama and Mountain West member San Diego State (ninth at 21-over 861), No. 7 Arkansas and No. 13 Kent State (tied for 11th at 29-over 869), No. 9 Texas (13th at 30-over 870), No. 16 Florida State (14th at 33-over 873) and No. 24 Chattanooga (15th, 54-over 894).

Sophomore Gavin Green turned in his best performance as a Lobo, finishing tied for second place in the 75-player field at even-par 210 after a 2-over 72 in the final round. Green shot 71-67 during the first two rounds.

He finished in a six-way tie for second, two strokes behind medalist Tom Berry of San Diego State. Berry shot a 2-over 72 in the final round to win the event with a 2-under 208.

“I think he’s pretty happy about that; we’re all pretty happy about that,” Millican said of Green, a native of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor in Malaysia. “He had a great chance to have a great finish, and he stepped up to the challenge.”

James Erkenbeck shot a 1-under 69, which was one stroke off Tuesday’s low-round score. The senior finished at 6-over 216 (73-74-69) for a 30th-place tie. Sophomore Victor Perez tied for 35th with a 217 (74-73-70) and senior John Catlin finished at 8-over 218 (73-70-75) to tie for 39th place.

Sophomore Sean Romero tied for 71st with a 17-over 227 (70-79-78).

“Each one of our players had at least one good solid round, which is good to see,” Millican said. “(Monday) it was Gavin and John. Sunday it was Sean and today, James and Victor stepped up. They’re all capable of low rounds.”

UNM has a quick turnaround before its next tournament. The Lobos play host to the 58th annual William H. Tucker Intercollege on Friday-Saturday at the UNM Championship Course.

“Logistically, you’d ideally like to have a couple of days to get back and relax,” Millican said. “From a golfing standpoint, this was good preparation for us because this course had fast, undulated greens, which is similar to our course at home. We also have a couple of kids who need to catch up on school work.”