Another Rally Leaves Lobo Golf Men With Runner-Up Finish
Oct. 30, 2012
In Dallas, Texas, the third-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team sent a message to the rest of college golf during its final event of the fall season with its final round at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate:
“We’ll be back.”
The Lobos, rated No. 3 in the nation in the latest Golfweek.com/Sagarin poll, shot a 9-under 275 for the low round Tuesday to finish tied for second place. UNM shot 290-281-275=846 to finish at 6 under par, four strokes behind champion and No. 16 Oklahoma State (281-278-283=842), which finished at 10 under.
UNM, which finished 11th among the 14 teams after Monday’s first round and was tied for seventh after all 36 holes were completed later in the day. On Tuesday, New Mexico managed to catch second-round leader Texas Tech, who had a 14-stroke lead on the Lobos going into the final 18 holes of the event at the Royal Oaks Country Club. The Red Raiders shot 288-269-289=846.
“It was an awesome round by our guys,” coach Glen Millican said. “We finished early (compared to the second round leaders), but we had a reason to hang around and watch the finish.”
The Cowboys’ lead dipped to three at one point, but they were able to preserve their lead at end of the 54 holes. Tournament co-host and No. 6 SMU finished fourth at 4-under (283-281-284=848) and Iowa was fifth (283-277-291=851, 1 under).
During UNM’s last three tournaments – the William H. Tucker Collegiate, the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational and the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, UNM has been every team but one during the final round. No. 4 Alabama’s 3-under 285 in the final round of the Isleworth beat the Lobos by one stroke.
“Finishing strong is always something we talk about,” Millican said, “but when you actually do it, it builds confidence. I would say there’s anything specific we’re doing differently, but the results certainly have been encouraging.”
Senior James Erkenbeck and sophomores Gavin Green and Victor Perez each shot a 3-under 68 on Tuesday to finish at 1-under 212 and tie for 16th place in the tournament. The trio finished six shots behind Oklahoma State’s Ian Davis and Iowa’s Ian Vandersee, who tied for the win at 7-under 206.
Seniors John Catlin and Benjamin Bauch both shot even-par 71s on Tuesday. Bauch tied for 21st at even-par 213, and Catlin was tied for 39th at 4-over 217 in the 80-player event. Sophomore Sean Romero, competing as an individual, finished at 6-over 219 after a final-round 72.
The Lobos have off until late January, when they compete in the Arizona Intercollegiate.
“Every guy has a couple of areas to work on,” Millican said. “We’re changing our program in the weight room a little bit, and we have to finish strong in school. But I’m really excited about what these guys have the potential to do in the spring.”