May 22, 2010
BREMERTON, Wash. --- The University of New Mexico men's golf team saved its best golf for the final day of competition at the 2010 NCAA West Regional at the Gold Mountain Golf Club, carding an even-par 288 Saturday afternoon. The Lobos finish the regional with a 24-over 309-291-288=888, 11 strokes out of fifth place and an invitation to the NCAA Championship tournament. Instead, New Mexico completes its 2009-10 season with a tie for 10th place with Southern Methodist.
In the end, the Lobos could never overcome their opening-round 21-over 309. New Mexico rebounded with a 3-over 291 on Friday and even-par 288 Saturday, but, as it turned out, its fate was sealed on the tournament's opening day.
The Lobos did close to within nine strokes of fifth place at different times throughout Saturday, but never could get any closer.
"We did alright today," head coach Glen Millican said. "We had a chance for a great one today, but just didn't capitalize in some areas. But, we shot even par to finish the final round, so today's round was better. It was a decent round for us today."
Senior Nick Geyer closed his collegiate career by carding only the second under-par round of the tournament for the Lobos. The Malibu, Calif., native posted a 1-under 71 Saturday, finishing with a 3-over 76-72-71=219. Geyer tied USC's T.J. Vogel and Martin Trainer for 21st place.
"Minus kind of a sloppy first round, the last two were kind of good," Geyer said. "Although the scoring conditions get better as the week wore on, 72-71 is still pretty respectable. (Thursday's) 76 left something to be desired.
"If I could do anything over, I wouldn't finish," Geyer said. "This was my last college round, so I'd keep playing. It's bittersweet. Bogies and birdies are part of golf. I'd love to say I'd shoot five shots lower each round, but that's not what I did this week. I had 3-over par for three days. It was my last college round and it was a great way to go out."
Lobo junior Travis Ross finished in a seven-way tie for 29th with a 5-over 76-73-72=221. Freshman John Catlin finished tied for 43rd with an 8-over 78-72-74=224, while sophomore James Erkenbeck finished two strokes back with a 10-over 81-74-71=226. Junior Tom Carlson finished in 71st with a 19-over 79-79-77=237.
The five teams that qualified for the NCAA Championship Tournament are Washington, Southern California, San Diego, Oregon State and Illinois. The host Huskies ran away with the tournament, finishing with a 20-under 286-283-275=844. Washington shot a 13-under 275 to eliminate any doubt as to who would win the region.
USC finished with a 9-over 297-289-287=873, with the Toreros one shot back in third with a 10-over 294-292-288=874. The Beavers carded a 12-over 291-296-289=876 to secure fourth, while the Illini locked up the final invitation to the NCAA championship with a 13-over 293-292-292=877.
Individually, the Huskies took the top three spots. Richard Lee won medalist honors with his 8-under 72-68-68=208. Teammate Chris Williams rode the momentum of a 7-under 65 Saturday that included hole-in-one on the eighth hole. Fellow Husky Darren Wallace tied Denver's Espen Kofstad for third with matching 5-under 211s.