April 13, 2008
Lobo sophomore Kyle Nielsen's bid to take the individual title at the 36th Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational came up short today when he shot a 7-over 78. Nielsen began the final round with a 1-shot lead at the Karsten Golf Course (par-71, 7,057 yards) in Tempe, Ariz. He finished in a tie for ninth at 1-over 214, easily his best finish of the 2007-08 season.
Denver's Espen Kofstad took medalist honors at 3-under 210.
Starting play on No. 10, Nielsen suffered four bogeys in a five-hole stretch before making birdie on his eighth hole. Consecutive bogeys in the middle of the back nine essentially knocked Nielsen from title contention. He also suffered a double bogey on the final hole.
Nielsen was attempting to become the second straight Lobo to win the Thunderbird Invitational. Charlie Beljan was the medalist last year with a 15-under 201.
The Lobos, who were tied for eighth after the first round, ended up placing 15th in the 16-team field. UNM shot a 17-over 301 today, finishing at 888. Host Arizona State took the team title at 843.
Lobo junior Steve Saunders shot a team-low 72 today to finish tied for 31st at 219. Jacob Lestishen tied for 72nd at 227 with Jon Sauer tying for 74th at 229. Brandon Putnam was at 244 for 86th place.
The Lobos are back on the course Friday when they participate in the PING Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah.