March 18, 2007
The University of New Mexico men's golf team finished the third and final round of the 2007 Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational in ninth place with a total score of 889 (299-293-297). The Lobos 25-over par tally left them in the middle of the 18-team field. No. 5 Georgia held on for the win, finishing 10-under for the tournament.
Sophomore Steve Saunders shot a 1-over, 73 in the final round today at the 6,962-yar, par-72 Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. He finished the event with a 1-over total of 217 (75-69-73) to lead New Mexico. He was very steady in his final round today, posting 15 pars, a birdie and a pair of bogeys. After a bogey on two and a birdie on three, a three-putt on 17 was the only thing that kept him from posting 16 consecutive pars to finish his round. Saunders finished the tournament tied for 11th place in the individual race. Chris Kirk of Georgia won the event with a 6-under total of 210 (70-68-72).
"Steve had a great week," stated UNM head coach Glen Millican. "This field is awesome and for him to finish 11th shows that he had a really solid outing this week. It is nice to see him get it going the way he can."
Senior Charlie Beljan, currently ranked fifth in the Golf Week Magazine national rankings, also posted a 73 in today's final round. Beljan was on fire on the front side, making the turn with three-straight birdies to go out in 33. He lost that momentum with a double-bogey on No. 10 after hitting his tee shot in the water on the par-4. He came back to birdie 11, but hit his tee-shot in 12 out-of-bounds. He finished with bogeys in three of his last seven to post a 40 on the back side. He finished the tournament tied for 27th at 5-over par (73-75-73=221).
"We all had a great front nine," continued Millican. "Charlie made some uncharacteristic mistakes on the back that wound up costing him a chance to shoot under par today."
Junior Robb Bierbaum posted a 75 today, moving to 9-over for the tournament. He finished tied for 41st. Sophomore Nick Geyer post a 76 in the final round, finishing in 54th place at 11-over par. Sophomore Guillermo Chavez posted the second highest round by a Lobo this season with an 84 in the final round. He tied for last place (89th) in the tournament at 25-over par.
"We feel alright about our performance this weekend," added Millican. "We made progress from our first two tournaments this spring. We were in a great position to make a move in both the second and third rounds, but gave away too many shots on the closing holes. We beat five teams that were ranked well ahead of us, so there were some good things to take from this weekend. We've just got to figure out how to finish it off."
The Lobos next travel to the Morris Williams Invitational in Austin, Texas, on March 26-27.