April 17, 2010
Lobo TV: Coach Millican Previews the Aggie Invitational
Lobo TV: Ross MWC Golfer-of-the-Month Interview
COLLEGE STATION, Texas --- The University of New Mexico men's golf team looks to close its regular-season schedule on a high note this weekend at the Aggie Invitational. The invite is hosted by Texas A&M and, aside from the Aggies, includes No. 1-ranked Oklahoma State, No. 5 Texas, No. 18 TCU, No. 19 Texas Tech, Baylor, Colorado, Kent State, San Diego State, SMU, and Texas-San Antonio in its field.
The Aggie Invitational is held at A&M's Traditions Golf Club Course. Action begins at 7 a.m. MT on both days with a shotgun start Saturday (36 holes) and a split-tee start on Sunday (18 holes).
Unlike most collegiate golf tournaments that have five golfers playing with the varsity squad while counting four scores, the Aggie Invitational allows for six members on each varsity squad, while counting five scores.
"It's another good tournament," coach Glen Millican said. "It's very similar to the Morris Williams Intercollegiate as far as the field that's going to be there and in the golf course, too. Both of them are well-designed golf courses."
The Traditions course measures 7,146 yards, holds a 74.9 USGA course rating and a 152 Slope rating.
"We've got 36 holes the first day, so it's going to be another long day on a very good course," Millican said. "We know we can shoot well at a course like this, so now we just have to go out there and do it."
Head Coach Glen Millican is traveling the following players: seniors Nick Geyer and Brandon Putnam, juniors Travis Ross and Tom Carlson, Sophomore James Erkenbeck and Freshmen John Catlin and Ryan Gay. Erkenbeck will play in the Lobos' No. 1 spot, with Ross at No. 2, Catlin No. 3, Geyer No. 4, Carlson No. 5 and Gay No. 6. Putnam will play as an individual.
LAST YEAR AT THE AGGIE INVITATIONAL
Host Texas A&M shortened the invitational from 54 to 36 holes, eliminating one round of play after heavy thunderstorms delayed the start of the tournament. The Lobos came away tied for eighth place after shooting a 29-over-par 358-391=749. Heading into the final round at 2-under, the Lobos shot 31-over in Sunday's final round. Tom Carlson led the Lobos, shooting a 4-over 70-78=148 to tie for 21st place. Parker Pemberton shot a 6-over 70-80=150 to tie for 34th place, while Nick Geyer and James Erkenbeck each shot a 7-over 151 to tie for 36th. Erkenbeck shot a 5-over 77 today after shooting a 2-over 74 in the first round, while Geyer shot 75-77 for his two rounds.
Steve Saunders shot a 5-over 77 today that, coupled with his first round 75, left him at 8-over and tied for 43rd. Jon Sauer shot an 11-over 72-83=155 to finish tied for 58th. The Lobos' Alex Zannes, playing as an individual, shot an 82-88=170 to finish in 170th.
Second-ranked Oklahoma State posted a 6-under 341-373=714 claim the team title, with the host Aggies finishing three shots back after shooting a 3-under 346-371=717. The Cowboys' Rickie Fowler claimed the individual title after shooting a 6-under 65-73=138.
ROSS NAMED GOLFER OF THE MONTH
New Mexico junior Travis Ross has been selected as the Mountain West Conference Men's Golfer of the Month for March. Ross, a Crookston, Minn., native, put together back-to-back top-5 finishes at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and the National Invitational Tournament. He concluded the month by winning all four of his matches as the No. 2-player for New Mexico at the Calloway Collegiate Match Play Championships, en route to the Lobos' team championship.
"It's just great," Ross said. "I'm just glad to be playing well... My short game is back to where I want it and I'm getting up and down and making putts. I'm not giving strokes back. If you don't give strokes back and you keep it in play, you can compete."
"Travis has done a great job," coach Glen Millican said. "It's nice to see him reap the benefits of his hard work. To play in three events and get beat by only seven guys is just awesome -- especially with those three fields."
Ross opened the month with a career-best fourth place finish, out of 79 golfers, at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 12-14. The field included 11 of the top 20 teams in the country. He carded a 5-over 221 (75-73-73) in windy conditions on the par 72, 7,510-yard course and led the field with 12 birdies.
In his second tournament of the month at the National Invitational in Tucson on March 17-18, Ross carded a carded a 1-under-par 215 (69-75-71) on the par 72, 7,200-yard Catalina Course to finish in a seven-way tie for fifth place.
At the Calloway Match Play Championship held March 21-23 at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana Ariz., Ross captured four victories and helped the Lobos, who were ranked 52nd nationally and seeded 15th in the 16-team field, to claim the team championship.
New Mexico opened match play by knocking off second-seeded and sixth-ranked Washington in the opening round. Ross, ranked No. 151 at the time, dispatched of 31st-ranked Richard Lee, 2-up. He clinched the Lobos' second-round win over No. 26 and 10th-seeded San Diego on the final hole of his match with Kenneth McCready. Ross beat McCready 1-up, winning the final two holes to erase a one-hole deficit with two to play. In the third round, Ross helped UNM get by defending NCAA champion, 4th-ranked and third-seeded Texas A&M with a victory over then-45th ranked Cameron Peck, 2 and 1.
Ross concluded the event by topping 71st-ranked Steve Lim of USC, 5 and 4, in the championship match. The 12th-ranked Trojans entered the match play as the No. 8 seed.
This marks the first career MWC Golfer of the Month award for Ross.