March 21, 2010
MARANA, Ariz. --- Travis Ross stood on the 9th green at the Calloway Collegiate Match Play Championship knowing he needed to two putt from 15 feet to clinch the Lobos' upset match win over second-seeded Washington.
Surrounded by his teammates and coaches, Ross didn't leave anything to chance. He sunk the putt for his sixth birdie of the round, closing out his match with Richard Lee, winning 2-up on the final hole.
With that, the 47th-ranked University of New Mexico men's golf team beat the sixth-ranked Huskies, 3-2, Sunday afternoon. The Lobos, seeded 15th, advanced to play 10th-seeded San Diego, a 3-2 winner over seventh-seeded Texas Tech.
New Mexico notched the biggest upset of the first round in knocking off the Huskies. Washington looked to be in control early after wins from Chris Killmer over Brandon Putnam (4 and 2) in the No. 5 match and Nick Taylor over James Erkenbeck in the No. 1 match (4 and 3).
The Lobos rallied to claim the match with three straight wins from John Catlin, Nick Geyer and Ross. Catlin bested Chris Williams in the No. 3 match 3 and 1 and Geyer beat Charlie Hughes 2 and 1 in the No. 4 match.
"It was a battle," Ross said. "I'm glad I had the opportunity to close out the match. It was a great team effort to beat a pretty good team in Washington. We're all very glad to get the win to start off the tournament."
Lee is ranked No. 32 nationally in Golfweek's men's collegiate rankings.
Ross had been New Mexico's hottest player during the current road trip, finishing in the top 5 in both of the Lobos' previous two tournaments.
"We had a pretty good day," coach Glen Millican said. "Every match against Washington was close. They're a great team and had five great players out there today. We did a good job of getting three matches against that team."
"I did a nice job grinding all day against Charlie," Geyer said. "The course is a great test and we did a really nice job as a team of being patient. Being able to beat them is a real quality win."
Second-round play between New Mexico and the Toreros was suspended late Sunday evening by tournament officials due to darkness. San Diego leads, 1-0, thanks to Gunner Wiebe's 6 and 4 triumph over Brandon Putnam in the No. 5 match.
In the No. 4 match, the Lobos' Nick Geyer is 2 up in his match against Jason Shano, while James Erkenbeck's match against Scott Brace in the No. 1 slot and John Catlin's No. 3 match against Alex Ching stand all square. In the No. 2 match, Travis Ross is down a hole Kenneth McCready with nine to play.
The match-play event takes place at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain and is hosted by the University of Arizona.
Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com, with daily recaps and full stats available at GoLobos.com.
Erkenbeck faces the Huskies' Nick Tayor in the No. 1 match. Ross faces Richard Lee at No. 2, Catlin faces Chris Williams at No. 3, Geyer faces Charlie Hughes at No. 4, and Putnam squares off against Chris Killmer.
THE FIELD - In seeded order (Golfweek/Sagarin men's collegiate golf team national ranking as of March 14, 2010): Stanford (No. 2), Washington (No. 6), Texas A&M (No. 4), Arizona State (No. 15), UCLA (No. 7), UNLV (No. 11), Texas Tech (No. 16), Southern California (No. 14), TCU (No. 17), San Diego (No. 25), Middle Tennessee (No. 29), Colorado State (No. 32), Iowa (No. 41), Arizona (No. 43), New Mexico (No. 47), Indiana (No. 78).