Lobos Travel to Karsten Course for ASU Thunderbird Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/10/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 10, 2008

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OPENING DRIVE: The University of New Mexico men's golf team travels to Tempe, Ariz. for the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invitational this weekend. The Lobos will be making their fifth appearance at the ASU Thunderbird under head coach Glen Millican. New Mexico is trying to get back on track after a 15th place finish at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in Austin, Texas, earlier in the week. Teams will play 18 holes each day of the event with tee times beginning at 8:30 a.m. (M.D.T.). The Lobos are scheduled to tee off at 9:47 a.m. in the first round on Friday, April 11, on the back nine.

THE FIELD: Competing in the ASU Thunderbird Invitational this weekend along with the Lobos are Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Cal, Colorado State, Connecticut, Cal State Northridge, Denver, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pacific, San Diego State, No. 19 texas A&M and UC Irvine.

THE COURSE: The ASU Thunderbird Invitational will be played on the 7,057, par-71 ASU Karsten Course in Tempe, Ariz. The Lobos are very familiar with the Karsten Course, having played there in last year's Thunderbird and NCAA West Regionals. UNM finished eighth in both events last season.

RESULTS: Results can be found on the University of New Mexico web site at www.GoLobos.com following the conclusion of competition on each day. Live scores will also be available through GolfStat.com on GoLobos.com.

LOBO PLAYERS: Lobo head coach Glen Millican will go with juniors Jacob Lestishen, Jon Sauer and Steve Saunders and sophomores Kyle Nielsen and Brandon Putnam for the second tournament in a row.
Jacob Lestishen
In the line up for the second straight tournament after tying for 45th at the Morris Williams. Making his first appearance in the Thunderbird.
Jon Sauer
Led UNM at the Morris Williams with a 14-over 227, tying for 39th. 73.89 stroke average is the lowest on the team. Also leads the team in rounds of par or lower (8) and rounds of 70 or lower (6).
Steve Saunders
Shot a 1-under 215 (71-67-77) in last year's Thunderbird to tie for 23rd. Also shot a 12-under 204 (68-69-67) in the NCAA West Regionals on the same course last season to tie for 10th. Broken par in five of his last six rounds at the Karsten Course. Coming off his worst collegiate round with a 91 in the final 18 at the Morris Williams.
Kyle Nielsen
Finished tied for 64th at 8-over (78-74-74=224) in last year's Thunderbird. Also played in the NCAA West Regionals at the Karsten Course, finishing with a 1-under 215 (73-72-70) to tie for 76th. Shot an 21-over (234) at the Morris Williams. Still looking to break par in a varsity event this season.
Brandon Putnam
Had his best collegiate score with a 3-under 69 in the National Invitational second round. Finished the event at 1-over (217) for his career best 54-hole total, alone in 20th place overall. Shot a 230 (76-77-77, +17) to tie for 52nd at the Morris Williams earlier in the week.

LOBOS AT THE ASU THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL: UNM finished eighth in the 16-team event last season, carding a 7-under 857 (291-277-289). The Lobos' second round total of 277 tied for the lowest 18 hole team score of the event. Senior Charlie Beljan won last year's individual title with a 15-under 201 (66-67-68). UNM has played in the ASU Thunderbird four times in head coach Glen Millican's tenure. New Mexico's best finish under Millican was a fourth place showing in 2004 at 24-under (273-285-282=840).

PUTNAM DROPS IN FIRST CAREER ACE: UNM Sophomore Brandon Putnam carded his first ace on the 216-yard par 3 eighth hole at the Husky Invitational in the fall. He flew a 4-iron off the tee into the cup for the hole-in-one.

MILLICAN SECOND IN CAREER WINS AMONG LOBO HEAD COACHES: The Lobos have won 13 events under current head coach Glen Millican, the second highest number by a head coach in school history. Dick McGuire won 28 times in his tenure from 1954-76.

MORRIS WILLIAMS INVITATIONAL RECAP: UNM finished the 2008 Morris Williams Intercollegiate in 15th place after a final round 310. The Lobos finished with a three round total of 920, 68 strokes over par (306-304-310). Sauer finished tied for 39th at 14-over (78-73-76=227). Lestishen shot 77 in the third round to tie for 45th at 16-over (76-76-77=229). Putnam finished at 17-over (76-77-77=230) for the tournament, tying for 52nd. Nielsen finished tied for 63rd at 21-over (76-78-80=234). Saunders had his worst round of his collegiate career with a 91 today. He finished 77th overall at 37-over (79-80-91=250).

NATIONAL INVITATIONAL RECAP: UNM dropped 10 spots from a tie for second to 12th in the final round of the National Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. After starting the day at even-par, the Lobos shot a 20-over 308 and finish the tournament with an 884 (286-290-308). Putnam started the day in fourth place in the individual race, but a final round 77 left him at 1-over par and in 20th. His three round total of 217 (71-69-77) is still his best 54-hole total as a Lobo. Saunders tied for 21st at 2-over (68-73-77) after his final round 77. Sauer led the Lobos in the final round with a 76, but tied for 48th in the individual race at 8-over (75-73-76). Carlson carded a 78 (74-77-78=229, +13) and Bierbaum finished with a 79 (73-75-79=227, +7) in the final round.

