In Windermere, Fla., the University of New Mexico men’s golf team shaved four strokes off its first-round total Monday during the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational.
The improvement earned a team position advancement of only one spot.
Junior Gavin Green shot a 2-under 70 during the second round to lead UNM to a 5-over 293 on the day; the Lobos’ two-round total of 14-over 590 left them in 13th place in the 15-team tournament. They trail defending national champion and top-ranked Alabama (280-272=552, 24 under) by 38 strokes.
No. 16 and tournament co-host UCF is second at 13-under 563 (282-281), followed by third-ranked California (584-586=570) at 6 under at the Isleworth Golf and Country Club.
The Lobos were sitting at 5-under par through the first nine holes Monday but struggled on the back nine to move back over par.
“We played better than yesterday,” UNM coach Glen Millican said. “We got off to a great start. A couple of guys just didn’t hold their rounds on the back nine the way that we needed.”
In terms of scores, the Lobos’ first and second rounds were similar. They played better on the front nine than on the back nine. The difference was that UNM started on hole No. 1 on Sunday and on hole No. 10 on Monday.
The team score through its first nine holes Monday was a 5-under.
Millican chalked up the disparity to growing pains among his new players in the lineup: sophomore Dylan Healey and true freshman Andrej Bevins.
“No question about it,” Millican said. “You can talk about finishing, emphasize it, but ultimately it is experience that helps improve it. It just takes a while. It’s similar to what we went through a couple of years ago when Gavin and Victor (fellow junior Perez) were freshman. We’ll get better at it.”
Green, who struggled to a 5-over 77 in the first round, moved up from a tie for 60th after Monday’s round to a tie for 39th in the 75-player field with a 3-over 147 total.
“Gavin hit the ball better and didn’t make many mistakes,” Millican said.
Perez remains the top Lobo at even-par 144 after shooting a 2-over 74 on Monday.
He is tied for 19th place, 10 strokes behind individual leader Trey Mullinax of Alabama. Mullinax is at 10-under 134 (66-68) and leads teammate Bobby Wyatt by two strokes.
Junior Sam Saunders shot UNM’s second-best round Monday, a 1-over 73 that gave him a two-day total of 153 (80-73) and a tie for 64th place at 9 over.
“A 73 in a good score on this course, no matter how you do it,” Millican said of Saunders’ round, which included four birdies and five bogeys.
Sophomore Dylan Healey shot a 4-over 76 for the second straight round and is tied for 59th at 8-over 152. True freshman Andrej Bevins struggled on the back nine for the second straight round and finished with a 5-over 77 to go along with his first-round 74. He is tied for 55th at 7-over 151.
“This tournament is reminiscent of tournaments we’ll play in the spring and at the end of the season,” Millican said. “Like I said yesterday, if you don’t play particularly well, you get exposed more on a course like this and against the field competing here. We’ve got a chance to tomorrow to move up the leaderboard if we shoot a good number.
“Tomorrow, we just have to match our first nine holes that were on the front nine on Monday with our first nine holes, which we started on the back nine, today.
UNM will tee off at 7:15 a.m., during Tuesday’s final round.