In Burlington, Iowa, the University of New Mexico men’s golf team got the start it wanted during the final round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge, but it lacked the finish to complete the charge.
The Lobos shot a 3-under 285 Tuesday but dropped a spot to finish fourth in the 15-team, 54-hole event at the Spirit Hollow Golf Course. Oklahoma won the tournament with a 7-under 857 (290-278-289) after a 1-over par final round.
Virginia Tech got an 8-under 64 from tournament co-champion Scott Vincent on Tuesday to post a 10-under 278 on the day and finished second at 3-under 861 (292-291-278). Houston finished third (289-292-285=866) at 2 over, and UNM (290-292-285=867) was next at 3 over.
“We played really well from start to finish today,” Lobos coach Glen Millican said. “We had cut seven strokes off Oklahoma’s lead at one put, but when you start from 14 strokes behind, it’s hard to make up all the ground.
“If we didn’t play the 15th hole yesterday the way we did (the team was 6 over on the hole Monday), we would’ve been in a position to put pressure on Oklahoma.”
Vincent and Bryce Chalkley (a 5-under 67 on Tuesday) combined to shoot 13 under for Virginia Tech on the day. That pushed the Hokies past the Lobos and Cougars for second.
Vincent (73-73-64=210) tied LSU’s Stewart Jolly (72-69-69) for the individual title.
UNM junior Gavin Green tied for seventh with a 2-under 214 (71-72-71), even though he made just one birdie putt during the final round. Sophomore Joe Abella tied for 21st with a 1-over 217 (75-72-70), and true freshman Andrej Bevins tied for 27th with a 3-over 219 (75-73-71).
“Both Joe and Andrej have been solid in both our events this season,” Millican said about his two first-season starters. Take away Joe’s last hole in the third round of our first event and the first few holes of the last round for Andrej, and those two have played nothing but good golf.”
Junior Sean Romero tied for 34th at 6-over 222 (74-75-73), and junior Victor Perez tied for 48th in the 75-player field with a 9-over 225 (70-80-75).
“This was a good tournament for us to build on going into the (UNM-hosted) William H. Tucker Intercollegiate,” Millican added, referring to the Lobos’ home tournament on Sept. 27-28. “Hopefully, playing in Minnesota and playing in Iowa will help us get ready for the next weekend. The first two courses we played on this season are similar, not exactly, but have similarities to our course.”