May 21, 2010
BREMERTON, Wash. --- The University of New Mexico men's golf team shot a 3-over-par 291 Friday at the Gold Mountain Golf Club, good enough to leapfrog into 10th place the NCAA West Regional at 21-over.
Friday's 291 marks an 18-shot improvement over the Lobos' opening-round 309, leaving them 14 strokes and five places out of fifth place and an invitation to the NCAA Championship tournament, held June 1-6 at the Honors Course near Chattanooga, Tenn. The top five teams and top individual advance to the championship tournament.
Thursday's opening-round rainy weather lingered through the first couple of hours Friday, and returned shortly after the conclusion of the second round of play. The Lobos took advantage of the warmer climes, shooting the third best by any of the 13 teams in the field, with only host Washington (283) and Southern California (289) posting a lower score.
Individually, a number of the Lobos made a significant move up the leaderboard. Nick Geyer moved to 25th place from 41st after shooting an even-par 72 to remain at 4-over. Travis Ross, also tied at 41st entering Friday's round, carded a 1-over 73 and is now tied for 32nd. John Catlin moved from 51st to 40th after shooting an even-par 72. He's now tied with three others for 40th at 6-over.
James Erkenbeck, after an uncharacteristic opening-round 9-over 81, moved up 14 spots from 71st to 57th with a 2-over 74. Erkenbeck enters Saturday's round with an 11-over 155. Tom Carlson shot his second consecutive 7-over 79 and is tied for 67th at 14-over.
"Today the team did a great job of playing golf as we normally would," Geyer said. "By no means did we play great, but we've got a chance tomorrow. All we can do is try to capitalize on that chance."
The Lobos get started Saturday morning starting at 9:20 a.m. MT. Carlson teeing off first, followed by Erkenbeck, Catlin, Ross and Geyer every subsequent 10 minutes.
"We didn't plan on being in this position," Erkenbeck said. "But, we know we can play ourselves into the top five with a good round tomorrow. Now we just have to go out and do it."
The Huskies hold a commanding 16-shot lead over the field at 7-under, followed by Illinois at 9-over. Southern California and San Diego are tied for third at 10-over, with Oregon State holding the fifth and decisive spot down at 11-over.
Individually, Washinton's Darren Wallace is alone in first place at 5-under, with teammate Richard Lee and Denver's Espen Kofstad tied for second at 4-under. The Toreros' Gunner Wiebe and Nebraska's Brandon Crick tied for 4th at 2-under.