May 19, 2007
The University of New Mexico men's golf team shot a 12-under 276 in today's final round of the NCAA West Regional to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Lobos finished eighth with a three round total of 833, 31 strokes under par (275-282-276). No. 36 South Carolina won the event at 44-under at the Karsten Course in Tempe, Ariz. New Mexico was the only unranked team to finish in the top-10. The top-10 teams from each regional advanced to the NCAA Championships in Williamsburg, Va., May 30-June 2.
Senior Charlie Beljan led the Lobos with a 13-under total of 203 (65-68-70). He tied for seventh in the individual race, posting a 70 in today's round. Beljan carded three birdies and one bogey in his final round.
Sophomore Steve Saunders had the low round for UNM today, carding a 67. Saunders started out hot with birdies on five of his first eight holes. His 67 today ties a career low, having posted the same score at the Karsten Course in the ASU Thunderbird Invitational earlier in the season. He posted a three-round total of 204 (68-69-67, -12) to finish tied for 10th.
Junior Robb Bierbaum had a solid final round, shooting a career-low 69. Starting on the back nine, he birdied three of his first five holes to get to three under. A round-killing double-par on the par-3 16th could have ruined his good start. However, Bierbaum strung together three-straight birdies to get back to 3-under. He finished with a 219 total (74-76-69, +3) after three rounds.
"Robb had it going early," stated UNM head coach Glen Millican. "He got to 3-under quickly, but then hit it in the water on a long par 3 to make a 6. I was impressed with the way he came back to shoot under 70 for the first time ever."
Freshman Kyle Nielsen shot a 2-under 70 today to finish with a 215 total (73-72-70, -1), tying his lowest 54-hole total of the season. Sophomore Nick Geyer finished with a 71 today. He shot a 213 (69-73-71, -3) for the tournament setting a personal season-low for 54 holes.
"I am just really happy for all of our guys," added Millican, who has the Lobos in the NCAAs for the 30th time in school history and the fifth time in his six years as head coach. "I loved the way they battled and held it together against such a tough field. What they did today was really special."
The Lobos are now set for the NCAA Championships at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va. The event is hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University and will be a four-round format on May 30 - June 2.