Oct. 27, 2009
DALLAS - When the sun finally came out at the Royal Oaks Country Club after two days of steady, sometimes violent rainstorms, the University of New Mexico men's golf team found a way to put the finishing touches on a top-5 finish at the Baylor Intercollegiate.
The Lobos closed the three-round event with a final-round, 2-under-par 282 - their second-best team score of the fall season. New Mexico finished with a 14-over-par 866 total score to close the Invitational, leaving them in a tie for fourth place with host Baylor and one stroke behind third-place Iowa.
Individually, the Lobos' James Erkenbeck also closed strong, shooting back-to-back 1-under 70s in his final two rounds to finish with an even-par 213, good enough to tie for eighth place with Texas' Dylan Frittelli. Erkenbeck wrapped up his fall season with three-straight top-10 finishes.
Erkenbeck is one of four Lobos to finish in the top 25. John Catlin (69-75-73) and Travis Ross (74-75-68) tied for 18th place at 4-over. Nick Geyer closed by carding a 6-over, 75-73-71=219. Sam Chavez tied for 61st with a 22-over 75-83-77=235, and Ryan Smith finished in 65th with a 25-over 78-81-79=238.
The Lobos' 14-over team finish is an 18-stroke improvement over last year's 32-over, sixth-place finish at the inaugural Baylor event. New Mexico also finished nine strokes ahead of Texas, ranked No. 8 nationally in Golfweek's Men's Collegiate Team Rankings, as well as No. 48 Arkansas and No. 60 (and fellow Mountain West Conference member) No. 61 BYU.
The fourth-place finish is New Mexico's second top-5 finish of the fall season and comes as the Lobos wrap up their fall season schedule. New Mexico's next tournament takes place next year - Feb. 1-2 at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson, Ariz.
Texas A&M repeated as team champion at the Baylor. The Aggies posted a 4-under 848 to capture the team title, followed by SMU three strokes back with a 1-under 851.
SMU's James Kwon also repeated as champion, defending his medalist performance at the 2008 Baylor by carding a 6-under 207. Arkansas' David Lingmerth and A&M's Cameron Peck tied for second place with 4-under 209s.