Lobo Men's Golf Team Looks to Add to Fall Resume

Oct. 20, 2012

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- From strictly a golfing standpoint, the last thing the University of New Mexico men's golf team wanted was a break.

The Lobos won their own William H. Tucker Intercollegiate at the UNM Championship Course by a whopping 29 strokes on Sept. 28-29 and vaulted to No. 6 in the latest Golfweek.com/Sagarin rankings. They've been on the shelf since - until Sunday when they begin competing at the Isleworth College Invitational in Windermere, Fla.

UNM's gaudy new ranking will get another test, as 13 of the 15 teams in the field are in Golfweek.com/Sagarin's top 50, including No. 1 California, No. 2 and defending national champion Texas, No. 5 Florida and No. 8 and 2012 national runner-up Alabama. The field will play 18 holes Sunday-Tuesday.

Can the Lobos shake off the rust and continue its strong play?

"This long of a break was unusual," UNM coach Glen Millican said, "but we had a very busy start to the season. So it was nice - maybe a week longer than ideal, but it was good to get back into a practice routine and focus on school after a quick September."

Besides, it's not as if the Lobos haven't been on a golf course since their resounding victory in their home event. Sophomore and Tucker Intercollegiate individual medalist Gavin Green competed for his home country Malaysia in the World Amateur Team Championships from Oct. 4-7 in Antalya, Turkey, finishing tied for 19th with at 4 under par.

Green, who also finished tied for second at the PING Golfweek Preview on Sept. 23-25, is the No. 49 collegiate player in the country, according to Golfweek.com/Sagarin ratings. Green is the second Lobo to break the top 50, joining senior John Catlin, who was ranked among the top 50 in the preseason but is not currently on the list.

Still, Catlin finished third at the Tucker, shooting the final two rounds at 8 under par.

"His second and third rounds were awesome and should continue to reinforce to him what he is capable of doing each time he tees it up," Millican said of Catlin. "If he continues to play his own game, we could see more scores like that from him."

Senior James Erkenbeck, currently No. 66 in the Golfweek.com/Sagarin ratings and coming off a sixth-place Tucker result, sophomore Victor Perez and senior Benjamin Bauch round out the Lobo team that will try to make more noise on a national level this weekend.

Tee times are set for 6 a.m., each day and live scoring is available on golfstat.com.