SCHENKEL INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Lobos shot a final round 303 at the E-Z-Go Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga., to finish the 18-team event in 17th place at 37-over par (304-294-303=901). No. 1 Alabama took home the team title, finishing at 15-under par (285-280-284=849). Sauer shot a 2-under 70 in today's third round at the Forest Heights Country Club. It was the only under par round for any Lobo on the weekend. Sauer finished tied for 25th overall with a 2-over 218 (74-74-70) 218 total after 54 holes. Lestishen and Saunders both tied for 72nd place with a 13-over total of 229. Lestishen shot a 78 today (79-72-78) while Saunders posted a final round 74 (79-75-74). Carlson was one stroke back in 77th place with a 14-over 230 (74-75-81). Pemberton tied for 85th with a 16-over 232 (77-73-82).

JOHN BURNS INTERCOLLEGIATE RECAP: UNM shot a season low 279 in the final round to finish with a three-round total of 861 (290-292-279), three strokes under par and in 16th place in the 21-team field. UNM was led by Sauer and Carlson, who both shot 5-under 67's today. Carlson finished tied for 24th at 6-under par (73-70-67=210) in just his second career start. Sauer had his first under-par round of the tournament and his lowest of the season today, finishing at 2-under (73-74-67=214) and tied for 44th.

PING ARIZONA INTERCOLLEGIATE RECAP: The Lobos finished tied for ninth overall at 24-over par (292-294-290=876). No. 12 Tennessee won the 16-team event with a three round total of 832 (272-277-283), 20 strokes under par. Saunders finished with a three-round total of 218 (73-75-70) to finish in a tie for 26th in the individual race, five strokes over par. His final round 70 equals his lowest 18-hole score of the season.

CLUB GLOVE INVITATIONAL RECAP: UNM finished with a three-round total of 949 (323-320-306, +85). Pepperdine, the host of the tournament, won the event with a 41-over 905 (300-306-299). Saunders led the Lobos with a 13th place showing. He posted a 54-hole total of 232 (74-83-75). Georgia State's Joel Sjoholm won the event at 9-over (73-72-80=225). Bierbaum finished in a tie for 27th overall, posting a 238 (84-79-75, +22). All of the players were battling the nasty Santa Ana winds and smoky conditions among the wildfires in southern California. Pepperdine University had evacuated its dorm prior to the start of the tournament, but the Saticoy Country Club was well out of harm's way. Sauer (85-79-79=243, +27) tied for 45th, Nielsen (80-79-86=245, +29) tied for 49th and Putnam (87-83-77=247, +31) tied for 55th to round out the Lobo participants.

WINDON MEMORIAL CLASSIC RECAP: The Lobos finished tied for ninth at the conclusion of the Windon Memorial Classic hosted by Northwestern University. The Lobos posted a final score of 872, 20-over par (288-287-297) at the par-71 Lake Shore Country Club in Glencoe, Ill. Sauer led the way for UNM the whole tournament shooting an even-par 71 for the last 18 holes.

HUSKY INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Lobos finished in 12th place out of 13 teams with a two-round total of 33-over 609 (305-304). Putnam carded a hole-in-one on the 216-yard par-3 eighth hole in the second round. Putnam played 36 holes today at 3-over par (74-73=147) and tied for 12th place in the individual race to lead UNM. The final round of the event was cancelled due to rain.

WILLIAM H. TUCKER INVITATIONAL RECAP: The Lobo men's golf team finished the 2007 William H. Tucker in seventh place after a final round 298 (+10) at the UNM Championship Course today. UNM ended the tournament with a 21-over total of 885 (297-290-298), 21 strokes behind Pepperdine's winning score of 864 (289-286-289, E). Saunders led UNM with a 1-under 215 (70-71-74), while Pepperdine's Jesse Barnsley won the individual title with a 12-under 201 (66-67-71).

GENE MIRANDA FALCON INVITATIONAL RECAP: UNM finished ninth at the 2007 Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational at the Eisenhower Course in Colorado Springs, Colo. New Mexico finished with a three round total of 877 (291-295-291), 25 strokes off the pace set by Iowa State (286-283-283=852) and Wichita State (288-278-286=852). UNM was led by Putnam and Sauer, both finishing tied for 19th individually at 2-over (216). Chavez tied for 45th overall with a 7-over 223 (74-74-75). Saunders was one stroke back with a 224 (73-78-73, +8) while Lestishen tied for 51st at 225 (77-72-76, +9).

NEW MEXICO FLAVOR: For the first time in head coach Glen Millican's tenure, three native New Mexicans were in field at once for the Lobos. Junior Steve Saunders and sophomore Brandon Putnam from Albuquerque and junior Guillermo Chavez hails from Clovis competed at the season opening Gene Miranda Invitational and last week's Husky Invitational. Redshirt freshman Alez Zannes and freshmen James Gehrke, both from Albuquerque, give the Lobos a total of five New Mexicans on the roster.