Lobos Golf Men Nearly Make It Back-to-Back
Oct. 23, 2012
All but one.
In Windermere, Fla., the No. 6 University of New Mexico men’s golf team lived up to its lofty national ranking Tuesday.
Led by senior James Erkenbeck’s 3-under 213, the Lobos captured runner-up honors at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, posting a 2-under 286 in the final round for a three-day total of 870 and 6 over par. The score was just two shots shy of tournament winner and top-ranked California.
The Bears (284-295-289=868), No. 1 in the Golfweek.com/Sagarin rankings, posted a 3-over 289 on the final 18 holes to hold off UNM (293-291-286=870) in the 15-team event that featured 13 top-50 teams and five top-10 programs. Eighth-ranked Alabama (296-292-285=873) finished third at 9 over par, followed by No. 2 and defending national champion Texas (288-295-296=879, 15 over) and 28th-ranked Illinois (291-291-300=882, 18 over).
UNM, which trailed the Bears by five strokes entering the final round, started Tuesday on fire at 5 under par midway through the round and actually had a two-stroke lead at that point. California, however, followed suit to reclaim the lead.
The Lobos fell back to par for the round and 8 over for the tournament over the next five holes and trailed by seven before making a closing charge. The Bears, still on the course after UNM had finished, watched their five-stroke lead dip to two but hung on for the win.
New Mexico had been looking for back-to-back tournament victories after winning the William H. Tucker Invitational by 29 strokes on Sept. 28-29 at the UNM Championship Course.
Erkenbeck (72-70-71=213) tied for runner-up honors individually, shooting a 1-under 71 on Tuesday and finishing one stroke behind medalist Michael Kim of California Kim shot a 1-over 73 Tuesday to finish at 4-under. Alabama’s Justin Thomas tied Erkenbeck for second place.
Sophomore and William H. Tucker Invitational champion Gavin Green posted his third top-10 finish of the 2012-13 season, grabbing ninth place at 3 over (73-73-73=219). Senior Benjamin Bauch (72-76-72=220) tied for 16th at 4 over, and sophomore Victor Perez came up big Tuesday with a 2-under 70 to finish in a tie for 21st (76-75-70=221) at 5 over.
Senior John Catlin tied for 37th with a 10-over par 226 (78-73-75).
The Lobos have a quick turnaround as they get ready for the Royal Oaks Invitational in Dallas, Texas on Oct. 29-30.