Lobos Place 3 on Men's Golf All-Conference Team

May 10, 2012

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- University of New Mexico juniors John Catlin and James Erkenbeck, and freshman Victor Perez on Thursday were named to the Mountain West All-Conference team in men's golf. It's the first time the Lobos had three players on the all-conference team since Tim Herron, now-assistant coach Brian Kortan and Tom Richardson all were All-Western Athletic Conference members in 1991, and only the third time in school history.

"It's great to see all three get recognized for the hard work they put in this year," UNM coach Glen Millican said. "They're a big part of the reason for the success we had this season. To get three in one year is quite an accomplishment."

The Lobos are ranked No. 16 in both the Golfweek.com/Sagarin and Golfstat.com polls. They have finished in the top five in 12 of the 13 tournaments they played in 2011-12, including one win at the Lone Star Invitational in San Antonio, Texas in October.

Catlin is the No. 50 player in the current Golfweek.com/Sagarin individual rankings. The junior from Carmichael, Calif., has eight top-10 finishes in 12 tournaments this year, including a win at the 76-player Arizona Intercollegiate, shooting a 10-under 213 from Jan. 30-31.

"It feels good to be named to the all-conference team," said Catlin, who also earned the honor as a freshman in 2010. "There are a lot of good players in our conference, so being on that list is awesome."

Junior James Erkenbeck wants to play even better than he's done so far this year, which has earned him All-MW honors.

Erkenbeck, a San Diego native ranked 65th, has six top-10s, including a runner-up finish at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate from Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at the UNM Championship Course. He also finished tied for fifth at the MW Championship last weekend in Tucson, Ariz.

"It's a nice honor, and it feels good to have that award, but to me it's not a satisfying achievement," Erkenbeck said, frankly. "I feel like I've played OK, but I certainly think I can play better."

Perez, from Semeac France, was just one of two freshmen named to the first team, along with TCU's Julien Brun, who also won MW Freshman of the Year. Perez was the MW Golfer of the Month for April, winning the Texas-A&M-hosted Aggie Invitational in Bryan, Texas on April 21-22. He was the only player under par, winning with a 3-under 213 for a four-stroke win over 13th-ranked Daniel Miernicki of Oregon.

Perez is ranked 86th with eight top-20 finishes, including six straight.

"It's a really special award for me," Perez said. "As I've said before, I didn't really expect to play much this year. To be one of two freshman on the team, I'm very proud to be recognized."

The Lobos are preparing for the NCAA Regional in Athens, Ga., where they will be the No. 3 seed in the 13-team field hosted by the University of Georgia. The top five finishers will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., at the end of the month.