Lobo Men's Golf Team Climbs to 4th in Minnesota
In Wayzata, Minn., the 18th-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team came into the 2012-13 season talking about wanting to finish better, but they almost forgot about the way they wanted to start.
UNM found itself uncharacteristically tied for ninth place among the 15 teams competing in Sunday’s first round of The Gopher Invitational with a 16-over 304. But the battle-tested Lobos battled back in the second 18 holes to finish in fourth place at 9-over par.
New Mexico’s 36-hole total of 585 still is 21 strokes behind leader and second-ranked California (274-290=564). UNM’s 7-under 281 in the second round, however, cut nine strokes off their opening-round deficit to the Bears.
“We didn’t play very well this morning, obviously,” Lobo coach Glen Millican said. “We’re going to play at lot of rounds of golf over the course of the season, and you’re crazy if you think we’re going to play them all well. But we did a great job coming back with a solid round in the afternoon.”
SMU, which was UNM’s playing partner in the afternoon round, shot a 13-under 275 for a 36-hole total 578. No. 13 Kent State is third at 4-over 580 (297-283).
Lobo sophomore Victor Perez is the primary reason for UNM’s comeback. He shot a 4-under 68 in the second round and is tied for second in the individual competition at 3-under 141. He is tied with California’s Brandon Hagy; both trail Hagy’s teammate, Max Homa by four strokes. Homa followed an opening-round 67 with a 2-under 70 in the afternoon.
New Mexico seniors James Erkenbeck and John Catlin both bounced back from subpar opening rounds to fire 3-under 69s in the second round. Erkenbeck (78-69=147) is tied for 12th at 3 over. Catlin (80-69=149) is tied for 22nd at 5 over.
The competition resumes at 7:30 a.m. MT with a shotgun start.