In Tucson, several Lobos experienced an up-and-down day at the Arizona Intercollegiate golf tournament Monday. Junior Sean Romero, however, had a down-and-up day.
His rebound ensured that that his team wouldn’t be down and out entering Tuesday’s final round.
After struggling to a first-round 83 at the brand-new Sewailo Golf Club course, Romero came back with a 71 to match junior Sam Saunders’ second-round 71 and help the 14th-ranked University of New Mexico men’s golf team to a third-place performance after 36 holes.
UNM (287-293=580) finished at 12 over par after Monday’s first two rounds, trailing 22nd-ranked USC (281-283=564) by 16 strokes. Third-ranked California is second at 2 under par (281-285=566), two strokes behind the Trojans.
“We played OK,” coach Glen Millican said, “We did a good job most of the day, but we made some big mistakes on a couple of holes that really cost us.”
Saunders is the top Lobo, turning in a 3-over 145 scorecard after two rounds. He stands at 3 over par and is tied for 15th place, 10 strokes behind Trojan and tournament leader Anthony Paolucci (65-70=135) at 7 under par.
“Sam was real solid all day,” coach Glen Millican said. “He played 36 holes of good golf.”
Romero had a miserable first round, double-bogeying five holes en route to a four-way tie for 79th place in the 83-player field, just two shots out of last place.
But instead of simply playing out the second round, Romero found his stroke and improved 12 strokes. He birdied his last hole to put him at even-71 for the round. Romero enters Tuesday’s final 18 holes tied for 55th place at 12 over.
“That was important for us, Millican said. With Gavin Green and Victor Perez struggling in the second round, “we needed those other guys to step up. For Sean to do that was great.”
Juniors Green and Perez, and true freshman Andrej Bevins all are tied for 23rd at 5-over 147. Green (71-76) and Perez (70-77) both were hampered by a triple-bogey during the second round. Four bogeys and a double-bogey cost Bevins (72-75) a shot at a better second round as well.
Redshirt freshman Mitch Johnson, competing as an individual, shot a 71-77=148 to finish in a 27th place tie. Sophomore Joe Abella tied for 32nd at 8 over (73-77=150).
Sophomore Dylan Healey is tied for 63rd at 14-over-par 156 (76-80).
“We have the potential to post a really low number (Tuesday),” Millican said, “but we have to eliminate some of the errors on the long holes to have a chance. We made a couple of charges last fall in a couple of events, so we’re capable.”
The tournament resumes tomorrow at 8 a.m. MST with a shotgun start. Live scoring is available at golfstat.com.