April 18, 2008
The University of New Mexico men's golf team is in second place following two rounds of the PING BYU Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah, today. Posting two of its best scores of the season, the Lobos sit at 15-under par (280-281=561) and two strokes behind New Mexico State (277-282=559, -17). Junior Parker Pemberton is tied for second in the individual race at 6-under after shooting 68-70 in his first two rounds.
Nine of the Lobos' 10 individual scores were under par today at the Riverside Country Club (Par -72, 7,001 yards). Only UNM's 279 in the final round of the John Burns Intercollegiate in February is a better score this season than the ones posted by the Lobos today.
Pemberton's opening round 68 was a career low for the Apple Valley, Minn., native. His 70 in the afternoon 18 gave him back-to-back under-par rounds for the first time this season. Fellow junior Jacob Lestishen was also impressive, turning in a two round total of 139 (69-70, -5) to tie for eighth place. His 69 in the first round was also a career low. Washington State's Nick Ellis leads the events at 8-under (69-67=136).
"We had a solid effort from all of the guys today," stated UNM head coach Glen Millican. "We finally got everyone to have some good scores at the same time and we benefitted from that as a team. We have put ourselves in a good position, and if we play well tomorrow we have a chance to win the tournament."
Freshman Tom Carlson finished the first two rounds at 2-under (72-70=142) and tied for 15th. Carlson came into the event with a 74.33 season average, the lowest of any Lobo making the trip this weekend. Sophomore Kyle Nielsen continued his solid play of late with a 1-under 143 (72-71) total after two rounds. He has carded scores of par or better in four of his last five rounds. Junior Steve Saunders is currently tied for 26th at even-par (71-73=144). Sophomore Brandon Putnam also made the trip, playing as an individual. He is also tied for 26th at even-par (73-71=144).
The final round of the PING BYU Cougar Classic begins tomorrow morning with tee times at 8:00 a.m. (M.D.T.). This is the final tune-up before UNM heads to the Mountain West Conference Championships in Tucson, Ariz., on April 24-26.