Wind Gusts Blow Lobo Men's Golf Team Down to 5th
In Wayzata, Minn., the 18th-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team fought the elements as much as the Spring Hill Country Club golf course in Monday’s final round of The Gopher Invitational.
The Lobos shot a 22-over 310 on Monday and slipped one spot to a fifth-place finish among the 15 teams at the first event of the 2012-13season. UNM posted a 31-over 895 (304-281-310) and finished 33 strokes behind second-ranked and tournament winner California (274-290-298=862). The Golden Bears were the only team under par at 2 under.
Runner-up SMU was 14 strokes back at 876 after matching Cal’s final-round 298. Wind gusts of more than 40 miles per hour wreaked havoc on most of the scores during the day.
“The course played really hard today,” UNM coach Glen Millican said. “We played all right. I think the guys can play a lot better, but at the same time, there were a lot of positives we can take way from the tournament. We showed a lot of composure.”
The Lobos nearly caught Kent State, which finished one stroke ahead in fourth place. The Golden Flashes carded a 314 in the final round. Arkansas leap-frogged both with the day’s low round of 5-over 293 to finish third at 24-over 888.
UNM sophomore Victor Perez provided the biggest positive for Millican, tying for sixth place at 3-over. He posted scores of 73, 68 and 78. Perez finished six strokes behind the Flashes’ Corey Conner, who conquered the weather with a 4-under 68 in the final round to win with a 3-under 213.
California’s Max Homa and Michael Kim tied for second at 2-under apiece.
Lobo senior James Erkenbeck (78-69-76) captured 14th place at 7-over 223. Sophomore Sean Romero was the most consistent golfer in the event, finishing at 12 over (76-76-76=228) to tie for 22nd. Senior John Catlin was tied for 32nd at 14-over after posting two un-Catlin-like rounds in the 80s (81-69-80=230). Sophomore Gavin Green (77-75-80=232) tied for 41st among the 77 competitors at 16 over.
Millican was upbeat about UNM’s performance despite shooting more than 300 in two rounds.
“We liked what we saw out there,” he said. “It’s nice to have one under your belt, and now we have a starting point.”